UPDATE: Mass Coal Plant Protest Happening Now FOLLOW: ?@oharjo #summerheat #coalisstupid #CloseBraytonPt @350Mass @efeghali for updates.
UPDATE Brayton Point Coal Plant Protest Live Streaming HERE.
This morning, Sunday, July 28th, there is an action happening in Southeastern Massachusetts. A group of climate activists are going to shut down a coal plant and replace it with solar panels and wind generators.
Obviously the solar panels and wind generators will be mainly symbolic because you can’t build a lot of large infrastructure while the police are bearing down on you. Indeed, local police have been depicted in the press as being ready to grab all the protestors and take them to “an undisclosed location.” Sounds ominous. Word from the street, by the way, is that the local police and authorities have been having reasonable discussions with the protesters, so while I would expect nearly 50 arrests or so, there won’t be a riot and no on is going to Guantanamo. But, an important point will be made. And you need to know the point.
This is a Summer Heat protest against, at the immediate and small scale, the operation of the Brayton Point coal plant, which is the largest fossil fuel burner in the Northeast. The protest calls “or Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and others to immediately close the Brayton Point coal plant and ensure a just transition for workers and host communities towards a healthy and sustainable future.”
This is not the first protest activity at this power point. In mid may, a boat was set up to interfere with a large coal delivery. From a piece in The Nation about Ken Ward and Jay O’Hara’s earlier activities:
Early on the morning of May 15 … Ken and Jay motored up to Brayton Point in a thirty-two-foot lobster boat, which they’d acquired and rechristened the Henry David T., flying an American flag and a banner that read #coalisstupid. They were about two hours ahead of the Energy Enterprise, and Jay, skippering, positioned the lobster boat in the ship channel along the pier—right where the 689-foot freighter would have to dock and unload. Intending to stay a while, they proceeded to drop a well-fastened, 200-pound mushroom anchor off the stern of the Henry David T.
Ken called the Somerset police and said they were there to carry out a peaceful protest. Sometime before 11 am, the Energy Enterprise came into view, followed close by multiple high-speed Coast Guard boats. As the freighter bore down on Ken and Jay, the ship’s captain made radio contact, ascertained their intentions, and advised them and the Coast Guard that he had ordered “defensive measures” on deck and was prepared to “protect” his crew. Meanwhile, from somewhere above them on the pier, Ken and Jay heard the distinctive chck-chck of a rifle, chambered and ready. When the freighter finally came to a stop, its prow loomed over the lobster boat. Coast Guard personnel boarded the Henry David T. and ….
The action is going to happen in about 31 minutes as I write this. Keep an eye on the news. Let every one know this is happening/has happened.
Oh, and to the protesters carrying out this action: Thank you for your service.