Environmental activists arrested

Gia Neswald, second from left, is seen here at an August protest against logging at Wendell State Forest. She was arrested with 3 others on Friday for blocking a coal train in the town of Harvard.

HARVARD, Mass. -- Four more protesters who oppose the use of fossil fuels have been arrested while trying to block a train, this time in Harvard.

Those arrested are Timothy M. DeChristopher, 38, of Pawtucket, R.I.; Adam Rice, 30, of South Portland, Maine; Cody T. Pajic, 21, of Pembroke, Mass.; and Gia N. Neswald, 50, of Turners Falls, Mass..

Massachusetts State police spokesman David Procopio said in a news release that local police requested help from troopers at 1:17 a.m. Friday to remove protesters blocking passage of a train on the Pan Am Railways tracks at the end of Depot Road.

The protesters had built scaffolding atop the tracks to disrupt train service. Harvard firefighters dismantled the scaffolding.

Four protesters refused orders to disperse and were taken into custody around 7 a.m. They were booked at the state police barracks in Leominster and transported to Clinton District Court for arraignment on charges of trespassing, walking or standing on railroad tracks, and obstruction of passing of a train.

The arrests come after similar protests last month, orchestrated by activists with Climate Disobedience. The group is protesting the continued operation of the Merrimack power plant, saying it's one of the last remaining coal-fired plants in New England and remains the biggest plant without a shutdown date.

Ten people were arrested on Dec. 28 after protesters blocked railroad tracks behind Dunkin' on West Boylston Street in Worcester.


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