The Campaign to Shut Down New England's Last Coal Plant
by Arnie Alpert, Waging Nonviolence
There's one form of power that's generated when hot water turns turbines to create electricity.
There are other forms of power held by investors, property owners and regulatory agencies.
And then there's people power, which can be harnessed to affect decisions of investors, property owners and regulatory agencies—such that fossil fuel-burning operations cease running. That’s what the No Coal No Gas campaign seeks to do with its focus on shutting down New England's last coal-burning power plant, Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire.
No Coal No Gas, which launched its first protest against the power plant in 2019, returned to Bow on Oct. 3 for a day of mass action. In addition to a rally on an adjacent ballfield and a flotilla of "kayaktivists" on the Merrimack River, campaign members planted gardens on company property, including a bed hacked out with pickaxes in the middle of an access road. After several state police cruisers arrived and dozens of officers in full riot gear marched in from behind the gardeners, 18 people were arrested.