What may not be completely clear (one minute in) from this clip is that Blankenship actually pushes the reporter about a hundred feet while the reported says “Please let go of me” about 12 times. All the while Blankenship has this creepy grimacey smile on his face. Oh, and he threatens to shoot the reporter.
In other news of coal thuggery, “Friends of Coal” recently busted up a prayer vigil for the mountains in Ansted, WV. They brought about 30 folks, including small children, to heckle, make rude comments and physically threaten the pastors, priests, grannies and other citizens that had come out to pray and sing Amazing Grace together on the mountain side. Despite the determination of the Fiends of Coal who brought their small children to participate in a fun morning of verbally abusing people trying to pray, it actually turned into a useful dialog when the Pro-Mountain folks explained to them that they want to see a clean, just West Virginia with more jobs for coal miners. Indeed, Mountain Top Removal has lost WV about 110,000 jobs since the 70’s and an immediate ban on Mountaintop Removal would create up to 2,000 deep mining jobs.
Big Coal is stepping up the intimidation. At the Clean Water Protection Act Lobby this past week, Representative Rahall (D WV) (email him) yelled at and verbally harassed the citizens who had driven the 7 hours to DC to meet with him and tell him the stories of how Mountaintop Removal had affected their families. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” Gandhi. So, we’ll take the all this intimidation as a sign that we’re about to win.