Five arrested during pipeline protest in Lancaster County

Written by Merriell Moyer/The Lebanon Daily News | Nov 20, 2017 7:29 AM

Activists in Lancaster County offered pipeline workers a pancake breakfast Friday morning. (Photo by Marie Cusick/StateImpact Pennsylvania).

(Undated) -- Five Lancaster residents, including one minor, were arrested Saturday in Martic Township for protesting construction of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline.

"The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, built by Williams Partners, is currently tearing through 38 miles of Lancaster County," Ann Neumann, media contact at Lancaster Against Pipelines, says in a news release issued by the organization. "Our brave five neighbors stopped construction on Martic Heights Drive by sitting in front of a working backhoe."

Lancaster Against Pipelines was founded in 2014 by Lancaster County residents who were unwilling to believe Williams Partners' insistence that the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline would benefit their community, according to the news release. 

The most recent group of protesters join the "Lakewood 3," the "Chapel 23," the "Quilt 6" and the "Conestoga 8" who were arrested during other pipeline protests, according to Neumann.

"Yesterday's arrests bring the total number to 45 since the project was initiated by Williams Partners, an Oklahoma based private corporation, which has used 'public utility' status to seize private property from county residents, either through coercion or the courts," Neumann says in the news release. "These arrests and the mass number of residents protesting show the commitment of community members to make real sacrifices for what they believe in."

Lancaster Against Pipelines raised thousands of dollars for a legal defense fund to support those arrested or cited during protests, according to the news release.

Neumann alleges that police are no longer treating the protesters with respect.

"Protesters were given citations without warning," she says in the news release. "The police clearly no longer work for us, cajoled by an out-of-state corporation, just like our legislators, into doing their dirty work for them."

She feels that the pipeline project was created solely for the profit of Williams Partners.

"Hundreds of Williams's out-of-state workers and shadowy security crews have invaded our home, trenched our fields, and defiled our rights," she says in the news release. "And for what? So their shareholders can make even more money and increase domestic gas prices by exporting whatever the Atlantic Sunrise delivers."

The residents in the area of the pipeline will be the only ones left "in the wake of this destruction when the security crews go home," Neumann says in the news release. 

"Already, our tax dollars have subsidized municipal services usurped solely to protect the profit of a billion-dollar corporation based in Oklahoma," she says in the news release.

Despite the recent arrests, Neumann says the protests will continue.

"It's shameful. And we will not be quiet because we cannot be quiet," she says in the news release. "This project is unjust and we are united in standing for our rights, homes and liberties. So long as Williams continues to desecrate our county, we will continue to resist."

The next publicly announced mass action will be held on December 9, according to the news release.

Construction of the Atlantic Sunrise and Sunoco Mariner East pipelines is currently underway across Lebanon County.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The Lebanon Daily News

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