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More than 20 arrested in blockades of train delivering coal to N.H. power plant

Protesters blocked railroad freight tracks in Worcester, Ayer, and Hooksett, N.H., on Saturday and Sunday, trying to keep a train from delivering coal to a New Hampshire power plant.

“In 2019, there’s no reason for us to still be burning coal,” said Marla Marcum, director of the Climate Disobedience Center. “We’re tired of paying for it. We’re tired of paying for the kind of plant that pollutes the river and causes asthma and contributes to climate change.”

The train was delivering coal to Merrimack Station, a power plant in Bow, N.H. The protests were part of an ongoing effort to shut down the coal power plant.


No injuries were reported. Protesters called the train’s dispatchers before they blocked the tracks so as not to take engineers by surprise, Marcum said.

In Worcester on Saturday, protestors were given warnings and left the railroad tracks without being arrested, Marcum said.

In Ayer, police arrested 12 people on charges of trespassing on railroad property Sunday. All were released on personal recognizance and scheduled to appear in Ayer District Court, Ayer Police Deputy Chief Brian Gill said.

Another 12 people were arrested on a railroad bridge in Hooksett, where they had hung an anti-coal banner, said Rebecca Beaulieu, a climate organizer with 350 New Hampshire, a climate advocacy organization.

They were charged with trespassing and are due in court in January.

Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at gal.lotan@globe.com.