Anti-pipeline activists went out of their way to disrupt Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline construction on Saturday morning. About 40 activists entered the construction site, forcing Sunoco/Energy Transfer to temporarily shut down construction.
However, barriers at construction sites are there for a reason — safety. These activists put themselves and pipeline workers in danger by breaking the law and entering the site. Police had to threaten the advocates with arrest before they finally moved behind the barrier after an hour and a half of protest, defying the law.
Protests like this hypocritically create the dangerous environments activists claim to argue against and should not go unpunished. The group’s leader even called the event a success because construction was halted, not citing the fact that it was at the cost of not only their own members’ safety but also the lives of pipeline construction workers. Everyone is entitled to free speech, but endangering workers’ lives on a legally permitted project should not go unpunished in a civilized society.