TreeHugger Detained by Police at Greenpeace Anti-Coal Protest


Photos: Brian Merchant

Today, Greenpeace launched its anti-coal campaign with a bang -- activists with the environmental group scaled the Bridgeport Harbor coal plant today, and unfurled a 20 X 40 ft banner there, announcing the message 'Shut it Down: Quit Coal' to the state of Connecticut. I'm on the scene reporting on the event -- more specifically, I'm writing this post from inside my rental car, as the police have been holding me for over an hour now. I guess they don't believe that I'm not a Greenpeace activist ... here's a closer look at what's going on: The event marks the first major action of Greenpeace's major forthcoming 'Quit Coal' campaign that seeks to highlight the devastating consequences of continuing to rely on the fossil fuel in the United States. Right before I got held up by the police, I managed to grab an interview with Greenpeace campaigner Robert Gardener on a dock overlooking the targeted coal plant. In the video below, he explains the objective of the action:

And here are a few more details:

The Bridgeport Harbor plant is an old, polluting coal plant that is no longer necessary to provide power to the Connecticut grid. It's plants like these that need to be shut down as soon as possible if we're going to mitigate the worst effects of global climate change.

As I upload these videos, resize images, and send off this report -- there's evidently some benevolent phantom wi-fi connection at work here in Bridgeport, and bless its soul -- news teams are arriving and turning their cameras at the activists and me. The police remain vague about why they're holding me, but chances are its because they suspect I have an affiliation with Greenpeace, which I do not. I haven't gotten out of my car for an hour now, except to be patted down. I am confident that I have violated no laws, and am eager to continue reporting on the action.

Meanwhile, word is that the banner has been cut down, and that five activists have allegedly already been arrested for their connection with the event. I'll file an update when I get the chance -- another police car has just arrived.

Tags: Activism | Coal | United States