Eight youth organizers spent their summer in Southwest Virginia to fight the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). As the summer came to a close, these young activists decided to put roots down in the Roanoke area and expand VSEC’s mission in the city and surrounding area.
So far, these youth have played an integral role in the coordination of resistance to the MVP, connecting young people across the state with community members threatened by the pipeline. We believe more strongly than ever in the power and importance of continued resistance to both the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines. We are also committed to getting to know young people in the city of Roanoke and to spending time building relationships and responding to the needs of the community.
Moving Into the Fall 2018
We will continue to support Appalachians taking direct action against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. We will provide trainings for a diverse range of ages, levels of experience, and tactics. In order to connect Roanoke City residents with the struggle against the MVP, we plan to advertise and host open community meetings to discuss the ongoing resistance. Keeping in mind that many of us are not from the area, our intention is to build relationships with long-term residents, understand the needs and desires of the community, and work to connect interested young people from the region to our work.
No Pipelines Round-up: The Roanoke crew is hosting and facilitating a meeting between VSEC chapters across the state to discuss plans for our work against the MVP and ACP in the coming Fall and Winter.
October Training: We are coordinating and planning a nonviolent direct action training intended to pass on skills and lessons to people fighting both pipelines.
Community Garden Support: We know that the food deserts and poor transportation systems in our community make existence a struggle for many people here. We have formed relationships with local leaders developing community gardens throughout the city in order to provide support and to learn sustainable ways to feed ourselves.
Local Fundraising Efforts: We have many upcoming fundraising events designed to engage a wide variety of people. We are partnering with small local businesses like Downshift Bikes and Brews and the Virginia Design Collective to meet the community and raise money for our work.
Southwest College Tour: We are experienced in, and have had much success with, recruiting, educating, and building with young people from colleges across the state. Universities and colleges provide great containers for meeting people, and we are planning a regional tour to raise awareness of our work and bring new young people into the fight