(posted on behalf of David Baghdadi of Rock Creek, WV.)
We at Climate Ground Zero would like to thank everyone that helped make the Mountain Justice Fall Summit on Kayford Mountain such a huge success. In our largest action yet, forty-four activists walked on to the Samples Surface Mine planting over 30 trees, mostly the currently threatened hemlock, and marching a banner through some of the active area of the mine. We sent a clear message about the ongoing catastrophe that is MTR, the inadequecy of currently reclamation, and the need to fund true reclamation and reclamation jobs. Mine security called the police, but, for the first time in this campaign, they allowed all the activists to return to the Stanley Heirs Park. This shows the growing strength of our movement. We hope this event emboldens others across Appalachia to take similar action. We were honored by the prese. We would also like to express our deep gratitude and admiration for Larry Gibson and the Keepers of the Mountains Foundation for hosting us and for his fearless and inspiration leadership. We are all in your debt.
Things aren’t slowing down around here either. We recently annouced our 2nd January action camp from 3rd to 24th. Just like last year, the camp will feature intensive training in all the skills needed to carry out and support nonviolent direct action. The camp is a fulltime, three-week commitment. Our first January camp culminated in a 9 day tree sit halting blasting on part of Coal River Mountain. We hope multiple actions can emerge from this camp and strongly encourage anyone who wants to take a stand against MTR to apply now.
See below to see if our road-show is coming to a college near you from Nov 27th – Dec 8th to learn more.
While our movement is gathering momentum and growing, we need your help more than ever as the situation on the ground in coal country only grows more urgent. We have gotten disturbing news from the Friends of Blair Mountain that mining is closer than ever to the battlefield and the coal companies are now patrolling the area with armed guards. The second Battle of Blair Mountain is brewing as the coal companies seem determined to destroy this mountain that is a powerful symbol of resistence and one of the most important sites in American labor history. Currently, Massey Energy is applying for yet another permit to mine Blair Mountain. Comments are due by November 26th, so please take a moment now to let the WV DEP know that you oppose the Pine Branch permit. We won’t let them erase our history without a fight.
We also need your voice at the EPA. Last April, the EPA announced strict new rules for valley fill permit. Since then it has been questionable how serious the EPA is about stopping valley fills, but the new guidance still represents another important tool for holding their feet to the fire. It’s out for public comment until Decmber 1st, so tell the EPA you support the strictest possible limits on valley fill permits.
Finally, we are happy to announce that our heroic civil defense team of lawyers have formed their own nonprofit law firm, the Appalachian Center for Justice. They have stayed busy. Unfortunately, the WV Supreme Court dismissed our appeal of the campaign’s first restraining orders and contempt charges on a technicality, but our team is not deterred and managed to win us the right to inspect the Twilight mine. (Though our own Charles Suggs was barred from coming along, due to his recidivism.) There’s a lot to be done to prepare for the federal civil trial next year. So if any one is interested in supporting the civil defense effort financial or with volunteer hours, contact the law firm at the link above.
As always, thank you so much for all of your support.
Road Show Dates
- Nov 27th: Iron Rail, New Orleans, LA
- Nov 29th: James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA contact: Katie huszczka <@> gmail.com
- Nov 30th: St. Mary’s College, St. Mary’s, MD contact: Aaron french.aaron <@> gmail.com
- Dec 1st: Red Emma’s, Baltimore, MD 7pm
- Dec 2nd: Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA contact: Anjali a.b.cadambi <@> gmail.com
- Dec 3rd: Williams College, Williamstown, MA contact: Sasha sm2 <@> williams.edu
- Dec 5th: Northhampton, MA contact: Colin, colinflood802 <@> gmail.com
- Dec 6th: Rochester, NY contact: Leah, lwa7740 <@> rit.edu
- Dec 7th: Pittsburgh, PA contact: Radio, radio.oh.radio <@> gmail.com
- Dec 8th: Morgantown, WV contact: Miranda, miranda.rae.miller <@> gmail.com