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“We are a married couple of 45 years. We are taking action together as elders deeply concerned about the future facing our 3-year-old grandson, all children, and all life on earth. That is why we have joined with many others to stop the destructive and abusive Mountain Valley Pipeline, as well as any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Three years ago, the International Energy Agency said that was needed even then, because of the seriousness of the climate emergency

“We need solar and wind right now, not destructive fossil fuels and a trillion dollar a year war economy.

“We are outraged that billions of our tax dollars are being used for military aid to Israel in its genocidal war on Gaza. War kills people and the environment.”

This is the statement that we wrote explaining why on April 10 we locked ourselves into a “trojan possum” wooden structure blocking the only access road to a major MVP construction site on Poor Mountain in Virginia. For seven hours, with the support of others, we were able to prevent work being done at this site. After extraction and arrest, we were each charged with three misdemeanors in Roanoke County, Va.

Many other people have taken actions like this going back to 2018. Indeed, an historic and heroic tree sit of 932 straight days between 2018 and 2021 in Elliston, Virginia, along the planned route of the pipeline, was a major reason why, six years later, the MVP has not been finished and is not yet operational.

Joe Manchin can’t be very happy about this situation. He and Republicans tried to squash resistance and fast track MVP construction last summer via an amendment to must-pass federal debt legislation. The amendment which was included required federal agencies to provide all needed permits within 30 days and for the federal courts to be stifled in their oversight role.

Some of those active in the movement to defeat the MVP were understandably deflated by this development, but others responded with outrage. Within a couple months of this Congressional action, young people connected to Appalachians Against Pipelines had begun engaging in nonviolent direct action to slow pipeline construction work. Hundreds of people in the last six months have risked arrest in these actions. Climate activist Jerome Wagner was released just last week after spending two months in a West Virginia prison for locking himself to an MVP drill.

The two of us have been active in movements for positive social change going back to the Black Freedom and Anti-Vietnam War movements 60 years ago. One of us is 83 and the other is 74. We are active in our town, in our state and nationally in a number of climate justice and progressive groups. We do so because we were raised by loving parents to live by the ethic that our role on this earth, for as long as we are alive and capable of doing so, is to do all we can to make the earth a better place for those coming after us.

We feel this responsibility even more so now because of the deepening climate emergency and the growing neo-fascist threat posed by Trump and the MAGA movement. We also feel it because, as of January, 2021, we are grandparents of a wonderful three-year old boy. Without question, a major reason we took this action was for him and all children.

We are heartened by many things we see within our progressive movement for positive social change. One of them is the emergence of new groups like Third Act and Radical Elders and the connections developing between them and youth organizations like the Sunrise Movement and Fridays for Future. We are also heartened to see growing numbers of elders stepping forward to take part in the direct action that young people have been taking for years in organized efforts like the fight to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Can we defeat Manchin and his MVP corporate cronies? Can we defeat Trump and MAGA? Can we overcome the criminal fossil fuel industry and create truly justice-based and nature-connected human societies? We don’t know, but we do know based on our decades of experience that taking part in the struggle for all of these things, despite all of the hardships and ups and downs, is without question a better way to live.

The post Take That, Joe Manchin first appeared on Dissident Voice.

This content originally appeared on Dissident Voice and was authored by Ted Glick and Jane Califf.


[1] Bloomfield Couple Protest Pipeline By Hunkering Inside Wooden Possum | Bloomfield, NJ Patch ➤[2][3] Take That, Joe Manchin | Dissident Voice ➤[4] Dissident Voice ➤