(Montpelier, Vt.) – Vermont State Police today announced that all charges have been dropped against the 64 Vermonters who occupied Governor Peter Shumlin’s office on October 27, to demand an end to the fracked gas pipeline and a ban on fossil fuel infrastructure.
The Governor was the focus of the sit-in due to his continued support of the pipeline, which would transport dirty, climate-disrupting fracked gas from Alberta Canada through Addison County, underneath Lake Champlain to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga, Ny., and eventually to Rutland.
“It’s good news. Regardless of the charges, we know that we’re fighting for what is right for Vermont, and this movement will continue to grow and escalate,” said Martha Waterman, of Charlotte, who was arrested on the 27th.
The pipeline, opposed by thousands of people across the state, would continue Vermont’s reliance on greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels that cause climate change. The majority of the gas for the first two phases would serve industrial customers like the International Paper mill.
“As a young person from Rutland, I’m ready to continue standing up to the Governor, Vermont Gas/Gaz Metro and the fossil fuel industry to demand climate justice,” said Colton Francis, a community garden organizer, farmer and member of the Rutland Area Climate Coalition.
Organizers of the sit-in, including Rising Tide Vermont, 350VT, Just Power and the Vermont Workers Center, vow that resistance to the pipeline will continue in many forms, including more legal interventions, community organizing, civil disobedience and direct action.
On October 30th, Maeve McBride from 350 Vermont was interviewed by Margaret Prescod for KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show with Margaret Prescod, coordinated by GJEP in partnership with the SoTrue show.
McBride was one of the organizers and media spokespeople for the Oct 27th occupation and sit-in of Vermont Governor Shumlin’s Office, opposing the fracked gas pipeline project and the build out of new fossil fuel infrastructure.