PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Protests over a planned gas pipeline took an interesting turn Wednesday when two people locked themselves inside a shipping container blocking the construction site on the Peekskill-Buchanan border.
According to a press release from ResistAIM, the protesters had been prepared to stay in the renewable energy powered, 20-foot-long “home” for several weeks.
A Facebook post said that police had used industrial saws to open the container and extract the demonstrators.
They were identified in the press release as Jane Kendall, a 65-year-old retired New York mother of two, and Lee Stewart, a 29-year-old organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy.
According to a report by News 12, the two are now facing trespassing, disorderly conduct, and obstructing governmental administration charges.
Kendall, the release said, “feels morally obligated as an elder to do her small part to stop” the Spectra Energy Corp. project, which will shuttle natural gas from Pennsylvania, through Stony Point, under the Hudson, and through Buchanan, within 100 feet of Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear power plants.
Stewart has been working to halt the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission since it approved a fracked gas compressor near his home as part of a project that would feed an offshore natural gas shipping terminal in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay.
The container home was built with reclaimed and recycled materials and powered by photovoltaic solar panels and a bicycle generator. It has a green roof, growing succulents and herbs, and a solar-heated shower and compost toilet.
Grassroots groups, and New York's two U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have called on federal regulators to halt construction on the project until safety and health studies are completed.
Last Saturday, hundreds of people, including Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina, marched to protest the project. Twenty-one were arrested after they shut down construction activities, according to multiple media reports.
A ResistAIM spokesperson said that Kendall and Stewart were released on the condition that they do not return to Spectra property.
Meanwhile, the fate of their container "home," which was reportedly seized by the police as evidence, is unknown.