Pipeline Protester Faces Terrorism Charge for Civil Disobedience in West Virginia

In West Virginia, a 22-year-old protester is facing a felony terrorism charge, among other charges, after he was arrested in a nonviolent civil disobedience action aimed at stopping the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Holden Dometrius was arrested Thursday after he chained himself to welding equipment, slowing construction of the fracked gas pipeline.

Activists have been occupying trees in the path of the pipeline route in West Virginia’s Jefferson National Forest since February, where the Mountain Valley Pipeline company hopes to drill through a mountain underneath the Appalachian Trail.

Monroe County Circuit Court deputy clerk told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that 22-year-old Holden Dometrius was charged Thursday with threat of terrorist acts after chaining himself to the equipment in the pipeline’s path. He also faces lesser charges of trespassing, obstructing and tampering with a vehicle.

According to Appalachians Against Pipelines, it is the first felony charge against a protester.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 300-mile (483-kilometer) natural gas pipeline that has used eminent domain to take people’s property to build the pipeline.
Dometrius made the following statement, “We could just let capitalism run its course, let the politicians and regulators sell environmental permits to Mountain Valley Pipeline, and let extraction destroy the planet. That doesn’t make any sense to me. If it doesn’t make sense to you either, then make some moves. Get in the way. If everyone steps up, things could change. So here I am.”



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