More than 40 Cliffside protesters jailed for crossing the line
Posted on 20 Apr 2009 by Rhi Bowman
Duke Energy calls their new Cliffside Steam Station (a.k.a. coal fired power plant), which is roughly 30 percent complete and 60 miles due west of Uptown, “a bridge plant to a lower carbon future.” They also say, “it will be the cleanest coal-fired power plant in the nation” and “to suggest that Duke Energy is not pursuing renewables or that renewables can provide baseload [sic] needs is simply inaccurage [sic].”
Besides beating the corporate drum, Duke Power has some other things going for them. For instance, the state recently downgraded the new plant from a major emitter of hazardous air pollutants to a minor emitter of hazardous air pollutants.
Several hundred protesters publicly disagreed that the downgrade was good news in Uptown today, many of whom arrived ready to be arrested.
As we reported yesterday, some of the protesters were trained to use non-violent techniques and instructed to bring proper identification and at least $100 in cash (presumably for bail). What did they have to do to be arrested? Cross the florescent pink line spray painted on the sidewalk in front of Duke Energy’s offices. The charge? Trespassing.
Though CMPD ran out of metal handcuffs, resorting to plastic ties instead, they did not run out of room in the paddy wagon. Four vans were used to haul the protesters to jail. No one resisted arrest and some were led to the vans without being bound. One of the first people to be arrested? A grandmother.
The nearly four hour protest began in a city park at 10 a.m., made a quick stop outside of Gov. Beverly Perdue’s Charlotte office and then wound through town, beating their own drums — some made out of five-gallon green buckets– to Duke Energy’s corporate headquarters.
What do the protesters want? Ultimately, to save the Earth. One organizer, speaking pre-march said, “Jim Rogers, stop lying to us. Let us be committed to the health and beauty of this planet.”
FYI: Jim Rogers is Duke Energy’s CEO.
Another said this was a human rights issue, adding, “Coal is not the most important resource, water is.”
Want more? Check out my report at Creative Loafing.
Meanwhile, here are some of the people behind the protest:
photos: Rhi Bowman; view these photos on Flickr