Five people were arrested on the Maryland State House steps Wednesday during a sit-in to protest a natural gas pipeline proposed to run beneath the Potomac River.
The protesters were blocking the main entrance to the State House, calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to block the project and end his support for gas industry investment in the state.
The sit-in’s organizers, including the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Food and Water Watch, said the protesters are grandmothers from Maryland and West Virginia.
Capitol Police say protest organizers had contacted them days earlier “to determine what actions were needed for their members to be arrested,” spokesman Nick Cavey said. He also noted that press releases the groups issued ahead of the event “stated the demonstrators' intent to protest ‘until they get arrested.’”
“After two hours of protesting outside, demonstrators attempted to enter the State House, were denied access, detained, and peacefully removed from the State House grounds,” Cavey said.
The same day protesters circled the governor's mansion calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to kill a gas pipeline beneath the Potomac River, state officials asked the Army Corps of Engineers not to give the project a permit until a state review is completed.
In a statement Wednesday, state environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said: “Maryland will require any project of this nature to meet our stringent standards to ensure protection of the environment and public health.”