21 activists were arrested at the state Capitol on Thursday after occupying the office of Governor Kate Brown.
According to a release from the state police, a group gathered around 1:59 p.m. to protest the Jordan Cove liquid natural gas pipeline. 75 people filled the reception area of Brown’s office, calling for the governor to formally oppose the energy project.
Among the protesters was former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury.
“It’s so clear to me that the Jordan Cove energy project in Coos Bay makes absolutely no sense. It risks the safety of about 25,000 citizens while employing less than 200 people, and makes global warming worse for every resident of our planet,” Bradbury said in a statement to climate action group Southern Oregon Rising Tide. “Helping a Canadian corporation make money while jeopardizing our citizens is just plain stupid. They don’t allow it in the state of California, they don’t allow in the state of Washington – we shouldn’t allow it in Oregon – just say no!”
The sit-in continued after the Capitol closed at 5:30. Three hours later, Gov. Brown made an appearance, flanked by state troopers.
“I believe that Oregonians are best served by knowing that there is a fair process and that I’m not putting my finger on the scale one way or another,” she told the crowd. “Because as you know, your community is quite divided on this issue. Your community is extremely divided on this issue.”
At 9 p.m., Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton asked the protesters to disperse or be subject to arrest. According to Southern Oregon Rising Tide, 21 people were arrested and released the next morning.
One of the arrestees was Sandy Lyons, a rancher from Days Creek, Oregon, who said “I am here today because we have tried every possible way to be heard and want somehow to gain the Governor’s attention to how wrong this is and the negative ways in which it will permanently scar us and our land.”
By Brandon Urey