Blockade shuts down Florida power plant construction site

ef!blockadeEarth First! blockades power plant

From Everglades Earth First!, Feb. 19:

Early Monday morning hundreds of concerned community members from Palm Beach County and all over the nation put their bodies on the line to halt construction of FPL’s West County Energy Center (WCEC), demanding energy efficiency, truly clean, renewable energy and a moratorium on development in south Florida.

Earth First! blocked the main entrance to the WCEC site, a proposed massive 3800 MW gas-fired power plant that would emit 12 million tons of CO2, a leading greenhouse gas, every year. The plant is currently under construction despite ongoing legal challenges to the plant’s needed permits and certification, which have been spearheaded by the local Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition.

A dozen activists locked themselves together through metal pipes as 200 supporters rallied around them. The blockade stopped work on the construction site for six hours before a total of 26 people were arrested. Those 26 activists were in jail from between 12 and 36 hours and were released either on their own recognizance or after Everglades Earth First! or family members posted bond, at a total cost of $13,350.

This confrontational action was taken to protect the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge which sits 1000 ft from the power plant site and to protect the larger Everglades system. Restoration would be undermined by new development that the power plant is expected to encourage in the area. The civil disobedience action also aims to protect the entire planet from the destructive effects of climate change caused by power plant emissions.

Everglades Earth First! group intends to continue a sustained campaign of direct action against this power plant and its adjacent gas pipeline.

WE NEED YOUR HELP with bond money & legal fees for the 26 who were arrested. We need to raise $13,350 to cover the bond fees. Please visit the Palm Beach County environmental Coalition‘s website to donate online or email us for how to send a check!

See our last post on the climate crisis.