WATCH: Activists criticizing Sen. Joe Manchin arrested after protesting outside power plant

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Several climate activists were arrested Saturday after blockading the entrance to a West Virginia power plant as part of an effort to call attention to Sen. Joe Manchin’s ties to the coal industry.

“Manchin has a lot of power nationwide,” said one protester, who told Fox News the demonstrators came to “call him out on his-self dealing. He’s not doing what the people of West Virginia want and need him to do.”

Activist explains why she's participating in the "Coal Baron Blockade"

Activist explains why she’s participating in the “Coal Baron Blockade”
(Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)

A West Virginia University student activist, Ryley Haught, told Fox News: “Manchin profits 500,000 a year from the trucks that bring in that coal, and at the same time he serves as the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. This is a huge conflict of interest.”

A company Manchin co-founded with his brother paid the West Virginia Democrat nearly $492,000 in 2020, his financial disclosures show. The company, Enersystems Inc., is run by Manchin’s son and sells waste coal to the Grant Town Power Plant, The New York Times reported.

Protesters called on Manchin to abandon his support for fossil fuels and embrace green energy legislation.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN SAYS HE’S OPEN TO A NEW VERSION OF BIDEN’S BUILD BACK BETTER AGENDA

“He’s decided that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce agenda is better than the agenda for the people of West Virginia and the people of the United States,” Rev. William Barber told a crowd of protesters.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 17: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is followed by reporters as he leaves a caucus meeting with Senate Democrats at the U.S. Capitol Building on December 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. Democrats continue to work on a path forward in regards to the Build Back Better and election reform legislation ahead of the Holiday recess. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 17: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is followed by reporters as he leaves a caucus meeting with Senate Democrats at the U.S. Capitol Building on December 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. Democrats continue to work on a path forward in regards to the Build Back Better and election reform legislation ahead of the Holiday recess. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
( Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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Marion County sheriffs warned protesters that if they position themselves too close to the Grant Town power plant fencing, they would risk arrest. Within the first 10 minutes of the protest, West Virginia State Police began arresting activists who sat right in front of the fence.

At least a dozen arrests were made throughout the protest.

Marion County Sheriff J.C. Riffle

Marion County Sheriff J.C. Riffle
(Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)

“We gave them boundaries they could remain in,” Marion County Sheriff J.C. Riffle said. “They chose not to remain in those boundaries.”

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