The “No Coal Zone” with Mike Roselle. If Only…..

Is Fox replacing O’Reilly with Roselle? If only….

I often think about where the next backlash against the No Coal Movement is going to manifest next. Sometimes it’s the pro-coal front groups following coal activists on Twitter and spamming our blogs. Sometimes it’s disgusting “clean coal” ads. It’s manifested in a pretty ugly way in West Virginia as community activists like Maria Gunnoe have faced threats of property destruction and physical harm.


West Virginia’s local media seems to be on board with the pro-coal agenda as they engage in character assassination of prominent activists joining the fight.

Environmentalist Mike Roselle, founder of Earth First!, The Ruckus Society and Rainforest Action Network, has moved to the Coal River Valley of West Virginia to non-violently confront the coal barons plotting to destroy Appalachia’s mountains (case in point, Coal River Mountain). Last week, Roselle joined with 13 others, in the tradition of King and Gandhi, in putting their bodies on the line to stop mountaintop removal on Coal River Mountain.

Now a WV Fox news station has decided that Roselle is an “eco-terrorist” that uses “radical methods of protest may put lives at stake in West Virginia.”


It’s really interesting the way in which governments and corporations decide who is a terrorist and who isn’t. Roselle has been a long time proponent of non-violent direct action in advocating for saving the planet. Some even consider him a decent god-fearing person.

Fox News (albeit locally) is acting as the propaganda arm of the coal industry and attacking non-violent activists for taking a stand. Their is a long list of violent tactics using firearms and vehicles against local WV activists that actually put lives at stake and rarely do we hear about that on Fox’s airwaves.

It would be nice to get a little truth out of the Fox News’ of the world for a change, although at this point I’d settle for a regular segment called the “No Coal Zone” featuring Mike Roselle for a little fair and balanced reporting.

12 Responses to “The “No Coal Zone” with Mike Roselle. If Only…..”

  1. 1 sparki Feb 11th, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Now Ron Arnold of Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise and the Wise Use movement has come out in support of Roselle in the face of these charges:

    “02/11/09 Mike Roselle – I don’t agree with him, but he’s no terrorist.
    CDFE executive vice president Ron Arnold angrily condemned a WCHS-TV8 report suggesting Roselle is an “eco-terrorist.” Arnold said, “I’ve covered Roselle since 1995 and even devoted dozens of pages to his protest activities in my 1997 book EcoTerror: The Violent Agenda to Save Nature. I covered his actions to distinguish between radicals and terrorists. I say he’s a radical environmentalist, not an eco-terrorist. It’s not a crime to be a radical and Roselle has never been charged with any violent crime.
    Now he’s protesting coal mining in West Virginia. I support the mining. We need the energy. I think Roselle is dead wrong on this issue. But he doesn’t like the so-called “mountain-top removal” mining method, so he protested it and got arrested on minor charges. He’s told me he’s willing to face a jury on his protest. Face it: what he did was civil disobedience, not terrorism. But his opponents are dredging up eco-terror accusations. That’s just hot air and it’s wrong. Don’t dilute the absolutely monstrous crime of pipe-bombs and arson and murder committed to save nature by using a powerful and legal term like “eco-terrorism” for a guy you don’t agree with protesting how you do things. I don’t like his protests, either, but I insist on keeping the honorable term “eco-terrorism” where it belongs – reserved for real terrorists. Roselle may be a terrible pain in the ass, but he’s no terrorist. And don’t say I’m a shill for Massey Energy – they’ve never given CDFE a dime. Or even to our allies like the Congress of Racial Equality, which is probably America’s leading champion of abundant, affordable energy from our own American soil.

    Ron Arnold
    Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise

  2. 2 Lee Bailey Feb 12th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Once again the lies are obvious and the “facts” made up on the fly.
    While Roselle talks about only being against mountaintop mining in West Virginia, his friends here show the reality — they are ANTI-COAL — PERIOD!
    Second lie — I live here in West Virginia. There has NEVER been a reported incident involving guns or violence directed against those lawfully protesting mountaintop mining.
    So my question becomes … who died and made you — the radical environmentalists — the lords of the mountains of Appalachia? My family has lived here since the early (I mean early) 1700s. My ancestors have fought in every American war since the French and Indian War of the 1750s. I have generations of family buried on mountaintops and up in the head of little hollows throughout the state.
    In the interests of full disclosure (something obviously unheard of here on this site), my family has been involved in the coal industry for generations — as UMW member, company owner and industry executive.
    I believe in the coal industry. I know it provides high-quality, high-paying to the folks of southern West Virginia in the short run and high quality, developable land in the long-term — both of which the people of West Virginia need.
    What we don’t need is a bunch of radical, self-appointed “protectors” telling us how to live our lives, what to do with our land and our mountains. This is just another take on the tired old “hillbilly” stereotype — we are too dumb and backward to make decisions for ourselves.
    By the way … I hold a master’s degree in business, a second master’s degree in public relations, twin bachelors degrees in political science and history. I speak three languages fluently.

  3. 3 Rory McIlmoil Feb 13th, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    To Mr. Lee Bailey,

    I believe Sparki actually IS speaking for West Virginian residents. If I remember correctly, the majority of WV residents OPPOSE Mountaintop Removal. MTR is a last-ditch effort by coal companies to get the last remaining amount of coal out of those mountains, maximize their profits, all the while minimizing their accountability for destroying peoples homes, their health and the environment (I live down here too, I see and hear about this every day). Coal is running out in West Virginia and elsewhere, so its time you take a look around you and see what the coal industry – your coal industry – is leaving as its legacy before they pack up, head back to Missouri (Arch), Virginia (Massey) and Germany (ICG) with their pockets full of money and a wrecked economy and ecosystem in their wake.

    West Virginia already has over 500,000 acres of flat, developable (questionably) land due to MTR. Where is the development? Tell me. And dont try to use the golf course (few employees, and how many WV’s golf??), the penitentiary (sinking as the land settles), the FBI center (not an MTR site), the Wal Mart (also not an MTR site), or the Mingo County Industrial Park (three businesses left there, two are about to close) as examples. That isn’t development, its failed attemps at development, and few of them at that.

    Might want to work on your public relations a bit. Usually a good public relations person has facts to back up their claims. And you’re obviously not helping the state from a business standpoint, as WV still stands at or near the national the bottom in terms of poverty, education and attractiveness for business. And is one of those languages Coal Speak? Thats also a dying language, might wanna jump on the Green bandwagon.

  4. 4 hollergirl Feb 13th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Hey Lee, I am a 8th generation mountaineer from southern West Virginia. I have the same hillbilly credentials as you except for one difference–you ARE ignorant, greedy and a liar. And if you are strip mining then you are blasting and poisoning me and mine so that makes you a terrorist and you belong in jail.

    You blasting and poisoning destructors are the radicals. You are the one using explosives.
    I am a coal miner’s daughter and grand daughter and there is a right way and a wrong way to mine coal. Our invited treehugger friends own these mountains, rivers and the air, the same as we do.

    AS bad as the coal industry is you and your ilk are worse. While the coal industry is raping Appalachia–you local cowards are holding her down to be raped.

    If you speak 3 languages then lets see if you can understand that “there are no jobs on a dead planet” in English. Whether or not you speak 3 languages your knuckles are still on the ground.
    Take your job and shove it Lee.

  5. 5 ezlnwv Feb 13th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Lee Bailey,
    Just because you don’t care if your ancestral homeland is destroyed doesn’t give you the right to destroy the heritage of others.
    Some people don’t sell out as easy as you.

  6. 6 'sengoutloud Feb 14th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Dear Mr. Bailey,

    The only “hillbilly” mentioned in Sparkis post was Roselle himself and I’m pretty sure he holds a masters in nothing but life (an area of continued education for us all I might add)- what he does hold is his ground, in the non-violent manner that our great nation was founded. In fact, were it not for some very courageous women willing to do the same I would not have the right to vote today.

    The only person here who mentioned or even inferred to hillbillies in a derogatory way was yourself, and personally I am far more offended by that than Mr. Roselles actions.

    Thank you.

  7. 7 Judy WV Feb 16th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Dear Lee as 8th generation in WV and a coal miners daughter and grand daughter you and the coal companies are the terrorists. You all are using 3 1/2 millions pounds of explosives daily to blast our homes and poison our air and water here.
    Yes we invited Mike here to help us-these rivers and mountains are his too and every one’s that cares about our children.
    The coal companies are the outsiders here that came in and stole our heritage and our freedom. Our state motto is “mountaineers are always free”- and we are free because of the mountains. It seems like only us mountaineers knows what that motto really means.

    Coal companies can clean up their mess and get the heck out of WV since they can’t do any better.

  8. 8 Beth Wellington Feb 17th, 2009 at 12:52 am

    I’m glad to see that Arnold can distinguish between civil disobedience and econo-terrorism, even if Fox cannot.



    And isn’t it nice to know that, the web site affiliated with the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a front group for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries is taking on Roselle and many other activists as being “anti-consumer.” The site was created by Berman & Co., a public affairs firm owned by lobbyist Rick Berman, who represents the tobacco industry as well as hotels, beer distributors, taverns, and restaurant chains.

    Makes me want to stop eating out and drinking beer. LOL. (I’ve never used tobacco.)

  9. 9 Harry Feb 18th, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Go team! Great actions recently. We are winning.

    And get RAN to stop supporting the FSC.

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Scott Parkin is a Senior Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network and organizes with Rising Tide North America. He has worked on a variety of campaigns around climate change, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mountaintop removal, labor issues and anti-corporate globalization. Originally from Texas, he now lives in San Francisco.

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