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Anti-Pipeline Protesters At Governor's Office

Bob Kinzel
Protesters gather at Vermont's statehouse to pressure Gov. Peter Shumlin to withdaw his support for Vermont Gas Systems' natural gas pipeline expansion.

Late Monday afternoon, about 50 protesters with the groups 350VT,  Rising Tide Vermont, Just Power and the Vermont Workers Center staged  a sit-in at Gov. Peter Shumlin’s office in Montpelier.

Organizers said they plan to stay until the governor meets their demands to renounce his support for the Vermont Gas Systems natural gas pipeline expansion – and back a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.

At similar demonstrations in the past, protesters refusing to leave an area have been arrested.

A Rising Tide representative said Monday the group hopes more than a dozen people will be arrested as part of the action.

Shumlin spent the day at public events in Southern Vermont and was not in his office on the top floor of the Pavilion Building.

Meanwhile, another group of anti-pipeline demonstrators protesters have occupied the ground floor lobby of the Pavilion Building. 

Update 7:55 a.m. Oct. 28, 2014

Police arrested  64 protestors in the Pavilion building Monday evening after the hours-long peaceful protest.

Gov. Peter Shumlin issued a statement in response to the sit-in, letting protestors know that he appreciated their respectful protest action, but that it didn't change his mind about the Vermont Gas pipeline.

Peaceful protest is a right deeply embedded in our democracy. I support the right of all sides to be heard, and appreciate the protester’s decision to act respectfully with state staff and law enforcement tonight. While I agree that climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our state, nation, and world, I disagree with the protester’s position on the natural gas pipeline, which I believe will help hasten our state’s transition away from dirtier fuel oil and help our economy. My thanks go out to the Vermont State Police, Montpelier Police Department, and all other law enforcement officers who assisted for handling the protests in a peaceful manner.

Correction 8:00 Oct. 28 The protestors at the sit-in were from four different activist groups, not just Rising Tide Vermont.

Taylor was VPR's digital reporter from 2013 until 2017. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.
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