"No coal was unloaded at Brayton point today. Now enjoying a great portuguese dinner in fall river with amazing friends." - @Oharjo, via twitter
That's the tweet of one satisfied environmental activist.
In a classic David and Goliath move, Jay O’Hara had moored a tiny lobster boat called the Henry David T. at the unloading dock of Brayton Point Power Station in New England yesterday morning. O’Hara and his co-captain Ken Ward, operating under the moniker of Coal Is Stupid, were aiming to draw attention to Brayton Point's status as the single largest emitter of CO2 in New England, and the fact that the 40,000 tons of coal that were now forced to sit idle on the 690 foot long freighter called the Energy Enterprise were removed from Appalachia using the controversial practice of mountaintop removal.Here's how O'Hara described the action on the Coal Is Stupid website:
“I choose to place my body between the exploding mountain tops of Appalachia and the burning fires of our consumption and greed as a witness to the new way of being in the world that we know is possible.”
Like the activists who occupied power station cooling towers for a week, or the renegade activist who single handedly shut down a 500MW power plant in England, O'Hara and Ward are insistent that non-violent direct action is a legitimate response to inaction on and, in many cases, deliberate obstruction of, the transition to a clean energy economy.
As of last night, no coal had been offloaded at Brayton Point since yesterday morning, and no charges were brought against the activists. Meanwhile at least one local resident told the Boston Globe that they were in full support of the activists' stance against Brayton Point:
“Hate that place. Hate that boat,” said Bruce Correia, 52, staring across the water at the power plant, the freighter, and the mountains of coal sitting uncovered on the shore.
“All that coal, on a windy day like this, we’ll wake up tomorrow and everything will be black,” he said. “They have to power-wash houses. We get free car washes.”
Watch this space for an update.