Turn Back the Turbines Rally was a huge success! A giant thank-you to everyone who came!
Here’s what happened…
We had great turn out – well over 100 people all chanting, holding signs and banners; and Bread and Puppet, all decked out with skeleton “wind turbine” costumes and an excellent rhythm section. The local police were there, trying to keep everyone safe. Our chase car kept us updated on the location of the truck. Then we saw it coming up route 100. As it struggled up the hill, everyone nearest the truck spontaneously stepped out into the road! Ira Powsner (who was celebrating his 26th birthday by leading the rally) was arrested immediately, along with his brother, Jacob – but everyone else just moved in closer. Several of Bread and Puppets big banners came together to make a wall in front of the truck. Everyone was chanting “Turn Back the Turbines!” and “Turn Around! Turn Around!” We held the truck there about two hours. In the end there were over 30 police officers – state troopers, detectives, sheriffs, and deputies on the scene. It was obvious something had to happen, as there were now enough police (all carrying zip tie handcuffs) to start arresting people, thus ending the blockade. But instead of ending in a defeat, we stayed in control of the situation and negotiated with the police for Ira and Jacob’s release in exchange for us moving out of the road! The police seemed like they understood what we were fighting for.
Because Mink Farm Road makes a loop parellel to Route 100 at the point where it meets the access road, we were able to divert most of the traffic around our blockade, hopefully causing only minimal delays for our neighbors. Unfortunately, some large trucks were unable to drive on Mink Farm Road and had to wait with us.
Ira and Jacob were only charged with disorderly conduct – a minor offense. They will have a court date in September. We’ll keep you posted.
Once again — thanks for everyone who steps up, stands up, and FIGHTS BACK! Only by standing strong together can we save our mountains from pointless overdevelopment.