Wednesday, June 1, 2022


Extinction Rebellion above the giant intake tunnel at the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Station. Photo Copyright © 2022 by Karl Meyer

Northfield MA. At a little after 5:00 a.m. a handful of local Extinction Rebellion activists crawled under the fence past No Trespassing signs at FirstLight’s Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Station and hung banners reading “No License to Kill,” and “Living Rivers Flow Downstream” above the giant intake tunnel where it sucks huge streams of the Connecticut River backwards and a mile uphill to its 4 billion gallon reservoir.


Activists calling for the shutdown of the FirstLight’s Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Station stand atop the station’s giant intake tunnel with it’s water source, the Connecticut River, in the background.Photo Copyright © 2022 by Karl Meyer

In a media statement sent to the press Tuesday afternoon the activists listed the demands motivating their trespassing stance.
Their list called for the immediate shutdown of FirstLight’s Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Station,” the “restoration of the Connecticut River,” and, calling state and federal officials “complicit” in allowing FirstLight’s exploitation of the river, demanding that they “remove themselves from their entanglement with FirstLight.”


Photo Copyright © 2022 by Karl Meyer

Those entering FirstLight’s perimeter were mostly women, though one man was present among them. One of protestors explained through the fence that she felt good about taking action, “It feels like the right thing to do for the river. People are paying for this fossil fueled machine. It’s time public officials were acting on behalf of the people, not the corporations.”


Photo Copyright © 2022 by Karl Meyer

The Extinction Rebellion protestors remained atop FirstLight’s intake tunnel for over 2 hours. Northfield’s intake tunnel, which halts and draws in Connecticut River flow and all manner of aquatic life at 15,000 cubic feet per second, later flushes it back to the riverbed at 20,000 cubic feet per second for hours at a time. Everything suctioned in, dies–including fish eggs, larvae, young-of-the-year, and full size fish. The term scientists use for anything entering Northfield’s sphere of death is “functionally extirpated.”


Photo Copyright © 2022 by Karl Meyer

As 7:00 a.m., approached a patrol car from Northfield Police arrived, and shortly thereafter a FirstLight employee drove in, unlocked the gate and went over to engage the protestors. Further discussions continued and ultimately the handful of activists exited the premises through the gate opened by the FirstLight employee, chanting “Water is life!”, “Shut it down!”, and vowing “We will be back.”


Photo Copyright © 2022 by Karl Meyer