Algonquin pipeline protesters plead not guilty

The protesters known as the Montrose nine - charged with attempting to block work on the controversial Algonquin pipeline from going forward - appeared before a judge on Friday.



The nine defendants pleaded not guilty to one charge each of disorderly conduct in Cortlandt Town Court.



On Nov. 9, the group was arrested outside Spectra Energy's construction yard in Montrose for allegedly attempting to block trucks from beginning work on the gas pipeline.



The judge on Friday heard testimony from the arrested officers. Prosecutors say the group's actions created a traffic jam and threatened public safety. The defense countered by saying the protesters' actions were justified because they believe the natural gas pipeline's location near the Indian Point nuclear plant poses a serious danger to the public.



Spectra offered a statement on the matter in which it says: "We do not condone actions that directly interfere with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized activities for the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Project. Further, we do not condone actions that take critical public safety first responders away from their duties, thus placing citizens dependent on their assistance at risk."


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