Franklin Countys First News

Four arrested at Earth First! wind power protest

Protesters with Earth First! stand at the Gold Brook Road which accesses the Kibby Wind Power Project currently under construction north of Eustis. 

KIBBY TOWNSHIP - Four Earth First! protesters were arrested today after they temporarily stopped a semi-truck carrying a 140-foot wind turbine blade to the Kibby Wind Power Project. One of those arrested ran under the truck and locked herself to the trailer's steel supports.

A group of about 50 people who had been attending the national Earth First! summer meeting at a camp in Coplin Plantation, began assembling at 5 a.m. this morning at the entrance to the Gold Brook Road that accesses TransCanada's Kibby Wind Power Project currently under construction.

Eleven protesters were issued criminal trespass warnings. Seven were found trying to get to the top of Kibby using back roads off of Route 201 and four more were also issued a warning after they were found trying to climb Kibby mountain from the power station off Route 27, said Lt. Don Pomelow of the State Police.

More than 30 officers with the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, Border Patrol and the State Police, strung a do-not-cross tape across the entrance and waited on the other side. Protesters, some with signs denouncing the 44-turbine Kibby wind power project and other energy projects TransCanada is involved with, stood and waited through most the sunny and hot morning.

"There's a huge police presence here," said Logan Perkins, an Earth First! spokeswoman. "They're only trying to silence our speech and taxpayers are funding an enormous amount to stop us."

At various times during the wait, the group would assemble in a circle and the question of what's next would come up. One idea was to cross under the do-not-cross tape and walk past the police and go up Gold Brook Road. Henry Harris asked, "How many want to go in?" Then another protester asked, "What would be the purpose of going up the road?" No one moved toward the road.

"If a blade comes, are we going to let it in?" Perkins shouts.

"Noooo," the crowd yells.

At nearly 1 p.m. several protesters suddenly ran out onto Route 27 from the Sarampus Falls Rest Area just south of Gold Brook Road and, blocking the road, stopped a caravan of two state police cruisers, a tractor-trailer carrying a turbine blade and two traffic warning trucks. All traffic on Route 27 came to a halt as law enforcement officers quickly converged on the scene.

Willow Amanda Cordes-Eklund scampered under the tractor trailer just behind the cab, and with help from two more protesters, quickly secured a U-shaped bike lock around her neck and the steel beams under the trailer.

The Earth First! crowd rushed the semi as several officers worked to keep them back away from the truck's cab and wind blade. A few who tried to go past the officers were physically held and in one case tackled to the ground by an officer. More officers arrived and lined up shoulder to shoulder, telling the protesters to get off the street and stay on the road's shoulder. The group backed off to the side of the road as the search for a bolt cutter got started.

Some minutes later, a bolt cutter was found and two officers asked Cordes-Eklund if she would leave voluntarily. She told them no, and they responded by telling her she would be arrested. Then the bike lock was cut and Cordes-Eklund was handcuffed and charged with failing to disperse. Three more, Eric J. Gillard, Courtney Ann Butcher and Ana Isabel Rodrigues were also arrested on the same charge. Butcher refused to stop sitting in the middle of the Gold Brook Road's entrance and Gilllard and Rodrigues were arrested at the tractor trailer blockade scene. All four were taken to the Franklin County jail.

A protester at the scene said they were tipped off that three turbine blades would be delivered to the site today and decided to stage a blockade as a way to cap off their annual summer meeting.  

Willow Amanda Cordes-Eklund having locked herself to a tractor trailer carrying a wind turbine blade, is asked by an officer if she will leave voluntarily. She was later arrested and charged with failing to disperse.

Maine Earth First! Organizer Ryan Clarke of Corinth, at right in the green cap, is asked to back away from the trailer's cab by Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy Ken Charles (in brown uniform).

Law enforcement officers stand shoulder to shoulder to allow an excavator access up to the Kibby Wind Power Project as Earth First! protesters back away, at right.

As the final wind turbine of the day passes on its way to the Kibby project, law enforcement officers stand at the edge of the road in front of the Earth First! protesters sitting in the shade, at right.

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50 Responses »

  1. I bet the people not in uniform smell pretty ripe right about now. Flatlanders go home!!

  2. Gee, who woulda thunk it. What a surprise huh? Hey Basil Powers , I thought you said there would be no foolishness with this group?Looks like you got hosed. I guess locking yourself under a heavy truck with a cable around your neck is normal human activity to these people. I see in the picture this "willow" character has a huge smile on her face, like she accomplished something. Be nice to see how much smiling she would be doing if the truck driver started driving off.He should be commended for putting up with this fool.Once again the left wing radical environmental,wackos didnt let us down.They are as predictable as the tides. Looks like John Q taxpayer took it in the wallet again, paying for all the extra police needed to keep this mob in line.What a pathetic sight.

  3. sounds like some real radical terrorism coming from these violent leftist menaces!

  4. Stupid people.... The driver of the truck should have done his job. Drive.

  5. Did I see a John Deere hat?

  6. These people have too much time on there hands. Go to work!!!

  7. thanks basil....some things never change.........

  8. Looks like a plastic water bottle next to her... thought they were against...

  9. Do any of these protesters have jobs or are we (taxpayers) making sure they get a check each month for doing nothing?

  10. These people are the biggest hypocrites .They couldnt even protest if it wasnt for all the modern conveniences they say they hate. Plastic,electricity,gas,processed wood products,,cars,trucks and everything else produced by people who actually work and build things so these people can protest in comfort. Wondering says they must have stunk to high heaven, but I bet they all had their own bath kit filled with all the essentials a good environut needs:Soap, shaving cream,plastic razors,toothbrush/paste, lip balm, scope,matches,tweezers,Zip lock baggies,roach clip,,zig-zags, all from wal-mart. Well, all but the last two.Judging by the goggle eyed look on that girl named Willow ,I'd say she skipped over her morning toothbrushing and went straight to the zig-zags.I bet if the driver of that truck eased ahead 5 or 10 feet, she would be screaming for her life.At least it would teach her lock up her wrist the next time, and wear leather.That purple,frock,dress,potato sack she is wearing would provide little protection

  11. wind mills the best nonpolluting power ever and these folks are whinning about it?

  12. Maybe today they will help me weed my garden. That would be a productive thing to do.

  13. Brings Back Memories! Thank God I grew up and became a honest taxing paying citizen.

  14. What on earth? Why are protesters crapping their pants over a natural, clean replacement for fossil fuels? I swear they just want to be jerks.

    I say if another one of these nut-jobs chains themselves under a trailer, keep driving.

  15. What a sharp contrast between these "protesters" and the men and women who volunteered to rescue the hiker from Bigelow. Perhaps they, the "protesters" , should consider doing something to sincerely and effectively give back to the people of their communities instead of costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. This "protest" was an attention getting stunt that did nothing for their "cause". It made them look like lazy welfare cases, while the rest of us worked, and paid the bill for their fun. Earth First's presence in Franklin County has created a lot of stress to hard working, law abiding, tax paying citizens, as well as to many businesses that help support our families, our schools, and our communities in general.

  16. If no one buys any farm produced goods from that farm for a few years and it is sold off for house lots, would earth first come back to that farm and protest?

  17. Oh, I see. It's ok to cut trees for the sticks and paper that earth first uses for signs. Did I see a cell phone. I did!!!!!!!! How much oil was used to produce the plastic parts of that phone?

  18. Too bad they don't spend their time doing something constructive like working for a living.

  19. Whatever happened to people minding their own business about whatever people do on there own property?

  20. I find it very interesting that the group mocked the police with yelling that they (the protesters) were all from Maine and that the police were not from Maine, yet those arrested were from Florida, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. Other license plates were from Colorado, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania etc. And yes they all smelled REALLY badly.

  21. Windmills cause alcoholism!

  22. Well, I think they should have removed the idiot that clamped herself to the truck frame, taken her directly to the leading edge of the turbine blade that the truck was hauling, Duct-Taped her sorry ass to the end of the Blade, using two rolls of tape in case the first one isn't sticky enough. Allow the trucker to move up the Hill and let the Crane operator erect the blade for operation. I'd bet by January 1st, she'd have a better preception of what she's protesting.

  23. Yea,Bill!!!!!!!!!! Great idea. What about one protester per blade?

  24. Didn't anyone tell them there's an oil spill in florida that's a REAL ecological disaster that needs protesting?

  25. Willow.......

    Your parents must be SOOOOO PROUD of their little girl on the front page!!!! What a wonderful addition to include in your resume. And be sure and post it on FACE BOOK for any future employer to see, as that will give you a definite edge over any other applicants.

    Oh, don't work now and don't have any plans to??? Why does that not surprise me?

  26. NEWS FLASH Wolfe Island bird kills raise wind power concerns
    A recent study of bird and bat mortality at Wolfe Island’s 82-turbine wind farm is raising concerns among environmentalists. Wolfe Island is Canadian territory, located where Lake Ontario empties into the St. Lawrence River. The report found 600 birds and more than a thousand bats were killed by the windmill blades in a six month period. Nature Canada called the numbers “shockingly high.” Ornithologist Bill Evans says the real question is which species of birds died. Evans directs Old Bird, Inc. in Ithaca and has consulted for both wind power companies and environmental groups. He told David Sommerstein Wolfe Island is a designated important bird area, so ornithologists predicted high fatalities. Evans says the number of hawks, owls, and other raptors was the most alarming.

    None of this should come as a surprise. Over the last 25 years Altamont Pass, CA more than 2000 Golden Eagles have been killed by the blades of the Propeller style wind turbine. The corrupt Wind /Oil industry paid experts to say it was just an aberration and that Altamont was unique. The truth is no bird or bat is safe around a propeller style wind turbine. In the mean time the Wind/Oil industry is making billions off these killers.

  27. Just throw in a bar of soap and watch them run. The show would be over.

  28. Admin logging in for Jim:

    For those that have not seen it, take a look at the YouTube video “fatal accident with vulture on a windmill”. A Griffon Vulture gets smashed out of the sky by the innocent looking blades of a propeller style wind turbine. The wind turbine in the video is spinning at just 12 rpm or about half speed. After seeing this you will understand what is coming to your local and migratory bird populations.

    Recently in the UK a primary school was forced to turn off their wind turbine because of bird deaths. The small propeller style turbine had tip speeds of 135 mph and killed 14 birds in just 6 months. In comparison, the tens of thousands of large wind turbines installed in Europe and the US have tip speeds of 220 mph and are even more lethal. World wide millions of birds are killed annually but unlike the birds in the school yard, most of these birds drop to the ground with NO witnesses. There has been a Wind/Oil(they are one in the same)industry cover up about bird mortality for over 25 years. High security at wind farms helps the industry sustain this FRAUD. People should protest, they have been lied to for years by whore experts, the industry and the government about all of this. New laws have even been created to protect this industry for killing endangered species. In Texas last year 23 Whooping Cranes perished. The official reason given is that they starved while the new the Kenedy wind farm is running in their historical winter habitat near Padre Island.
    Rigged Studies sponsored by the corrupt wind industry claim that 1-2 birds are killed each year per wind turbine. In reality, up to 1 MW wind turbines kill on average, conservatively, 25 birds a year (as per separate studies from Dr Lekuona in Spain, biologist Everaert in Belgium, ornithologist Winkelman in the Netherlands - 1996-2001). The bigger turbines kill even more birds because they sweep larger 300 ft. areas with blade tip speeds of 220 mph. Most birds killed are protected species. Today in the US and Europe, the number one killer of rare and endangered bird species is the PROPELLER STYLE WIND TURBINE. I think people should do a lot more than just protest.

  29. Hey Admin,

    Lets be honest with this. Duck Hunters kill birds as well, and Birds themselves damn near killed a full plane load of people in the manahattan River not to long ago. Wether or not wind Towers are the correct way to address energy issues can always be debated. If the People of this State want to control something like this, they need to band together and create Legislation to address it. TheState of Maine has every right to address this through Referundum Balloting and if the majority feels it's correct, who to hell are we to argue that. It's what Democracy is all about. You can stand on the sideline all you want and make a complete fool of yourself but Demonstrations don't solve problems. Getting out the vote and changing laws may. I can make the same argument about contraceptrives as you do about wind tower blades but as long as the rules permit them, they'll still get used.

  30. I hope the courts put an end to this foolishness. No slaps on the wrist. Throw the book at them.

    Admin why don't you go down to the gulf and clean up some birds.
    While your at it take your out of state protester birds with you.

    Basil Powers should be held accountable for everything that these idiots do. Throw his sorry arse in jail with the rest of them.

    Send Basil the bill for all of this.

  31. Don't blame the freaks; their average brain probably compares to the vulture that was "smashed" out of the sky. Natural selection will eventually take care of them as well. (Example-shackle yourself under a truck)
    The real problem is Basil Powers. Talk about a wart on the balls of progress....

  32. Hey Kelly,

    Rube would be proud of you for calling a Spade A Spade.

  33. This "bird" argument is lame. The total number of birds killed by turbines is so low its not worth bringing up.The ones killed are not all "rare ". If it wasnt birds it would be something else. My own wind turbine I have hooked into my house has only a 15 foot diameter, but with any decent wind the blades spin so fast they are not visable to the eye.Total bird kill in 2 am not happy with this either, cause I was hoping to get a free duck or goose or two without fireing a shot,saving ammo for the fall season.We all have to deal with disappointment I guess.I bet most all of these environuts protesting have never produced a single watt of electricity on their own,clean or otherwise. I bet they dont even know how it is made ,or even seen a large generator in operation.The fact is, we all use electricity, so unless you dont use any, you are a hypocrite to protest.Let everyone who doesnt use ANY electricity write a comment here on the dog...........good luck with that....:)))

  34. After reading what Wiegand and Jim wrote I have to comment. What a load of horsplop. You going to try to make anyone believe there where 600 birds killed by a turbine but,over a 1000 bats?I doubt it.Bats dont run into ANYTHING easily. If there were a 1000 bats killed the ground would be 4 ft deep in dead birds..Jim says there was a "“fatal accident with a vulture on a windmill”. Really. So the chickadee that ran into my kitchen window the other day had a "fatal accident" . No it didnt,it just got killed. A fatal accident is what happened to that poor young couple in Farmington the other day.Wiegand says :"no bird or bat is safe around a propeller style wind turbine." Really. No bat or bird is safe around my CAT, and she doesnt produce a milliwatt of electricity. Give me a break. What kind of schools do people attend to learn to think this way.Stop using terms that discribe something to do with people ,the same as you would about a bird ,or a cat ,or a tree. Animal rights groups and environuts always try to make their point of view over a tree,or a bird as important as something to do with a human life.Its not. Like when they say " that couple "adopted " that cat, and will give it a fine home".Wow. You dont adopt cats, or mice or birds, you buy them, you "pick them up", you "bring them home". Children are adopted. I should know as I have adopted a child and brought home animals from the shelter and I have a huge news flash. They are not even close to being the same.This we live in has to go. Hell, Its even invaded some sportsman as they write about an experience, say a hunting trip for example. They will say something like "we "harvested" a couple of nice bucks in Greenville last week". No you didnt. You didnt harvest anything. You harvest corn ,or wheat ,or potatoes. Deer or ducks , or bears get killed, or shot, or trapped. Simple as that.Btw Wiegand, I wouldnt worry about the number of hawks, owls, and other raptors in this state.There are more now than there ever was and the numbers are climbing. I doubt they are in danger of extinction from these "killer "wind turbines.Like Bill writes about Kelly s comment: Call a spade a spade.

  35. Thanks Bill, but I could never measure up to Rube. Can you imagine if Rube were still alive and came across the shackled dame? The news story would be much more fun! And the vulture wouldn't have faired much better. Cheers!

  36. Who profits from the wind farms? The mountains will be used for whom? Why is there no discussion of where this energy goes, at what price will it be sold and who benefits?

    But regardless of this, there is a whole bunch of idiots on here advocating anything from disproportionate punishments to murder to sexual assault just for the fact that a group of people are voicing their opinions and trying to stop something they think is harmful to the environment. There are a few comments here that are actual discussion, the rest are shameful attacks. Shame on the likes of Steve Whittier. Look at what he foments.

  37. The EF folks have only succeeded in costing our community work, money and some of the peaceful time we live up here for. The Powers family has succeeded in ostracizing themselves from their community. EF is taken seriously only because of the destruction they are known for, not because they offer intelligent input . They do not foster positive change, only lost revenue for hard working folks. What is the EF point? Know your facts, follow the proper channels and make a difference with peace, respect and intelligence.

    Dear Powers family - There is a big difference between disagreeing on development, protecting our environment and feeding your ego. You should stand up for what you believe in a manner that respects your community and neighbors. We are ALL on this planet together. I would never hurt your family or threaten their livelihood. Shame on you all for bringing this into our community for your own financial and egotistical gains. I hope it was worth it for your family after it all said and done.

    Just so you know - many of the law enforcement were paid for by the companies up there trying to protect their employees and their pay checks. Birds don't fly into turbines unless they are experiencing of what Darwin called natural selection. the FBI, other Federal Law enforcemnt along with State and local law enforcement kept us safe from this radical and not very smart group...go way EF, Western Maine does not welcome you! You have terrorized us enough and we can make our own desicions. Any locals who are not infavor of the project have had every opportunity to either express themselves at the many hearings that decided the project or to refuse to accept the money flowing through the community because of it. If you are going to talk the talk you better walk the walk .

  38. I hope Harriet, Basil and Linda get a copy of the setiment expressed here. They may have an opportunity to learn from this mistake if they know how so many of us feel.

  39. Jms, yep, "the likes of me".......sure does suck to be me huh? You made my point for me perfectly when you said "where does this energy go?" "who profits" Hey! can I answer that? You really dont know the difference between a megawatt and your left wing do you? As to who profits, ahh, that would be the entity that produces the power, investors, and the individuals that need the power. Its called business, something foreign to liberals like yourself.America does a lot of this thing called "business",although there are many trying to kill this very practice that built this nation. As to where the power goes, there may be many different contract s signed as to where it goes, and price,we have this weird thing called a power grid. Much of this power would go here, and probably right to your house when you need it. In other words, everywhere.Aint that a kick in the crotch? My own wind turbine sends power out to the grid when It produces more energy than I use, like when I am WORKING. Some of my power may actually be going right to your cappuccino machine. Another kick .....ouch. Imagine the horror of some of the electricity a conservative, working, family man like me produces might go right to your house! Oh the shame!!!! I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. Now, who where you calling a "idiot"?

  40. If any of these idiots decide to do this again and gets arrested, I say the judge sets bail at an outrageous amount to help deter this from happening again. How did these people get to the mountain? did they use a car, because you know soooooo many mosquito's are killed by car's each year so i hope these nasty smelling/looking people didn't kill all my beloved mosquito's!!! GET A LIFE A JOB AND A BRAIN!
    BOOBOO you said it best....locals have already expressed their opinions on this at various meetings so the opinions of the EF don't matter and whatever you do to protest this is not only a waste of our time and money but a waste of EF time and money as well....Oh wait they are spending our money with their monthly welfare checks.

  41. Don't confuse the EF'ers and the Powers with the facts, they've already made up their minds.

    I still say the Power's should pay for every penny of law enforcement cost and be held accountable for every action they have brought to our County.

    If I decide to have an event on my property I would have to pay for any law enforcement, why not them?
    If I caused a rescue situation because of my stupidity I would have to pay the costs, why not them?
    If I damaged someone's property I would have to pay restitution, why not them?
    They stole time and personal saftey from every passing motorist that had to sit in the sweltering heat.
    I say make'em pay.

    Powers put your money where your mouth is.

    Franklin County please send them the bill. Make'em pay.

  42. Hozhed,

    They learn this behaviour and tactics while attending(I didn't say graduated) colleges. You would be shocked at what they learn there. First, the liberals dumb down the lower grades , High Schools and then give extreme indoctrination of the liberal views at the college level. If you send your child off to college with good morals and values, watch the change in them after a few months.

  43. Hypocrites, the Earth Firsters were at the local luandry mat charging cordless tools to make their signs, at the town office using their wireless, washing up in the bathrooms. Where do the think that power comes from? The biomass plant and wind turbines, what idiots. Bet your parents are real proud.

  44. Just my three cents worth . I don't know the exact number but I suppose it's in the millions of birds that get killed by automobiles . Now I'll bet you they didn't all walk to get there . And I won't even get into the discussion of carbon based fuel as compared to wind generated power . But we were all young , had ideals , and fortunately have the right to express them in whatever way we choose .

  45. I'm calling people idiots who say things like, let's tie a protestor to each blade... or she's hot, let's run her through the showers a few times, whatever that means. These are the people who gravitate toward your contempt. That's why I lump them in with you or vice versa. These protestors may be wrong or they may have a point. Why the immediate anti-liberal rhetoric? You are going to find more allies in that group than you'd think. Stripping our mountain tops might not be the answer... but subsidies to get more people on to personal sustainable energy seems like the way to go this without throwing more to the companies instead of the people.

  46. What do we want ?
    Do we want Wind power to help us from sending our soldiers over to DIE in those oil countries? Do we want to NOT BE DEPENDENT on those oil countries?

    The Protesters for one, should be from Maine not other states as this is an Maine issue.

    Protesters Do you want to keep sending our soldiers to die? Do you want to be dependent on those oil countries?
    Protesters don't want this don't want that . To try to get us from having to send our soldiers over to be killed by those oil countries and being dependent on those oil countries, Then what is there suggestions? Don't say water as that was voted down and protested! Besides chaining your self to a machine try to do something to make things better!!!

    Animals have rights as well-since allot of birds are hunted- then hunting season can be adjusted or reduced to help the birds maintain there numbers, if the numbers are high on birds being hurt or killed by the wind blades. Bats could have steps taken to assure that they keep their numbers-which bat experts can devise a plan to help the bats or other animals that are said to be affected by the wind mills .

    Just a thought

  47. JMS, you make a good point...........I am sure the" tie the idiot to the blade" people were just far as being "anti-liberal".......come on. This is western Maine, take all the people that have moved here in the last 25 years, from who the hell knows where, escaping the state they were born in, trying to force their will on families that have been here for hundreds of years, from the equation, these people are lucky to get out of town without something bad happening. I know .....a run on sentence.........sorry. As I have said in another piece on the dog, Hutch is the only one who has even brought up an idea from which we can get our energy from in the future..........................environuts dont have any solutions.....they just ,,,,,,,,,"are"...................kinda like horseplop...its there,.........we dont like it.....but it will go away soon...........the difference: horseplop actually does have a useful purpose.................... earthfirsters...............not so much...

  48. Kidding or not let's look at the history of mob rule.
    Actually let's not. Anti-Lib or Anti-Con rhetoric is destructive by intention and it doesnt serve western maine well. my own family is pretty split on national issues and the conversation can go south quick. BUT when people start talking about the issues that affect us I find there ends up being more common ground that you'd think.
    I have been pretty liberal most of my life but i am also a working person here in western maine. my wood lot makes a small income to help my modest salary from my job which i have had since college. maine's forests are our resource and should be treated properly. earth first's protest of poland springs is ridiculous to me because the resource of water in maine is in great abundance. for example the sandy river aquifer is almost undepletable -- it serves humans to use a resource like this.
    Our mountain tops are part of an environment that will not replenish themselves after a major corporation does its work for its own gain. I'm not saying that Big Wind Power doesnt have its place in moving to sustainable energy, I'm saying that any rhetoric that actually stops discourse is negative. Let's hear your perspective, let's hear theirs, let's all look at the different perspectives and try to put this whole issue into the democratic realm.

  49. Protests and civil disobedience are as old as the USA. Remember the "Tea Parties", you Tea Party folks?

  50. We pull weeds, we model for art class, we drink bottle water when we have to, we paint houses, and do things things that do not require corporate if you would like us to pull your weeds or help you with any home repair..we work very efficiently and very cheap...don't be mad your stuck in a cubicle all day...