Pipeline protester who chained himself to excavator charged
A Blacksburg man is facing two misdemeanor charges after locking himself to a piece of heavy equipment in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
The latest protest against the controversial project started early Friday morning at a work site off Bradshaw Road, when Michael James-Deramo climbed onto an excavator and chained himself to it.
He was there for six and a half hours, before he agreed to come down.
A spokesperson for the Virginia State Police released the following statement Friday afternoon.
Virginia State Police used a mechanized lift to remove James-Deramo.
Police charged him with two misdemeanors: entering the property of another for the purpose of damaging it, and breaking, injuring, defacing, destroying or preventing the operation of a vehicle, aircraft or boat.
The 300-mile natural gas pipeline is being built in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. It has used eminent domain to acquire project space.
The Blacksburg resident, in a statement released by the organization Appalachians Against Pipelines, says he has "watched as this pipeline has wreaked havoc" on the land and people's lives.
, authorities in Virginia and West Virginia have charged about 40 people who have attempted to block construction since work began last year.