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Dakota Access, Oglala Sioux protest

Vermont pipeline protester pleads not guilty to charges

MONKTON, Vt. (AP) — A Montpelier man has denied charges stemming from when he spent six days up a tree in protest of the construction of a Vermont Gas Systems pipeline.

Thirty-one-year-old Samuel Jessup pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Addison County to misdemeanor charges of trespassing and resisting arrest.

Police say Jessup lived for nearly a week on a platform in a tree about 50 feet above ground that was tied to VGS equipment by ropes. He was attempting to halt the progress of the pipeline in Monkton.

Jessup said he ended his protest after police disconnected his phone on Monday evening, cutting off his communication with activist group Rising Tide Vermont.

The pipeline, approved by the Public Service Board in 2013 and now under construction, will extend 41 miles between Colchester and Addison County.

Related news: Work on Dakota Access begins in Iowa, protesters vow nonviolent acts

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