Residents in New Hampshire expanded the climate change protests by risking arrest by protesting outside a power plant and demanding for an end to burning coal and fracking.
“The time has come. It’s 2019. We shouldn’t be burning coal anymore,” said Sam Tardiff, member of 350 New Hampshire Action and New Hampshire Youth Movement.
Although there were no injuries or property damage during the protests at Merrimack Station, 67 of the 120 protestors were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing.
“We respect and support the right of any person to express his or her views,” Granite Shore Power, the company behind the plant, said in a statement to WMUR about the arrests. “Unfortunately, today’s protest and trespassing was more about making a scene and breaking the law than about conveying an informed point of view.”
Although the number of people that showed up to the New Hampshire protest pales in comparison to the estimated 4 million that took part in the massive Global Climate Strike, organizers pointed out that this was “largest environmental civil disobedience action since the Clamshell Alliance demonstrations against the Seabrook nuclear plant in the 1970s.”
300 total protestors were part of the day’s demonstrations, with many of them fathering for the “No Coal, No Gas” rally in a park across from the plant. The rally consisted of peaceful singing and chanting while guest speakers called for action on climate change in the state and around the globe.
“This is a global issue. As we walk, sing your songs, chant your chants, and allow yourself to grieve. And as you walk, allow yourself to feel hope,” called the protestors as they marched to the power plant.
Organizers said that the arrests were expected and that protestors were aware of crossing the barrier. Protestors and police met peacefully during the arrests.