A Running Theme Through Anti-Pipeline Protests

On Monday, nearly two dozen cars formed a blockade stopping construction for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline for four hours. No matter how petty the act, the underlying strategy employed has become a theme across pipeline resistance efforts.

In this particular instance, Lancaster Online reported that “about 35 people participated in an 18-vehicle blockade of an access road being built by contractors for pipeline builder Williams Partners in Manor Township.” The protest was organized by the group Lancaster Against Pipelines, whose co-founder explained that “the disruption of the pipeline work Monday was spearheaded by local residents standing up for ‘our constitutional rights to clean air and water.’”

This rhetoric of Machiavellian efforts to achieve an end through whatever means necessary is by no means isolated to this blockade. This past month, an anti-pipeline activist overturned a car and locked himself inside for roughly five hours at the entrance to the work site for Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement pipeline. ABC-affiliate WDIO reported that the protest was the latest in a string of efforts (and arrests) at the work site.

Similarly, along the Mariner East 2 Pipeline in Pennsylvania, a group of protesters (self-termed “Camp White Pine”) have lived in a tree for several months now as part of a larger effort to stop pipeline construction, and have faced arrest on multiple occasions for violating court orders. An anarchist blog, Philly Anti-Capitalist, similarly posted a submission last month detailing efforts to vandalize the pipeline, utilizing unlawful actions to reach an ultimately destructive goal.

These efforts to block energy infrastructure development by any means necessary hinder infrastructure and economic development for the region at large, and go against logical community interest.