Category Archives: Songs and Stories

End of the Line: Episode 3, “Heart”

End of the Line podcasts cover conflicts over pipeline construction in Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states. In Episode 3: “Heart,”  we hear about the human cost of the heart of a pipeline.

In Union Hill neighborhood of Buckingham county, a plot of land is proposed as the site of a compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Compressor stations are the heart of the pipeline, pressurizing gas to be pumped across hundreds of miles. A compressor station is the lynchpin of a pipeline, as well as the most dangerous piece of infrastructure. Union Hill neighborhood, where the station is proposed to be built, is a predominantly African-American neighborhood founded by slaves freed after the Civil War. How does the history of this neighborhood coincide with the construction of a large, noisy, dirty and dangerous compressor station? How have the people most affected by its construction responded? Have elected officials or corporate decision makers heard their voices?

In the midst of turmoil surrounding historic erasure in the south, this episode tells the unique and troubling story of land, ownership and theft in the neighborhood of Union Hill, Buckingham County, Virginia.

End of the Line: Episode 2, “Home”

End of the Line podcasts cover conflicts over pipeline construction in Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states.  In Episode 2: “Home,” the  we hear stories from Bent Mountain residents resisting surveyor trespass against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. And from Nelson County, neighbors uniting in the face of controversial routes over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Here’s Episode 1: “Done Deal?” in case you missed it.

Walking the Line Press Release, June 28, 2017

Walking The Line: Into The Heart of Virginia celebrates July 2

Walking the Line press release, June 28, 2017
Contact: Kay Leigh Ferguson, 434-987-1736; Lee White, 434-282-7259

Walking the Line: Into the Heart of Virginia will complete its two week, 150 mile, 5 county walk along the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline route this Sunday, July 2, 2017, in the pews of the Union Hill Baptist Church, near the site of the proposed Buckingham Compressor Station and at Union Grove Baptist Church, all in Buckingham County.

Buckingham County, geographically the center of Virginia, is also the site of the most shocking and most racially unjust assault that the ACP plans against the rural communities of our state. The historic African American community of Union Hill surrounds former slave plantations which are now the chosen site of a proposed 54,515 horsepower gas compressor station.

At 10 am, the walkers, Buckingham County community organizers, and the congregation of Union Hill Baptist Church with Pastor Paul Wilson will join in worship and in the third sing and filming of Sow Em on the Mountain, a song which is quickly becoming the anthem of many who oppose the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipeline proposals.

Sow Em on the Mountain is a traditional song that reminds us that ‘we’re gonna reap just what we sow'”, says Kay Leigh Ferguson whose group ARTivism is supporting Walking the Line. “We can decide now to hold the line and protect our water, air and children and sow the seeds of protection. Or we can sow the seeds of environmental destruction by doing nothing. It’s time to choose what we want to sow.”

Following worship, the community is invited to walk or drive to the nearby site of the proposed Buckingham Compressor Station for a ritual sign dedication and planting by Friends of Buckingham and then on to Union Grove Baptist Church for a potluck supper. All are invited.

The proposed Buckingham Compressor station will be one of the largest of its kind and targets this small, rural, largely African American community to bear by far the greatest burden from the real dangers of fire and explosion and from toxic emissions and degraded land values of any community along the proposed ACP pipeline route.

“This is not about keeping the lights on. This is not about jobs. This is corporate greed hiding under a very thin mask of common good,” adds Ms. Ferguson.

“Dominion acts as though they are in charge of us. That they can rule us. That they have authority over the water, over the land and over people’s lives.” says Pastor Paul Wilson. “They, in that sense, become the destroyers of God’s creation.”

“This walk is not about being against anything as much as it is about drawing attention to the beauty and value of the land and the water that we must not allow ourselves and our children to lose,” says Lee White, key organizer of Walking the Line.

Union Hill Baptist Church is at State Rte 663, Buckingham, VA, 23921 (off 64E south of Charlottesville, take VA-20 S (24.7 mi). Take State Rte 655 to State Rte 602, 8 min (5.7 mi) Turn left onto State Rte 602, 6 min (5.2 mi) Continue on State Rte 660. Drive to State Rte 663, 8 min (4.3 mi)

Related links: the first and second “Sow Em” song videos and the Buckingham Compressor station focused video “Thou Shall Have No Dominion Here”  and more information can be found on our Facebook page here: Walking the Line facebook and details about joining the walk are here:  Walking the Line website

A Pipeline Allegory

A letter to the Roanoke Times from Georgia Haverty:

Once there was a Stranger who walked into my house. I told him to leave, but he told me that he had made a deal with the rulers of the Land, and they had told him he could walk into any house he liked.

The Stranger then took something precious from me. It was not worth very much, but had been handed down by my ancestors through the ages. The Stranger laughed when I tried to get it back, and said “Don’t worry; I will give you a coin for this object. I get to decide what it is worth… and to me it is not worth very much.” (To me, it was worth all the coins in the Land).

Before the Stranger walked out, he left a bomb on my kitchen table. “This is for you, as a parting gift. Your neighbors want and need this – they told me,” he lied. “Oh – one more thing” he said looking over his shoulder with a sneer – “you must leave this bomb in place forever more. If it goes off, don’t call me. I will be long gone from this Land, disguised and with a different name. You won’t find me. You will be responsible for anything that happens.”

The End.

Walking the Line: Into the Heart of Virginia

Walking the Line, June 17 – July 1, 2017, Highland, Bath Augusta, Nelson & Buckingham Counties

A walk of Resistance and CELEBRATION along the proposed fracked-gas pipeline (ACP) path. See for yourself what is on the line- The forest habitats, mountains, farms and homes that are in danger of irreversible destruction.

Everyone is welcome! The more the merrier!

Starting in Highland County, we will follow as close as possible to the proposed path for 150 miles (1st leg) – Through Bath, Augusta and Nelson Co, and into the heart of Virginia; Buckingham County- the site of the proposed toxin-emitting Compression Station.

Our vision is for this to be a celebratory, peaceful walk of resistance, to share the stories of the communities and the beauty of the landscape that would be impacted, to raise awareness and help ensure that these ill-conceived plans do not come to fruition.

There are many ways to get involved- Full and partial walks, day hikes, events, sponsorship, and plenty of other ways to support the walkers if you aren’t able to join the walk yourself.  Go to the Walking the Line Web page for more information.

And be sure to check out the video of “Sow Em on the Mountain”!

Multiple events are planned in conjunction with Walking the Line.

First, Paint the Line! Making Art for Walking the Line at Community Bikes on Friday, May 19 – Noon to 3pm. Community Bikes 405 Avon St, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902.  A gathering to make signs, banners and art of all stripes to support Walking the Line Into the Heart of Virginia: A Two Week Walk along the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline Route, June 17th- July 2nd. Some supplies will be on site as well as some facts to help spin into imagery, but any materials and ideas you bring are welcome. If you have a moment to drop off some cardboard off and say hello to us, that’s cool too. Your support makes a difference. Please shout this out and share this with friends.

Tuesday May 23, 2017,  Walking the Line – Walk Update and Social Gathering 7:30-9:00 pm. Three Notch’d Brewing Company, 946 Grady Ave, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903   Join us, for a walk update and social gathering for everyone coming on the walk, interested in finding out more, or supporting Walking the Line: Into the Heart of Virginia…as we countdown to Day One, on Saturday, June 17!  We’ll have detailed route updates, so that you can see when and where we’ll be heading, on this 150 mile pilgrimage into the heart of Virginia, as well as information about the planned stops and events along the ‘line,’ such as the Walking the Line Celebration Concert in Staunton on Friday, June 23.

Walking the Line, June 17 – July 1, 2017, Highland, Bath Augusta, Nelson & Buckingham Counties.  The walk itself – see above.

Friday June 23, 2017, The Celebration Concert, 6:00-9:00 pm, Sunspots Pavilion, 202 Lewis Street, Staunton, VA 24401 Welcome the walkers from “Walking the Line: Into the Heart of Virginia” to a family style concert with Laurie Lichtenwalner, Boxcar Speakeasy, Rick Olivarez Trio and more. Rain or shine with tents and chairs for our audience with reservations. Food from The Saucy Bird and The Dirty Bean.  Tickets are free, but donations to support the work and the musicians are welcome. Doors open 5:30 pm.  We will film the second version of our Sow Em on the Mountain song video at the Celebration Concert.   More info here.

Sunday June 25, 2017, noon-7:00 pm, Seven Arrows Brewery, 2508 Jefferson Hwy, Waynesboro VA.  No Pipeline Concert.  Free, family friendly.  Music by The Cross Eyed Cats, The Findells, and Charlottesville Community Drum Choir.