Mountain Valley Pipeline opponent released on bond after protest

Photo: Appalachians Against Pipelines
Photo: Appalachians Against Pipelines(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 19, 2019 at 4:35 PM EDT
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A Mountain Valley Pipeline opponent was released on bond Thursday night after protesting the project in Montgomery County.

WHSV's sister station, WDBJ7, was there when that protester was arrested.

Roughly a dozen law enforcement vehicles responded to an area where Route 603 meets the railroad tracks in Elliston Thursday night. The protest happened near Cove Hollow Road and Yellow Finch Lane.

It all began after police say a protester, identified as Violet, was barricaded by choice on land where the Mountain Valley Pipeline would cross Route 460.

"When I had gotten up there, they were just hammering her out with some concrete or something, then they just started leading her down a path," said Crystal Mellow, a protester at the scene.

That's where WDBJ7's Jen Cardone caught up with Violet.

"I was locking down at a construction site for the Mountain Valley Pipeline," Violet said in an interview only with WDBJ7. "And really you think the police or the law would be cracking down on this thing because it's being so destructive to this community, but instead they're being real rough with a small kid like me. That's basically why I did that."

Police said because the protester was both resisting charge and trespassing, Violet will likely face at least two misdemeanors. According to Virginia State Police, Violet was barricaded with arms inside of PVC pipes within concrete. They had to hire a crew to release Violet.

"It seemed as if they were going to clear the pathway I was in, so I locked myself down such that if they were to do their work, they would crush me with trees," Violet said.

WDBJ7 has reached out to the Mountain Valley Pipeline for a comment on the situation, but have not yet heard back. They expect Virginia State Police to give them a full report soon.

This is a developing story. Stay with WDBJ7 online and on-air for updates.