This weekend across two states, a community of climate activists stopped 10,000 tons of coal in its tracks in three successive train blockades. This is the next step in a campaign that started in August to shut down the Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, New Hampshire - the last large coal-fired power plant in New England without a shut-down date. There is no justification for burning coal in 2019: it’s far too late for that. And taking responsibility in 2019 means taking action.
There was fresh snow on the ground when the train, which was 80 cars long, rolled into Worcester, MA at 9:30 AM on Saturday, December 7th. It sat there almost a full day before it started rolling north again at 7:30 PM. Before the train had moved more than a couple miles, it was stopped by a small but determined group of activists who had been standing in temperatures well below freezing all day. A rotation of students from Clark Climate Justice (Clark University), with support from members of 350 Central Massachusetts and the Central MA climate disobedience praxis group, had been keeping themselves warm enough and ready to act throughout the many hours of waiting.Read more
I was arrested a week ago. Getting arrested is good for news headlines and Facebook statuses. But getting arrested wasn’t the point.
We were trying to remove fuel from the fire that’s burning our planet. This specific fire: the coal-fired Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, NH. But that wasn’t the point either.
The point was to build power, to build unity, to build a sense of what is possible. To deepen our bonds with each other as friends and community. To increase our ability to take risks. To act from our hearts and conviction. To take one more step — together — in a strategic, nonviolent campaign to shut this plant down for good and save what we can of our futures and our burning planet.
We definitely did all those things, and we did them with an extraordinary quantity of bravery, care, and love. That combination creates a magical kind of power. It’s the kind of power that can build the world beyond the horizon.
Gathering at the Concord UU church. Photo by ECHO Action NH.