ELLISTON — Two protestors were arrested Thursday following a protest on Poor Mountain related to the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
According to the Appalachians Against Pipelines group, “Mama Julz, an Ogala Lakota land defender and water protector, locked herself to a Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) helicopter to prevent the transportation of pipeline workers onto a remote work site on Poor Mountain.”
Julz “prevented MVP’s use of the helicopter for multiple hours before she was extracted from her blockade and arrested, along with one other person.” Both Julz and the supporter were charged with one misdemeanor; both were denied bond and were being held in jail as of Thursday afternoon.
“Without water there is no life,” said Julz. “Violence upon our Mother Earth is violence against our sisters.”
As the founder of Mothers Against Meth Alliance and an active voice in the MMIWG2ST movement, she has fought meth dealers in her homelands and ways pipeline workers prey upon women and other relatives. The red dress on the helicopter represents these missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit, and trans folks.
“In my culture, the women are the backbone of our society, and right now it’s the women who are standing up in all these frontlines,” she said. “I keep coming here because this land reminds me of my ancestral lands in the Black Hills, the rivers, the streams, the waterfalls.”
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 42-inch diameter fracked gas pipeline that will cover 303 miles of Appalachia once completed. Mountain Valley Pipeline has recently filed Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP suits) against protestors at pipeline construction sites.