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Sleeping dragon locks in protesters, makes removal difficult

Device used in protests to delay, block access

ROANOKE, Va. – Protester Emily Satterwhite, 46, of Blacksburg locked herself to Mountain Valley Pipeline construction equipment Thursday morning.

Using what's called a sleeping dragon, she secured herself to an excavator, because she wants to protect the water and land the pipeline could affect. The device made it difficult for authorities to remove the pipeline opponent.

The Virginia Department of Fire Programs says that most of these devices are created by using a piece of pipe. Protesters chain themselves to a bolt inside the pipe and are the only ones who can unhook the chain.The pipes are sometimes wrapped with materials such as duct tape, wire and roofing tar to make removal difficult and delay the removal process.

The sleeping dragon device was also used in another Mountain Valley Pipeline protest that happened on June 4 when three protesters locked themselves to drilling equipment 

Removing Satterwhite from the sleeping dragon took about 49 minutes and she was arrested on two trespassing charges.