Actions Speak Louder Than Words as 13 are Arrested in Virginia Coal Fight

UPDATE 2: Everyone’s out of jail.  But please keep donating we have upcoming legal costs.

UPDATE: It appears that bail has been set at $2000 each, that’s $26,000 total. Please donate if you are able. To donate to BREF! please login to your paypal account and send your donation to More updates soon!

Actions spoke louder than words today as Blue Ridge Earth First! (BREF!) and Mountain Justice (MJ) blockaded Dominion’s Richmond Headquarters early this morning. The all-woman lock down team anchored a climber who hung off a suspension bridge in protest of the air permit awarded to the company’s proposed coal plant in St. Paul, Virginia last week. This blockade is another in a line of escalating actions against coal plants and mountaintop removal in Virginia.

Backing up traffic for miles, police eventually cleared their way through to cut the activists out of the lockboxes and barrels. The climber came down on his own. The police also detained eight other support people standing on the sidewalks supporting the lockdown team.

Non-violent direct actions against coal-fired power plants and mountaintop removal coal mining are increasing this year as it becomes more and more apparent that challenging the plants legally, legislatively and in the regulatory process are only parts of the strategy and that radical action is needed as well.

Earlier this year, U.S. based-activists engaged in civil disobedience actions in Boston, New York, North Carolina and Richmond in protest of coal and coal finance. Earlier this month, U.K. activists stopped and occupied a coal train headed to the Drax power plant for combustion.

Last week, Dr. James Hansen, NASA’s climate scientist, called for “radical steps” to stop the “perfect storm” of catastrophic climate chaos.

In the spirit of Dr. Hanson’s call to action, BREF! and Mountain Justice’s message was loud and clear this morning: “We Won’t Stop Until You Do.

While plants in Florida, Kansas, Florida and beyond are being stopped in the courts, boardrooms, regulatory commissions and statehouses, the coal industry is mobilized, motivated and well-funded to lock the U.S. into decades of coal-fired power.

We must move out of our comfort zones and step up the actions against King Coal.

We Won’t Stop Until They Do.

WE NEED YOUR DONATIONS FOR BAIL! To donate to BREF! please login to your paypal account and send your donation to

Check out the pictures here.

Check out the press release here.

42 Responses to “Actions Speak Louder Than Words as 13 are Arrested in Virginia Coal Fight”

  1. 1 danawv Jun 30th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    This is wonderful. These are the young people who are going to be dealing with these problems. After 45,000 people stated that they were against this plant, have a strong, educated professional voice at every step of the hearing process, hundreds of people at and then it gets approved, it’s time to move onto the next step of stopping Coal Fired Power Plants.

    This plant will be using Mountaintop Removal mined coal. It will devastate the mountains of Appalachia and feed global warming.

    God Speed kids. And be watching, other communities. If you need a hand when the Dirty Coal machine comes to your town, we can help.

  2. 2 CFKS Jun 30th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Hell Yeah! Good Work Gang!

  3. 3 roaninky Jun 30th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    AL GORE TOLD THEM TO! (I loved this, Dana). I admire the courage and fortitude that you all have to take a stand against Dominion. We support you whole-heartedly and will send some money towards bail. Be bold, confident, and know that you are in the right and are just in standing up for Appalachia.

  4. 4 Matt Jun 30th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    In solidarity…

  5. 5 Petunia Jun 30th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    YES, “we are dancing on the ruins…” Thank you all, this is so vital, and I just want to send my appreciation out there for our earth and each other.


  6. 6 danawv Jun 30th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    “It seems to me that young people, especially, should be doing whatever is necessary to block construction of dirty coal-fired power plants.” From James Hansen

    “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.” From Al Gore

  7. 7 Jon B Jun 30th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Love and solidarity from College Park, MD!

    Keep it up!

  8. 8 Mattie Reitman Jun 30th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    This is the way.

  9. 9 Reagan Jun 30th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Great Job Ya’ll !

  10. 10 willie Jun 30th, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Y’all like what you see? Want to learn how to execute this type of action in the defense of your community and life-giving bioregion? then come join Blue Ridge Earth First! and others for the Southeast Convergence for Climate Action in Virginia from August 5th-11th. more info at

    solidarity and wellness

  11. 11 the giggler Jun 30th, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    solidarity from SE KY!!!!

  12. 12 MSMITH Jun 30th, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    You guys are awesome! Thanks for using your courage to pull off this action.

  13. 13 Paul Jun 30th, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    You all are awesome for standing up for whats right. :)

  14. 14 jasper Jun 30th, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    This is such amazing work thats really important to me as a person from southwest Virginia. Keep up this awesomeness!

  15. 15 molly Jun 30th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    keeping fighting the good fight and righting the wrong

  16. 16 Lily Jul 1st, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Nice work, can’t wait to join you all one of these days soon. Solidarity from Philly!

  17. 17 Cascadia Brian Jul 1st, 2008 at 2:58 am

    wish I was there with ya!!

  18. 18 star Jul 1st, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I hope Al Gore will be making a donation to bail these kids out! Haha yeah right. Great job guys!

  19. 19 Casey Roe Jul 1st, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    This is amazing. Your non-violent protest truly sends the message that we will not stand for more dirty energy — especially when there are renewable options that will create jobs and power a new clean energy economy. Keep up the incredible dedication — youth across the nation are inspired by you and in solidarity with your actions.

  20. 20 David M. Jul 1st, 2008 at 5:03 pm


    \I sent $25
    \\danawv, those quotes should be repeated endlessly!

  21. 21 Inspired Jul 1st, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Will civil disobedience actually work where the regulatory and legal systems have failed? Perhaps the more appropriate question is: do we have a choice but to try?

    They are all strategies and philosophies to stop global warming and nasty resource extraction.

    Yesterday, 12 young people put their bodies on the line to stop business as usual at Dominion’s HQ. Four young women purposely immobilized themselves in front of oncoming traffic while a young male climber dangled 20 feet above the road.

    Think what happens if 120 put their bodies on the line or 1200!.

    Earth First!, Rising Tide, Mountain Justice Summer, RAN and Greenpeace are all stepping it up on coal and climate. If you want to learn more check out these organizations or go to one of 3 climate convergences happening this summer.

    Direct action gets the goods!

  22. 22 Don Thieme Jul 2nd, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Great work! I will be linking to your post on my blog.

  23. 23 georgedarroch Jul 3rd, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Awesome. Today Greenpeace Australia shut down a coal plant.

    Huge respect to you all!

  24. 24 Amy Ortiz Jul 3rd, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Hell Yeah! Y’all are awesome. Looking forward to seeing more actions like this!

  25. 25 Pat Gozemba Jul 4th, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Keep up the great work against Dominion. That corporation is a “plague on all of our houses.” Up here in Salem, MA, we are fighting one of the “filthy five” MA coal burning power plants. Of course, two of them are owned by Dominion.

  26. 26 Sparki Jul 8th, 2008 at 2:19 am

    hopefully Mattie or someone will put a blogpost up about this soon, but 8 more were arrested today in Columbus Ohio after chaining themselves inside AMP’s HQ. they were taking a stand against the proposed coal plants in Meigs County OH.

    **There are still people in jail! Help offset bail costs by donating!**

    Money will be collected care of the Earth First! Journal at

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Several people were arrested late Monday morning while protesting plans for a proposed coal-fired plant in southeast Ohio.

    Police were forced to subdue protesters after they entered the headquarters of American Municipal Power, located on Airport Drive in east Columbus, 10TV News reported.

    Dozens of members with the group, Earth First, were at the headquarters protesting plans to build a new power plant in Meigs County.

    According to police, five demonstrators entered the building and chained themselves up. Officers used Mace when the demonstrators refused to leave, 10TV News reported.

    Eight people were arrested during the demonstration, police said.

  27. 27 Elisa Young Jul 9th, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    You are amazingly courageous

  1. 1 Shopfloor » Blog Archive » No Good Energy Deed Goes Unpunished Trackback on Jun 30th, 2008 at 12:58 pm
  2. 2 Health and Global Warming Halt Coal Plant Proposal « It’s Getting Hot In Here Trackback on Jul 2nd, 2008 at 2:02 am
  3. 3 Root Force » Blog Archive » Lockdown at Power Company HQ in Virginia Trackback on Jul 4th, 2008 at 1:15 am
  4. 4 Wonk Room » Video: Virginia Lets Dominion Tear Down State For Coal Profits Trackback on Jul 6th, 2008 at 12:47 pm
  5. 5 The Understory » Coal is Over, Matey! Trackback on Jul 7th, 2008 at 1:35 pm
  6. 6 The Understory » Dear King Coal, We’re Not Kidding! 8 Arrested in Ohio Coal Plant Fight Trackback on Jul 8th, 2008 at 2:40 am
  7. 7 Dear King Coal, We’re Not Kidding! 8 Arrested in Ohio Coal Plant Fight « It’s Getting Hot In Here Trackback on Jul 8th, 2008 at 3:11 am
  8. 8 APPALACHIAN RESIDENTS GATHER TO MARCH ON ZEB MOUNTAIN « The Small Axe Trackback on Jul 20th, 2008 at 8:11 pm
  9. 9 Blue Ridge Earth First! » 4 arrested at Zeb Mountain March, July 20, 2008 Trackback on Jul 20th, 2008 at 10:57 pm
  10. 10 APPALACHIAN RESIDENTS GATHER TO MARCH ON ZEB MOUNTAIN « It’s Getting Hot In Here Trackback on Jul 23rd, 2008 at 10:24 am
  11. 11 Virginia is itching for a PowerShift « It’s Getting Hot In Here Trackback on Jul 23rd, 2008 at 12:08 pm
  12. 12 CCAN Blog » Virginia is Itching for a PowerShift Trackback on Jul 23rd, 2008 at 12:20 pm
  13. 13 Lock down to stop construction at Virginia Coal Plant « It’s Getting Hot In Here Trackback on Sep 15th, 2008 at 1:30 pm
  14. 14 CCAN Blog » Al Gore Calls Again for Civil Disobedience Trackback on Sep 24th, 2008 at 5:42 pm
  15. 15 Taking Action: Do our tactics unite or divide us? « It’s Getting Hot In Here Trackback on Jan 27th, 2009 at 6:05 pm
Comments are currently closed.


Scott Parkin is a Senior Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network and organizes with Rising Tide North America. He has worked on a variety of campaigns around climate change, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mountaintop removal, labor issues and anti-corporate globalization. Originally from Texas, he now lives in San Francisco.

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