FPL protesters in court

By Alex Zequiera

They gathered back in February, joining hands to form a circle and stopping traffic, all in the hopes of stopping construction of a new FPL power plant. But, instead, the protest resulted in chaos, 20 arrests and a lawsuit.

Now, those arrested go to trial, and they do have something to say.

It all started when dozens, protesting a construction of a new FPL power plant, refused to move for four hours. The group disgruntled about the West County Energy Center they say will emit millions of tons of greenhouse gases and waste billions of gallons of water a year.

"We need open space. We need agriculture. We need to protect the Everglades. We do not need this plant," protests one.

Leading up to the February protest, a group fought for their cause with lawsuit after lawsuit. In the end, though, 26 people were taken away in cuffs.

FPL says the plant will be one of the cleanest in the state. "Create a more cleaner effect throughout the entire electric grid by having these new power plants that are using the latest technology," says FPL spokesperson Mayco Villafana.

In late May, the protesters filed another lawsuit, claiming not only is a plant bad for the environment, but the decisions of surrounding construction of the plant violated open government laws.

On Tuesday, members of that group will head to court to find out whether a jury will sympathize with them or hand down a stiff punishment.

Twenty of the 26 protesters who were arrested will be in court, but they plan on, once again, proclaiming their concerns about the West County Energy Center before heading into that courtroom.