23 Citizens Were Arrested At Gov. McAuliffe’s Mansion – Here’s Why

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On Wednesday, I had the honor of being arrested side-by-side with U.S. Army veteran Russell Chisholm of Newport, Virginia, taking a stand to stop fracked-gas pipelines and demand true climate solutions.

We were among 23 citizens, aged 20 to 83, who blocked the front gate to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s house in Richmond.1 We were there to send a simple message: Governor, do your job.

Right now, people’s farms are being trampled by surveyors for fracked-gas pipelines. People’s water is being poisoned by Dominion Power’s coal ash. People’s homes are being flooded by rising seas.Yet, Governor McAuliffe continues to stand with polluters like Dominion instead of doing his job to protect citizens.

Russell, who served in the 24th Infantry Division in Desert Storm, provided the most powerful words of the day: “When called to serve, I did not shrug my shoulders and claim, ‘It’s not my job.’ I am here today to urge Governor McAuliffe to stand up for Virginians. Governor, you can stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline from destroying our springs and wells. Governor, you can do your job.”

Will you stand with citizens like Russell and help spread the word about Wednesday’s historic civil disobedience at Gov. McAuliffe’s mansion? Click here to show your support on Facebook, and show the Governor that people across Virginia stand with the “Mansion 23.”

Who else got arrested Wednesday?

Pastor Paul Wilson, 63, of Buckingham County drew a trespassing charge in order to stop the massive compressor station that Dominion wants to build next to his church community to pump gas through the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. “We refuse to be sacrificial lambs for the sake of money for private industry,” said Pastor Paul just before he was escorted away by police.

Quan Baker, 23, of Norfolk, got arrested because, “I don’t believe the Governor, or any of our other state legislators, are taking the impacts of climate change seriously,” even as flooding gets worse and worse.

And 83-year-old Marjorie Wells of Midlothian got arrested for the first time in her life because clean water is life – and the Governor clearly needs to put real people like her above the interests of polluters like Dominion.

Click here to spread the word and thank these citizens who joined Wednesday’s historic civil disobedience at Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s mansion. Show the Governor that people across Virginia stand with the “Mansion 23.”

In the course of American history, elected leaders have often supported laws and practices that are harmful and immoral in their consequences. Governor McAuliffe’s ceaseless support of fossil fuel extraction in a world that is burning up from greenhouse gas pollution has created one of those moments. And now principled people are raising their voices, joining picket lines, and getting arrested to tell the Governor loud and clear: “Yes, you can protect us!”

Stay tuned soon for more creative actions involving more and more people – especially as Dominion and other companies keep pressing forward with unacceptable pipeline construction plans.

And watch this live video from yesterday’s arrests to get a front-seat view of the action. Tell all your friends. And join the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground while we switch to a jobs-rich economy based on wind and solar power!

P.S. You can see news coverage of the three-day picket line in front of Governor McAuliffe’s offices here, and check out coverage of yesterday’s arrests in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginian-Pilot and Common Dreams.

1. Click here to meet the group of committed citizens who took part in the civil disobedience, and learn why they joined this action in their own words.