Hundreds Will Gather at State Capitol in Unity for “Water is Life Rally & Concert” Against Fracked-Gas Pipelines

Richmond, Va. — On Saturday, December 2, hundreds of Virginians from all walks of life and from all across the state will gather in Richmond in a show of common cause for the protection of Virginia’s waters and to take a stand against the risky and unneeded Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

The Water is Life Rally will feature a first-of-its-kind human circle around Capitol Grounds, with citizens joining hand-in-hand and holding ribbons and scarves of blue to represent our universal connection to water. It will also feature an enormous “Water Spirit” puppet created by Richmond’s All The Saints Theater Company, and a range of speakers calling on Virginia leaders to reject the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

The “Water is Life Rally & Concert” comes four days before the State Water Control Board begins a series of public meetings on the Mountain Valley (Dec. 6 and 7) and Atlantic Coast (Dec. 11 and 12) pipelines, at which the board is expected to decide whether to approve water quality certifications for the projects. This event is intended to send a message to state regulators that Virginians stand in solidarity in opposition to the dangerous and unnecessary fracked-gas pipelines.

What: Water is Life Rally & Concert
When: Saturday, December 2, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Visuals: Hundreds of Virginians holding hands and encircling Capitol Grounds; Blue ribbons intertwined through hands to symbolize a river; 40-foot water spirit puppet; other acts of “artivism.”

Rally Speakers:
Virginia State Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-11)
Pastor Paul Wilson, minister of Union Hill Baptist Church
Dave Sligh, Conservation Director at Wild Virginia and former senior environmental engineer for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Harrison Wallace, Virginia Policy Coordinator and Coastal Campaigns Manager at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Mary Beth Coffey, landowner in Bent Mountain
Concert Speakers & Performers:
Keynote speaker: Jennifer Carroll Foy, delegate-elect of Virginia District 2
Chris Hurst, delegate-elect of Virginia District 12
Representatives of local tribes
Lobo Marino
No BS! Brass Band
The Wild Common
The First Nations Voice

The “Water is Life Rally & Concert” is a collaborative effort of more than 30 environmental and arts organizations throughout Virginia. In one voice this coalition will gather and speak out to protect Virginia’s waters against the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines.

Following the rally, citizens will walk the few blocks to the National Theater for the concert starting at 2 p.m. and featuring Lobo Marino, No BS! Brass Band, The Wild Common, and The First Nations Voice.

The “Water is Life Rally and Concert” is put together by a broad coalition of organizations, including:

Appalachian Voices; ARTivism Virginia; Augusta County Alliance; Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League; Bold Alliance; Chesapeake Climate Action Network; Charlottesville Rising; Climate Action Alliance of the Valley; Concern for the New Generation; Divest RVA; Earth Allies Chapter of BREDL; Earth Folk Collective; Free Nelson; Friends of Augusta; Friends of Buckingham; Friends of Nelson; Guard N Flags; Healing Water RVA; Interfaith Power and Light; Journey the James; Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance; Oil Change International; Poets Against Pipelines; Preserve Floyd; Preserve Giles; Preserve Rockbridge; Protect Our Water; Raptors VA; Richmond Food Not Bombs RVA Interfaith Climate Justice League; Sediment Arts; Sierra Club Virginia Chapter; Virginia River Healers; Virginians Against Pipelines; Walking the Line: Into the Heart of Virginia; Wild Virginia

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Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com