LOWELL, Vt. – It was supposed to be a milestone for Green Mountain Power, but an equipment delivery to Lowell Mountain turned into a nightmare Monday.
It started off as a peaceful protest. About 150 opponents of commercial wind farms gathered outside the base of Lowell Mountain to protest the arrival of the first turbine parts. One voice was louder than the rest.
“Lowell is almost like the sacrificial lamb,” said Ira Posner, a protest organizer.
Critics believe the 21 turbines planned for the Lowell ridgeline will destroy views and lower property values. Despite the project’s certificate of public good they’re not backing down.
“What we’re trying to do is to make this an example of bad decision making for the entire state so that it doesn’t happen again on some other ridge line,” Steve Wright, a protestor.
On the other side of Route 100, Green Mountain Power was preparing for a milestone. Trucks carrying blades and towers from Island Pond were scheduled to arrive at the job site.
“We’re not blocking this blade coming in. We’re blocking it with our presence and our message,” Posner said.
But as the truck crested the hill, the protestors changed their minds — dozens flooded the roadway forcing the truck to stop. Posner was the first in handcuffs, followed by another opponent. The arrests ignited a firestorm of protest that the Lamoille County Sheriffs weren’t prepared for.
It was several minutes before a state trooper arrived and he couldn’t single handedly control the crowd either. Green Mountain Power’s attempts to rationalize with the crowd also failed.
Everyday, from now until September, 120 truck loads will make their way from Island Pond to Lowell, but if these protests continue, police will find themselves in a tough spot.
“I’m not going to fill you guys full of crap,” one trooper told protestors. “There’s two options you’ll have.”
Troopers told the protestors they could continue demonstrating on the shoulder or face arrest if they stayed in the street. They came close to compromise a few times.
“It’s time to back off. We’ve got to obey these guys,” said Don Nelson, a protestor.
But the majority didn’t budge until police agreed to release the arrested.
“We have done our job here. We have made our statement,” said Will Young, a protestor.
After a two hour standoff, the first turbine tower finally make it past the crowd. GMP spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure says the slight delay won’t significantly impact the project. “We’re going to get this project built and it’s going to be built by the end of the year,” she said.
State and local police as well as border patrol responded to the standoff. Law enforcement called it a major drain on resources that left many parts of the state without coverage.
Comment by Tracy on 07/16/2012 at 11:08 pm
People of Lowell Vermont,
Keep up the fight. The turbine development in my area, Clear Creek, Ontario has forced me from my home and robbed me of my health. The people of Norfolk County were lied to by CEO Mike Crawley of AIM PowerGen in 2008. Wind companies acted fast and dirty and steamrolled their way into the community, destroying everything in their path.
Stand firm, keep strong. For some, an industrial wind development in their community is a matter of life and death. For property owners, value reduces significantly. Protect your children. Run the bastards out of town.
Over my dead body would this ever happen to me again!
Heroes all! Thank you for standing up to the criminal wind industry and their bouncer-henchmen the “law enforcement” agencies protecting their obscene criminal project on Lowell Mountain.
I live 30 miles from the Port of Ogdensburg on the St Lawrence in northern NYS, where the turbines and towers are being off-loaded for shipment to Lowell Mt, and also for phase II of installation of 30% larger towers and turbines west of Lake Champlain. I have filmed this port off-loading area. It is a veritable sea of gigantic components. Unbelievable. I have also filmed a 180 degree panoramic view of the gigantic wind “farm” where the next round of “huger” turbines are being erected. It is now several square miles of mostly abandoned farms and broken dreams. A huge industrialized zone, suggestive of Khazakstan or somewhere.
I have lived in Vermont. I have loved Vermont all my life. Make no mistake, the industrial-scale wind industry is a fake and the hugest scam in the world. They hardly produce any electricity which is actually used. They certainly cannot ever pay off their actual carbon footprint, from mining and manufacture and transport and infrastructure, to the fact that every hour of every day they require a fully operational power plant to back them up, making up for the irregularity of the wind. And they cost a huge fortune to build, taxpayers’ money in subsidies and tax write-offs, which money goes directly overseas to foreign national corporations.
The image of police behaving this way in Vermont, watching Vermonters’ hearts being broken by the global corporate machine, is, in itself, heart-breaking. Bless you all. Maybe you can inform and demonstrate to the state government that industrial wind, like hydrofracking, has no place in Vermont.
I am so proud of the folks in Vermont! Lowell Mt and Rollins in Maine have witnessed arrests of people who are willing to sacrifice to keep this horrendous travesty of industrial wind from happening. The arrogance of the statement by GMP spokesperson Dorothy Schnure has been present throughout this struggle. She should undergo the torture of low frequency sound waves from these turbines for a month as her penance.
Comment by Marsh Rosenthal on 07/17/2012 at 8:14 am
My heart is with you, Lowell, VT protesters. Bless you Posner brothers for your passion and courage. Thank you, protesters for using your presence to communicate with the police.
How can we, The People, stop the sacrifice of our communities and the lives of all the unrepresented creatures, like the bears, the birds, the bats, the bees, the children in their schools and in their beds, the women in their homes, all the witnesses of this modern holocaust? How can we stop this unholy sacrifice to the green gods, once and for all?
Comment by Andreas Marciniak on 07/18/2012 at 12:45 am
To all the People of Lowell Vermont,
Keep up the fight, your fight has just begun, the turbine development in my area all 37 X 3Mgw Turbines spread over 18 km has forced me from my home and robbed me and my family and friends of our health and a way of life. The people of Waterloo South Australia were also lied to by the developer Roaring 40 now (True Energy). “Wind companies acted fast and dirty and steamrolled their way into the community, destroying everything in their path.” No better words have been spoken; that’s exactly what they did with us!
Stand firm, keep strong, and don’t be conned by the 30 pieces of silver. An industrial wind development in a community is a matter of life and death. For property owners, value reduces significantly to the point you CAN’T sell. Protect your family, friends and your investment. Don’t even let those bastards in your towns with nothing but lies. As soon as they are finished, they don’t want to know you and most likely they will sell it off to someone else.
Comment by Pauline Davis on 07/18/2012 at 2:00 am
From the Gettysburg Address: November 19, 1863
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a GREAT CIVIL WAR, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — AND THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH.
–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — AND THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE CORPORATIONS (WIND INDUSTRY), BY THE CORPORATIONS (WIND INDUSTRY), FOR THE CORPORATIONS (WIND INDUSTRY), SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH.
Stand Strong, People of Vermont
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE … remember the Civil War and President Lincoln