Protest at a coal plant

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I spent part of today at the MIT Energy Conference, but before I get to any of that, I want to post on the three dozen hardy souls who turned out to protest at the Dominion power plant in Salem a week ago. I started to say "report on," but I don't have much more than photos to share...

It was snowing, and very cold, which I'm sure kept down the size of the crowd. It also limited the duration, which was billed to be two hours but seemed to be breaking up when  I departed about 50 minutes in.

Jeff Barz-SnellApparently, several speakers were expected, but of them, only Jeff Barz-Snell arrived while I was there. He was spirited and roused the crowd, which showed quite a lot of life for the conditions. I wasn't quite as vigorous, unfortunately — I was willing to drive 45 minutes in the snow to attend, but not very willing to take my hands out of my pockets to take notes while stamping the ground and wishing I'd gone with the leggings under my fleece.

An organizer, if not the organizer, of the protest was Healthlink, a North Shore grassroots organization that contributed at least two of the people who spoke while waiting for Barz-Snell to arrive. According to the Salem News (a former employer of mine), Avi Chomsky and Lynn Nadeau spoke, and both are listed on the Healthlink website.

A group portrait, with the its bane behind itIn all, mostly because it was undercut by the weather, the event was less whelming that I'd hoped, and I could say as much for the protest the next day at the US Capitol. Bill McKibben and other organizers called it the largest act of civil disobedience in the US around climate change, but as was the case in Salem, it wasn't very disobedient; no arrests were reported.

Even so, the locals were ready for rowdies, as through the protest, Salem's crowd control squad vehicle sat over by the plant's entrance, just in case. It's a big mother truck, and during the entire event, it sat there, idling away and, of course, burning fossil fuel just the like the plant it was protecting.

Salem's finest, ready for anything but toasty in the meantime

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