A small number of activists with the No Gas, No Coal campaign were arrested Sunday during a protest aimed at preventing a train shipment of coal to Merrimack Station power plant in Bow.
The coal train’s trip was slowed around 11:30 a.m. as protesters lined the track through Hooksett near Robie’s Country Store. Two protesters climbed the nearby bridge and fastened themselves to a steel beam. Manchester Fire Rescue 1 was dispatched to get the pair off the bridge safely.
“We’re here today because it’s 2019 and the fact that we’re still using coal is completely ridiculous,” said Lila Kohrman-Glaser, an organizer with 350 New Hampshire Action, in a statement. “We don’t need coal. We don’t need oil, and we don’t need gas. We’re here to say enough is enough, and stop these shipments of coal.”
Videos posted on social media by 350 New Hampshire Action showed activists being taken into custody and walked from the tracks by state and Hooksett police.
Organizers said about a dozen protesters were arrested on misdemeanor charges.
Climate protesters with the grassroots New England #NoCoalNoGas campaign (NoCoalNoGas.org) also attempted to stop the same coal train during protests in Ayer and Worcester, Mass., on Saturday.
Sixty-seven activists were arrested in September during a protest at Merrimack Station.
The plant is owned by an out-of-state company called Granite Shore Power, which bought it from Eversource in 2018 as part of the utility’s state-mandated divestiture from its energy generation assets.
In social media posts, protesters were visible on the tracks chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, coal and gas have got to go.” Activists also hung a large banner proclaiming, “No Coal, No Gas” above the tracks.
Before making arrests, law enforcement officials warned the protesters they were on private property and would be asked to leave.
Hooksett Fire sent two boats to the scene to assist with rescue efforts in case any protesters fell into the Merrimack River.