Four climate change activists were arrested Friday morning after they allegedly built a scaffolding to block a train full of coal in Massachusetts from reaching a coal-powered plant in New Hampshire.
Timothy DeChristopher, 38, Adam Rice, 30, Cody Pajic, 21 and Gia Neswald, 50 were arrested around 7 a.m. for alleged trespassing, walking or standing on railroad tracks and obstruction of passing of train, state police said.
State police were alerted by Harvard police at around 1:17 a.m. that a group of protesters had set up a three-story scaffolding on a set of train tracks to prevent the cargo from reaching a plant in Bow, New Hampshire. Four people intended to sleep there and about 20 other activists protested near the tracks.
“I’ve been to several different types of protests, but nothing where anyone’s ever actually set up a scaffold and went to this level to block train traffic,” Denmark said. “So, obviously they’re committed to their cause.”
Negotiations between police and the four protesters went on for about two hours to no avail, so a technical rescue team was deployed to remove the activists.
“With the climate crisis and the science as we know it is, it is far past time to be shipping coal to New England and burning it for our electricity,” said protester Jay O’Hara, a member of the Climate Disobedience Center.
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State police said the protesters who were taken into custody face charges that include trespassing, walking or standing on railroad tracks and obstruction of passing of train.
The names of the arrested protesters were not released, but authorities said the group consisted of three men and a woman who were estimated to be in their late 20s to late 30s.
The group involved in the demonstration have had previous protests in the past month in opposition of the coal-powered plant.
“It seems to me that they are prepared to keep doing this until they see some results,” Denmark said.
“Citizens shouldn’t have to be out here trying to stop the coal, but those people who manage the grid and manage our power sources should be stepping up to take their responsibility for the climate crisis,” O’Hara said.
Those who were taken into custody are expected to be arraigned Friday at Clinton District Court. It is unclear if anyone has a lawyer.