CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — Several of the Rockwool protestors who were arrested in May for obstructing an officer and blocking a roadway in Kearneysville entered a plea of guilty or not guilty Monday afternoon.
“I would absolutely get arrested again if it means keeping our kids safe from Rockwool pollution coming into our community,” said Protestor Mary Anne Hitt. “This is why we’re all here it’s for our kids who are in danger from the pollution from this facility and I think any mom or dad out there would take this chance to protect their kids and keep them safe.”
Several of the protestors entered into a pre-trial diversion, meaning in exchange for the person complying with a supervised probation the case will not be prosecuted as long as the probation is successfully completed. After sentencing, many of the protestors claimed they would get arrested again if they needed to if it meant their voices would be heard.
“I plead guilty because I want to be able to exercise my right to civil disobedience again and I don’t want to have to wait a year to do that,” said Protestor Sharon Helman. “I feel that time is of the essence for our fight against Rockwool.”
The remaining protestors will appear in court in the next few days.
“This is not just an action, this is not just about a plan, this is about espousing our values and expressing our values as a community,” said West Virginia Delegate Samantha Brown. “What we did, not only in a rally but in a protest afterwards, showed that we have a very united front here. It’s my job as a legislator, as delegate is to make sure you’re safe and you’re taken care of and that you’re heard by our representation.”