The Summer is Heating Up and So Are We

by Robert Gardner

July 30, 2013

Getting read for a protest.

Last Sunday, I took part in a protest against New England’s largest coal-fired power plant, Brayton Point, in Somerset, Massachusetts. Make no mistake, thisplant is a killer. From the mouth of the mines in Columbia and West Virginia, all the way through its climate pollution, this plant is ending lives.

Along with 400 or so friends from across New England, we came together just north of the plant and marched the mile and a half carrying signs, solar panels, windmills, and singing into the breeze coming off the Narragansett Bay.

As we neared the entrance to the plant, I counted 5 different police jurisdictions present. A regional SWAT team was there. We remained undaunted. We passed the enormous cooling towers. The coal pile rose on the southern end of the plant.

Can you imagine what the runoff from that pile is doing to the Bay?, someone asked. Can you imagine what doing nothing will do to that Bay?, someone replied.

43 brave people crossed the police line and were arrested. It was an act of civil disobedience in solidarity with the workers of Brayton Point, with the communities of Somerset and Fall River, and with those impacted disproportionately by the climate pollution coming out that plant.

Dominion is the worst company I have ever worked for, said Bob Clark, a 30 year worker of Brayton Point. He has seen them scrimp on savings, worker health, and employee safety. That just doesn’t sit well with me.

He’d rather work on renewable energy projects. You can see huge solar arrays across the river in the red brick mill town of Fall River and windmills are sprouting up all across the countryside in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

But this plant chugs away. It won’t stop if we do.

That’s why we have to turn up the heat.

That means you’ve got to hit the streets. Get motivated. Get involved. I’ll be there. Let’s do it together.

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