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Activists Boat onto Sludge Pond; Confront W.Va. Governor on Dangers of Coal Sludge

21 Aug

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Charleston, W.Va. – This morning at 7:30 a.m. two activists paddled out onto the 2.8 billion gallon Shumate slurry impoundment in Raleigh County with banners reading, “Slurry Poisons Appalachia” and “Gov. Tomblin, Put Health Over Profit.”  Later this morning, one activist locked himself to a barrel of black water in front of Gov. Tomblin’s mansion in a Tyvek suit reading “Locked to Dirty Water”.   Activists are calling attention to the failure of the state government to protect its citizens from the abuses of the coal industry and the threats posed by coal slurry disposal.

“I grew up in Eunice drinking water poisoned by coal slurry, went to Marsh Fork Elementary under that dam, breathed the dust from that prep plant, and I’ve suffered the lifelong health consequences of that.  These same abuses are taking place today across our great state, and the blame for that lies squarely at the feet of Gov. Tomblin,” said Junior Walk of Rock Creek, W.Va. who attended today’s protest at the Governor’s mansion.

Coal slurry, the toxic byproduct of “washing” impurities out of coal before it is sold, has long been a matter of deep concern for area residents.  Its common disposal methods have created tragic disasters such as poisoning the public water supplies of Prenter and Eunice, W.Va., and slurry floods in Martin County, Ky., and Buffalo Creek, W.Va..  Despite this, evidence mounts that West Virginia regulators continue to fail at adequately regulating impoundments.

Read the full post on http://rampscampaign.org.

Coal Headquarters Shut Down By Demonstrators Locked to Tank of Dirty Water

24 May

Residents Protest Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining, Health Impacts and Sludge Expansion

5 people locked to tank of dirty 250 gal of water and a barrel blocking entrance to Alpha Natural Resources' HQ.

by Charles / RAMPS

BRISTOL, VA.— Three residents of Central Appalachia and supporters with Mountain Justice chained themselves to an industrial tank of black water in front of Alpha Natural Resources’ Bristol, Va., headquarters to protest Alpha’s mountaintop removal strip mining and coal slurry operations across the region.

“I’m risking arrest today because mountaintop removal has to end now for the future viability of Appalachia,” says Emily Gillespie of Roanoke, Va., whose work with the Mountain Justice movement is inspired by Appalachian women’s history of non-violent resistance. The tank of water represents coal contamination from affected communities across the Appalachian region.

The group called for Alpha to stop seeking an expansion of the Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment in Raleigh County, W.Va. “We want Kevin Crutchfield, CEO of Alpha Natural Resources, to produce a signed document expressing that they won’t seek the expansion of the Brushy Fork Impoundment before we leave,” Junior Walk, 23, from the Brushy Fork area said.

“I live downstream from Alpha’s Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment on Coal River. If that impoundment breaks, my whole family would be killed,” Walk said, Continue reading

Disturbing Greg Boyce’s Peace: StopPeabody Activists Kidnapped by Hotel Security

30 Jan
Flyer distributed near Peabody CEO Greg Boyce's St. Louis home identifying him as a

Activists were arrested distributing this flyer near Peabody CEO Boyce’s apartment

Activists were arrested distributing this flyer near Peabody CEO Boyce’s apartment

Two activists were arrested for distributing this flyer near the apartment of Peabody Energy CEO Greg Boyce on Tuesday inside the Chase Park Plaza hotel and apartment complex. The activists were charged with disturbing the peace and released after eight hours in custody.

Earlier that morning, a small group known as the “Chase Park Plaza Committee for Non-Evil” leafletted inside the building’s parking garage, posting warnings to tenants and guests that Boyce, a “known climate criminal,” resides inside the building. The flyer states: “Mr. Boyce’s crimes, while too extensive and storied to detail completely here, reveal a legacy of gross disregard for the city of St. Louis, workers’ rights, human life, and the future of the planet as a whole,” and features criticism of Peabody’s complicity in the forced relocation of Dineh (Navajo) families from their ancestral homeland in Black Mesa, Arizona. Activists also used the flyer to highlight Peabody’s efforts to shirk on their obligations to retired coal miners, as well as the massive $61 million tax break that Peabody received from the city of St. Louis in 2010.

Read the rest here.

Lockdown at Maggie’s Farm – Food Not Fracking!

27 Jan

 

Locking down at Maggie's farm

Locking down at Maggie’s farm

Bessemer, PA – This afternoon, residents of Western Pennsylvania and friends of Lawrence County farmer Maggie Henry locked themselves to a giant paper-mache pig in the entrance to a Shell natural gas well site in order to protest the company’s threat to local agriculture and food safety. The newly-constructed gas well is located less than 4,000 feet from Henry’s organic pig farm.

Continue reading

3-week Winter Action Camp, St. Louis, January

19 Dec

APPLY NOW:  For the MORE-RAMPS-BMIS Winter Action Camp

RAMPS action against Mountaintop Removal

RAMPS action against Mountaintop Removal

The camp will feature a 2-week (Jan 7-20) and 3-week (Jan 7-27) option. There will be two featured tracks, direct action and community organizing, with significant overlap and emphasis put on how these fundamental aspects of resistance fit together. Both tracks will include multiple actions targeting extractive industries and provide a solid set of skills that can be used in any campaign. Both tracks are a full-time commitment and will include intensive training and hands-on experience.

St. Louis is home to five coal companies (including Arch, Patriot and Peabody) agri-giant Monsanto and leading frack sand provider (Mississippi Sands)–just to name a few.

As Arch attempts to destroy Blair Mountain, Patriot shirks paying thousands of retired miners’ pensions, Peabody continues to pollute water in Black Mesa, and so much more, their CEOs hide in St. Louis, far from most of the communities whose health, water and way of life they are destroying.

In January, MORE, RAMPS, BMIS and members of the Black Mesa/Big Mountain communities are coming together for the 1st urban Winter Action Camp in St. Louis as yet another part of the growing national uprising against economic and resource extraction.

Build community organizing & direct action skills. Hold CEOs accountable. Grow a movement. Join the winter action camp. 

Apply here today, space is limited!

Continue reading

Tar Sands Blockade begins 8-person tree sit

24 Sep

Re-posted from Tar Sands Blockade

Eight people climbed 80 feet into trees in the path of Keystone XL construction, and pledged not to come down until the pipeline is stopped for good. Construction cannot proceed until tree-sitters descend and TransCanada clear-cuts through hundreds of trees to make way for the toxic tar sands pipeline.

The blockade is carefully organized to ensure that everyone sitting in the trees can remain safe as long as TransCanada does not attempt to continue clear-cutting the trees. These ardent advocates of landowner’s rights and climate justice have the safety equipment and food supplies to last indefinitely. Help spread this breaking story  on Facebook and Twitter.

“Today I climbed a tree in the path of Keystone XL to demand TransCanada stop construction of this dirty and dangerous pipeline. This pipeline is a disaster for everyone it touches, from the cancer tar sands extraction is causing indigenous communities, to the water poisoned by inevitable tar sands spills, to the landowners whose land has been seized, and to everyone that will be affected by climate change,” said Mary Washington, one of the Tar Sands Blockade members sitting in a tree.

Show your support for Mary and our seven other blockaders with a generous donation to help keep them supplied with food and water.

Read the full post at http://tarsandsblockade.org/tree-sit-launch/

Larry Gibson 1946 – 2012

9 Sep

Larry Gibson, long-time environmental activist, died of a heart attack Sunday, September 10, while working on Kayford Mountain, the family home in Raleigh County which he spent the last decades of his life protecting from the coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal.

Kayford was the site of Larry’s birth, the final resting place of 300 ancestors stretching back to the 18th century, and the site of Larry’s annual 4th of July festival celebrating life in the mountains. As part of his effort to preserve the mountains, Larry traveled across the country, to schools, churches and a wide range of public gatherings where he spread his simple gospel about the mountains:  Love em or leave em; just don’t destroy em.”

A private funeral is planned, and Larry’s family has requested that persons wishing to express condolences make donations to Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, which Larry founded in 2004 to support mountain communities.  A public memorial service will be announced at a later time.  Larry is survived by his wife, Carol, two sons Cameron and Larry, Jr. and his daughter, Victoria.  He was sixty-six years old.

http://mountainkeeper.blogspot.com/