HARRISBURG (WITF) – A Lancaster County judge on Monday dismissed trespassing charges against seven protesters who blocked construction of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline almost two years ago. Judge Howard Knisely of the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas released the defendants without charge after the district attorney dropped the misdemeanors in exchange for community service. The judge welcomed the agreement and said peaceful, nonviolent protest is protected, albeit with limitations, by state and federal law. Legislatures, not the courts, are the proper place to protect the natural environment and public safety, he said. But he urged citizens to elect lawmakers who truly represent public interests rather than their own.