FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2008
THE BLOG OF THE RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK

Mountain Justice Summer Convenes in Harlan County USA

I am sure others will post more in greater detail, with pics, video and written reportbacks, but I just spent the past few days in Harlan, Kentucky with 200+ climate activists and organizers (youth, elders and those of us in the middle). Harlan is located in the Appalachian mountains. In the 1930's, it was known as "Bloody Harlan" for the struggle of miners to get union contracts. It was the subject of the documentary "Harlan County USA" about more labor struggles in the 1970's. It is also the home to the highest peak in Kentucky, Black Mountain, which is currently being strip-mined. Yes, strip mined. Kind of fitting that this year's summer camp kicked off here. It was a fantastic camp! So many people wanting to do work around mountaintop removal, strip mining and the current wave of proposed coal fired powerplants. Mountain Justice Summer focuses on stopping mountaintop removal and strip mining using a variety of tactics including grassroots organizing, listening projects and non-violent direct action. MJS activists will spend the summer working in Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio (amongst others) on coal issues. Over the past few years, I have seen members of the youth climate movement join frontline communities in these camps and through campaign work (all over the country) in trying to end mountaintop removal and proliferation of coal fired power (clean or otherwise). It is great to be part of this growing evolving movement.

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