Eight climate activists who were arrested for trespassing at the Spectra Energy facility in Burrillville have been released. They’re facing charges of criminal trespass.
Kathy Martley lives a quarter of a mile from Spectra Energy’s facility. She helped coordinate the protest that drew nearly 100 demonstrators.
“We have to remember we are not fracking here, but it is fracked gas,” said Martley, “and somewhere down the line someone else is fracking more to push this through these lines that they are building and expanding on.”
Demonstrators marched to protest pipeline expansions and compressor station upgrades by Spectra Energy as well as plans for a new natural gas-fired power plant on Spectra’s property in Burrillville.
A few months ago, activists chained themselves to equipment at the Burrillville facility.
Nick Katkevich said opponents of fossil fuel projects are committed to trespassing in the future as an act of civil disobedience. He said their voices have not been well represented by elected officials.
“When all else fails, that’s when people are interested in putting their bodies on the line and showing, especially Invenergy, that if they try to build a power plant, people are going to come out in mass and try to put their bodies on the line to try to stop it,” said Katkevich.
Katkevich said five of those arrested tried to plant flower bulbs on Spectra's property to symbolize their future planned protests in the spring.
Katkevich said local residents are trying to do their part in their fight against climate change while heads of state try to reach a global pact in Paris to reduce carbon emissions.
“While it’s important to get a strong agreement in Paris, it’s also important for folks to take action in their local communities and stop the fossil fuel projects that are proposed for this state right now,” he said.
In a previous interview following arrests back in September, Spectra Energy spokeswoman Marylee Hanley said the company’s pipelines provide a major source of energy for the nation.
Hanley said the company respects people’s right to protest, but will prosecute trespassers who compromise the safety of the company’s operations, workers, and neighbors.
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