Pipeline opponents react to injunction targeting tree sitters

Updated: Nov. 14, 2020 at 12:52 PM EST
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MONTGOMERY CO., Va. (WDBJ) - It was quiet Friday afternoon on Yellow Finch Lane, as it has been for most of the past two years.

But with a judge’s order, and the prospect of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office moving in to clear the site, that could change as early as next week.

Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Robert Turk gave the tree sitters and their supporters until Monday to leave the property.

The notice from the court said anyone who remains will be removed, and could face civil and criminal liability.

“I’m happy that this has been here for over 800 days now,” said pipeline opponent Crystal Mello.

“This is a testimony to people’s resilience,” added Jammie Hale.

So far, the tree sitters aren’t saying what they plan to do.

But pipeline opponents who support the protest say they’re disappointed with the judge’s ruling.

“It is very disappointing,” said Alan Moore. “We were looking to our leaders to help support us in defending our land.”

A spokesperson for the Mountain Valley Pipeline said that while the company respects the opinions of opponents, a few have created unnecessary safety risks.

Natalie Cox said the company expects opponent to adhere to the law and vacate their positions along the right-of-way.

After months of quiet protest, we could soon see a new chapter in the stand-off on Yellow Finch Lane.

But regardless of what happens here, opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline say their fight will continue.

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