Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) will premiere a new short film “Robeson Rises” highlighting the fight against the ACP in Robeson County. The 600-mile pipeline proposed by Duke Energy and Dominion Power plans to bring fracked gas from West Virginia across Virginia and through eight North Carolina Counties, ending in Pembroke and Prospect in rural Robeson County in the heart of the Lumbee Indian community.
The screening on Mar. 22 is presented by EcoRobeson, Appalachian Voices, The Carolina Civic Center, and Working Films. The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the event will begin at 6:00 p.m. The theater is located at 315 North Chestnut Street in downtown Lumberton.
The screening will be followed by a discussion at 6:30 p.m. with local leaders who will discuss the proposed pipeline’s impact and how other communities have stopped pipelines similar to the ACP. Members of the local environmental group, EcoRobeson who are featured in the film will be available for questions and discussion at the premier and after the panel discussion.
“Robeson Rises” chronicles the efforts of Robeson County residents – Native American, African American, and White — uniting against the pipeline and advocating for a non-carbon, clean energy future. The short film documents the initial phases of community organizing, public education, and opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in one of the most racially diverse rural county in the United States. It includes interviews and footage from public hearings and testimony by featured residents. As regional energy policy continues to promote carbon-based fossil fuels, the time to tell this story is now, while communities across West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina are still rising up to stop the pipeline before it is built.
Robie Goins, a member of the Lumbee Tribe and who is featured in the film, states that “projects like the ACP affect all people, even those that don’t live close to the proposed route Methane gas and pipelines are contributors to climate change which impacts our local county and ultimately affects the entire world. For anyone in Robeson County who says that it doesn’t impact them in a direct way is misinformed. This movie illustrates how we can stand up, even against major odds, and join together to protect our environment and the quality of our rural life.”
The film depicts two disasters to hit Robeson County in the same year: Hurricane Matthew and the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Adrienne Kennedy is a Hurricane Matthew survivor and leader in the disaster recovery work. She is also a “climate refugee” and understands the connections between rising storms and floods and the proposed pipeline. She states that “the increase in disastrous storms, floods, and droughts like Hurricane Matthew are directly related to our abuse of the environment. We have to come to grips with this. We can’t continue to abuse the land that we need to sustain us and our livelihoods. That’s why I’m against this pipeline – because protecting our environment is the most important issue that unites all who are most concerned with our and our children’s future in Robeson County.”