Four Anti-Mountaintop Removal Activists Arrested at Home

UPDATE: Everyone is out!

Iran is not the only place where government agencies are trying to (marginally) disrupt people advocating for change.

Today, the West Virginia State Police picked up four Climate Ground Zero activists at home in Rock Creek on some old charges from October.  Back during a peaceful march organized by seniors against mountaintop removal led by 81 year old Roland Micklem, two young activists –Gabe Schwartzman, 19, and David German, 18– were arrested for unfurling a banner on top of Walker CAT’s headquarters.  The charges are related to that banner drop.  Last month, the state police arrested Micklem over the same incident.

As a result of the Oct. banner hang, Walker CAT president Steve Walker equated the anti-MTR activists holding a banner on his propert with terrorist suicide bombers, that’s right, suicide bombers.  Beyond the insult to real victims of actual suicide bombers, Walker’s comment had only the intention of creating more tension in a West Virginia already marred by violence and intimidation.

Next month, Climate Ground Zero will have a three week winter action camp which will prepare 30-50 anti-MTR activists in the Coal River Valley to carry out civil disobedience actions.

Could these arrests be a pre-emptive arrest to disrupt Climate Ground Zero’s activities?

We’ve spent 2009 escalating the fight to end mountaintop removal.  The coal industry spent 2009 escalating their rhetoric (example above) to cast us as “extremists” and “terrorists,” and encouraging intimidation and violence in the coalfields.  Now West Virginia law enforcement is arresting activists and lead organizers in Rock Creek on “old” charges.

Four Climate Ground Zero activists arrested today in Rock Creek, West Virginia.

Rock Creek, WV – At 3:47 pm, Tuesday, four Climate Ground Zero activists were arrested for trespass at their homes in Rock Creek, West Virginia. Matt Louis-Rosenberg, Jacqueline Quimby, Kimberly Ellis and James McGuiness were taken to the Kanawha County Courthouse by State Police. State Trooper Lt. Bowers. The charges stem from an October 10 demonstration at Walker CAT’s headquarters, which challenged Walker’s misleading pro-coal advertising campaign at which Gabe Schwartzman, 19, and David German, 18, were arrested by City of Belle Police and cited for trespassing on a structure or conveyance. The two had unfurled a banner which read, “Yes, Coal is Killing West Virginia’s Communities” .

More information as the situation develops. For more information, call Mike Roselle, Climate Ground Zero 304 854 7372.

7 Responses to “Four Anti-Mountaintop Removal Activists Arrested at Home”


  1. 1 marty Dec 30th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    guess we’re doing something right…

  2. 2 moenbailey Dec 30th, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Are we the most failed nation in history? It’s time for decent people to get the hell out of the USA.

  3. 3 Morgan Dec 30th, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Ouch, they just rolled in and arrested folks? How long will they be held for? What’s the precedent for doing a trespassing arrest so long after the incident?

    Let us know how we can help!

  4. 4 Masi Dec 31st, 2009 at 12:03 am

    This is nothing more than political abuse of power. Where the wealthy control law enforcement. In another country this would be called fascism but here in the “good ole U.S.A.” it’s called campaign contributions at work. AND look who they pick on, an 18 and 19 year old who have all kinds of money for lawyers. The people of this country have become such cowards and so afraid of the boogyman terrorists that a simple act of trespassing is now labeled a terrorist act. C’mon you Americans, GROW UP!!!

  5. 5 Scott Dec 31st, 2009 at 12:15 am

    UPDATE:FOUR CLIMATE GROUND ZERO ACTIVISTS REMAIN JAILED ON TRUMPED UP CHARGES

    CLIMATE GROUND ZERO
    P.O. BOX 166 ROCK CREEK, WEST VIRGINIA 25174
    (304) 854 7372 climategroundzero.net

    PRESS RELEASE

    Wednesday, December 30, 2009
    FOUR CLIMATE GROUND ZERO ACTIVISTS REMAIN JAILED
    ON TRUMPED UP CHARGES

    At 3:47 pm Tuesday, December 29, four Climate Ground Zero activists were arrested for trespass at their homes in Rock Creek, West Virginia.

    Mat Louis-Rosenberg, Jacqueline Quimby, Kimberly Ellis and James McGuinness were taken to the Kanawha County Courthouse by State Police by West Virginia State Trooper Lt. Bowers. The charges stem from a October 10 demonstration at Walker CAT’s headquarters, which challenged Walker’s misleading pro-coal advertising campaign at which Gabe Schwartzman,19, and David German, 18, were arrested by City of Belle Police and cited for trespassing on a structure or conveyance. The two had unfurled a banner which read, “Yes, Coal is Killing West Virginia’s Communities.”

    As of noon Wednesday, the four activists remain in police custody in the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver, WV. They have yet to see a magistrate and have not been informed of their charges, other than trespassing, which, if proven, would result in a maximize one hundred dollar fine.

    “This is outrageous behavior on the part of the Kanawha County prosecutors.” said Climate Ground Zero campaign director Mike Roselle.

    “These four people are guilty of nothing. They were simply present during a
    demonstration last October and none of them were ever informed at any time that they were trespassing. Usually in this type of case they simply write you a ticket or mail you a summons. To drag them out of their homes and refuse to allow any bail violates their most basic constitutional right to due process.”

    ###

    More information as the situation develops. For more
    information, call Mike Roselle, Climate Ground Zero 304 854 7372.

  6. 6 Kevin Schmidt Dec 31st, 2009 at 6:58 am

    I suggest you round up all of the friends, relatives and everyone else who want them out now. Then march down to where they are held. Then simply sit down… and don’t get up for anything except to go to the bathroom and bring back food and drinks.

    The right to peacably assemble by WE THE PEOPLE is a First Amendment right.

    Send a message to the jailers stating all of you will not leave without their prisoners.

    Which brings up another Constitutional Right. The right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The way to defend your Constitutional Rights is to use them… wisely.

  7. 7 Morgan Dec 31st, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Scott thanks for the update. I’ve passed this on to a bunch of folks. Keep us posted on any developments.

Comments are currently closed.

About


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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