August 9, 2012

Lowell Mountain: wind opponents mourn loss in symbolic funeral

The Caledonian Record | 9 August 2012

LOWELL – Opponents of the Lowell wind project staged a somber funeral for Lowell Mountain this week.

Participants said it was a quiet affair that drew 30 people, quite different than the Monday morning protest on the crane path of the wind project itself that drew media from across Vermont to the crane path on the ridgeline where turbines are being erected and led to the choreographed arrests of six protesters.

The funeral procession drew people of all ages, from toddler triplets to senior citizens. But the many journalists who had gathered to cover the Monday protest did not attend the funeral.

They gathered at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the eastern base of the mountain and then hiked up the steep, dry slope.

The participants kept a silent vigil, marked by the sound of motors running on the crane path of the wind project on the other side of the trees.

Cody Michaels did a reading of “Crazy Horse” by John Trudell and others read poetry, offered a Sanskrit chant and flowers.

“The ambiance was one of healing, forgiveness, sadness, transformation,” according to the account on the opponents’ blog at Lowell Mountain Talk.

One person blew a conch shell, sending the mourning sound across the mountain top.

State police were present at the base and at the Route 100 staging area of the wind project Tuesday, prepared after the Monday morning protest stopped work on the northern end of the ridgeline.

As of Thursday, three turbines were completely erected, visible from below on Route 100 and Route 58.

Aerial shots of the ridgeline and construction are being shared on the blog site.

The six protesters are expected in court in September to face misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing. The state police and protesters negotiated an end to the protest: Green Mountain Power would allow media access to cover the protest, and six protesters would volunteer to be arrested and the others would leave once journalists had their stories.

Six other protesters called the Lowell Six are due in court next week for trial on their charges.

They had been offered diversion, which would erase their record, but they want their cases to go to a jury.

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