Pages tagged "civildisobedience"


Divestment Movement Escalates

This week, the national fossil fuel divestment movement escalated, as student blockades popped up at Harvard and Washington University in St. Louis. By the end of the week, 8 students had been arrested across the two campuses, the first arrests since the fossil fuel divestment campaign launched nearly two years ago.

Harvard 1The skirmish at Harvard touched off Wednesday, where students organized as Divest Harvard have been pushing the university to get rid of  the oil, gas, and coal holdings in its $33 billion endowment. Harvard’s president, Drew Faust, has dug in against Divest Harvard’s demands, even denying that the fossil fuel industry is blocking meaningful action to address climate change.  Facing an administration that refuses to distance itself from the fossil fuel corporations driving climate crisis, Divest Harvard launched a blockade of President Faust’s office that lasted more than 24 hours. On Thursday morning, Harvard University police arrested undergraduate Brett Roche -- the first arrest in the national divestment movement. Roche’s arrest marks an increasingly hardline response from Harvard’s administrators, as the university demonstrates a willingness to use police force to defend investment in fossil fuel corporations.

Brett Roche may have been the first divestment activist arrested on campus this week, but he certainly wasn’t the last. This morning, Washington University in St. Louis joined Harvard in infamy: seven students were arrested as they attempted to deliver a letter to the university’s board of trustees. Just days before, WashU Students Against Peabody ended a historic 17-day sit-in which demanded that Greg Boyce, notorious CEO of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company, be removed from the university’s board. During negotiations, Washington University chancellor Mark Wrighton flatly refused to respond to students demands. When asked to exercise leadership, he replied “I can, but I won’t.” Faced with an administration content to cozy up to fossil fuel interests, more than 100 students staged a peaceful sat-in outside Washington University’s board meeting under the watchful eyes of police, some of whom carried shields and riot gear. When a delegation of students attempted to enter the building to deliver a letter to Washington University’s board, they were arrested. All seven were charged with trespassing on their own campus.

wustlThe implications of this week of action are both scary and heartening. Novelist Margaret Atwood spoke to the scary, criticizing the administration's response as she received an award at Harvard yesterday: “Any society where arrest is preferable to open dialogue is a scary place.” Indeed, university administrators at both Harvard and Washington University appear to be so committed to the fossil fuel industry that they'll arrest their own students for speaking out.

On the hopeful side, the student divestment movement is finding its power. After two years of power-building and by-the-book advocacy, campus climate activists are proving that they have the courage to stand up to their administrators and the fossil fuel industry. Earlier in the school year, students at Harvard, Washington University, and dozens of other campuses worked with Rainforest Action Network to disrupt campus recruitment sessions organized by Bank of America and Citi, two of the largest financiers of the U.S. coal industry. Those actions, and the arrests this week, point to a rising tide of resistance that won’t be cowed by police response. A longer, deeper struggle is opening on campuses across the country, and administrators at the more than 300 universities with active divestment campaigns need to know that their chickens are coming home to roost. It's time to divest or expect resistance.

To support the Washington University in St. Louis students arrested this morning, call Chancellor Mark Wrighton at (314) 935-5100.

Tell him universities are for students, not for coal CEOs. Washington University needs to drop Peabody Energy so the school can get back to educating students, not arresting them.


The Keystone XL Resistance Training Tour Returns

We’re not sitting idly, waiting for President Obama to decide whether to approve or reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This weekend, more than 300 people are expected to turn out to build the network of tens of thousands of pipeline resisters—people ready to stage non-violent civil disobedience actions in their home towns to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and the disastrous effects of more tar sands development. RAN’s crew of all star trainers are lined up to host the two day workshops in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Austin this weekend, and will carry on next weekend in Ann Arbor, DC, Los Angeles and New York City. If your interested, its not too late to sign up and get trained! [caption id="attachment_23582" align="alignnone" width="500"]A previous Pledge of Resistance training in Portland, OR. A previous Pledge of Resistance training in Portland, OR.[/caption] People who attend will walk away with all the tools they need -- including a robust support structure of coaches and media support -- to coordinate protests with our Pledge of Resistance network. They’ll then go out and train thousands of others prepared to risk arrest to stop Keystone XL. Already 100 direct actions are planned across the country, forming a wave of civil disobedience actions to make clear to President Obama that the American people do not want this tar sands pipeline and will do whatever it takes to stop it. We are standing on a climate precipice with the looming decision on the Keystone XL that’s edging toward the President’s desk. What we know for sure is that whether or not we are victorious in stopping the approval of the northern leg of this pipeline—the missing link for big oil to expand Alberta oil sands extraction—this is the right fight. And with nearly 100,000 people committed to risk arrest if necessary in cities and towns across the country, the climate movement is spreading it’s wings.

Hundreds Protest Keystone XL In Philly, 29 Arrested - Story In Photos

While the formal public comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline came to a close last Friday (with more than two million comments against the pipeline!), KXL opponents in Philadelphia today turned from words to actions. They said no to the pipeline by putting their bodies on the line. More than one hundred protesters marched to the William J. Green Federal Building where waves of protesters proceeded to block entrances to the federal building for four hours. 29 participants were arrested disrupting business as usual and making sure the Obama Administration could not ignore their message: the President would betray both his promise and his commitment to battling climate change if he caves to Big Oil and approves the pipeline. The protesters, many affiliated with Earth Quaker Action Team, brought brooms and banner to announce it is finally time for the government to sweep away its corrupt collusion with Big Oil. It sure was a beautiful site. Show your support for these awesome protestors by pledging to participate in non-violent civil disobedience, if necessary, to stop Keystone XL! Check out how the action unfolded from the best tweets of the day:                       And the second wave begins!          

Opponents Offer Fierce Resistance to Tar Sands, Enbridge and Keystone XL

[caption id="attachment_23108" align="alignleft" width="300"]Megaloads Picture via Portland Rising Tide[/caption] Don’t fool yourselves: Big Oil and Big Oil-friendly politicians aren't giving up on tar sands or any other dirty fossil fuels. The only thing that's gonna stop the tar sands and these pipelines is us. In 2011, we were all galvanized by the Tar Sands Action to draw a line in the sands on Keystone XL and the tar sands.  Over 1200 of us sent Obama a message to reject the Keystone pipeline’s permits with a sit-in at the White House. The action subsequently propelled the pipeline into a national issue. In 2012, we were inspired by the courage of the folks behind Tar Sands Blockade, who put their bodies and freedom on the line with tree blockades and lockdowns inside the Keystone XL pipeline itself. Dozens were arrested in the campaign to stop the southern leg of Keystone XL. Many were brutalized by police, charged with felonies, and faced civil litigation at the hands of Canadian oil giant TransCanada. Now with an ever-expanding web of pipelines and refinery upgrades to drain the Alberta tar sands, the stakes are only getting higher. The Keystone XL pipeline, the Enbridge pipeline, the Energy East pipeline, and dozens of other related projects are quickly becoming the new fronts against devastating fossil fuel extraction and climate change. They are being met with fierce opposition. Oglala Sioux In South Dakota, referring to Keystone XL as the “black snake pipeline,” the Oglala Sioux nation and its allies have committed to stopping the pipeline’s construction on their territory if Obama approves the project. In response to the US State Department’s recently released environmental report, Oglala Sioux president Bryan Brewer, along with organizations Honour the Earth, Owe Aku, and Protect the Sacred, released a statement declaring they will stand with the Lakota people to block the pipeline. While organizers have said they want to keep their strategy a secret, they’re considering everything from vigils to civil disobedience to blockades to thwart the moving of construction equipment and the delivery of materials. Moccasins on the Ground, an Indigenous-led direct action training group, has laid the groundwork for the past two years with non-violent direct action trainings in these communities. “We’re going to do everything we possibly can,” said Greg Grey Cloud of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Grey Cloud said tribes are considering setting up encampments to follow the construction, but he stressed that any actions would be peaceful. This past weekend, the Oglala Sioux sponsored a two-day strategy conference and training session in Rapid City, called “Help Save Mother Earth from the Keystone Pipeline.” Megaloads Since 2010, oil companies like Exxon have transported massive pieces of oil refining equipment from South Korea to Portland, OR via ship. They then send them up the Snake and Columbia Rivers by barge to different ports in Oregon and Idaho. After that, they truck them, via huge house-sized trucks known as “megaloads,” to Alberta over Oregon, Idaho and Montana’s scenic highways and byways. The oil industry has used every trick and loophole in the book to move that equipment and build out their infrastructure in Alberta. Residents have responded not just with pressure on regulatory agencies and lawsuits, but also with nonviolent direct action. Since 2011, activists led by Indigenous organizations and Rising Tide chapters in Idaho, Washington, Montana and Oregon have led a campaign to block the tar sands megaloads on the back roads of the Pacific Northwest. In December, Oregon activists successfully blocked megaloads for multiple nights. More megaloads are scheduled for delivery and more actions are planned throughout the region. MICATS Last summer, the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands, or MICATS, took a courageous stand against tar sands oil in Michigan. Over twenty activists were detained while shutting down the construction of Enbridge's line 6B tar sands pipeline.  Three of them—Vicci Hamlin, Lisa Leggio and Barbara Carter, a.k.a. the MICATS 3—locked themselves to machinery to augment the occupation. Last month, after a brief trial, these three women were convicted of felonies for their actions. Immediately after their conviction, Judge William Collette revoked their bond and had them returned to custody until sentencing on March 5th. They are facing up to three years in prison for peaceful actions protecting their community and their world. The prosecution and conviction of the MICATS 3 highlights the lengths that oil companies and its allies will go to silence any dissent. The MICATS 3's potential jail time highlights the determination of climate and anti-extraction activists to stop the destruction. In 2011, Wild Idaho Rising Tide put out this call to action: “Keep up your creativity and resolve under pressure, dear comrades! Allies elsewhere, we are under escalating siege and need you by our sides, either physically or fiscally.” The words still ring true. Whether Michigan, South Dakota, or Idaho, the fight against tar sands infrastructure is only escalating and it needs all of us. If you want to get involved and don't live near any of these infrastructure projects, then sign the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance and find an action near you. Over 76,000 have pledged to put their bodies on the line to stop Keystone XL and our voices are only getting louder.

Occupy Oakland: RAN Deplores Violence — But Come On Media, Get It Right

Most of RAN’s staff joined the call from Occupy Oakland for the general strike yesterday. We had an energizing and inspiring time marching in the streets in solidarity with the emerging Occupy movement. We were there, we took part, and we are against any violence. But the issue galling many of us today is how the mainstream media corporations are once again playing up minor property destruction as “violence” and ignoring the historic nature of what happened yesterday. [caption id="attachment_16639" align="alignleft" width="302" caption="RAN Banner at Occupy Oakland, Nov. 2, 2011"]RAN Banner at Occupy Oakland, Nov. 2, 2011[/caption] The mainstream coverage of the Occupy Oakland demonstrations has been, by and large, so shallow and narrowly focused it is outrageous. Last night’s shut down of the Port of Oakland left many of us with a deep sense of optimism and inspiration from participating in a collective action with tens of thousands of people from all walks of life — young and old, black and white, Teamsters and Longshoreman, anarchists and hipsters — people from across all divisions of class and identity, gathering peacefully to express a deep dissatisfaction of the status quo with a firm and remarkably unified voice. It was an amazing experience. It was electric and it was vast — the numbers being reported by the press are wildly low. I saw it with my own eyes. That a couple dozen yahoos got excited and burned some trash cans after the day of marching was over is annoying, and their actions are counterproductive and devoid of strategy, but the fact that the national media across the board fetishized this minor property destruction to the point where it eclipsed the historic nature of what happened yesterday has many of us incensed. Not surprised, though, because this kind of rote sensationalism is Big Media’s standard MO, and it makes me mad as hell. It also makes me want to call on this new movement to begin to target these corporate media giants alongside the other corporations undermining our democracy. The editors of these outlets are far more dangerous than the few amped-up kids in the streets who threw some water bottles at cops after midnight. [caption id="attachment_16631" align="alignright" width="249" caption="RAN's Robin Averbeck and Hillary Lehr at Occupy Oakland March"]Ran Staffers at Occupy March[/caption] When the media systematically makes its headlines of our mass gatherings out of side stories about the antics of a few, they irresponsibly elevate the actions of a tiny percentage into the public perception of the whole. Every time they parrot the same predictable bullshit about “protestors turning violent” while failing to meaningfully communicate the larger context or the momentous nature of the moment, they are doing a disservice to us all. Eventually, we are going to need to start calling them out for it in a big way.

This Week In DC, The Outcry For Climate Solutions Has Become An Uproar

Last fall, Bill McKibben, Phil Radford and I issued a letter calling on people of conscience to take direct action to amplify the demands of the climate movement. Of course, we were far from the only people making that call — the outcry for solutions to the climate catastrophe looming over us has been loud and clear for years. But what I’m witnessing in DC right now is on a different level altogether: The outcry has become an uproar. In mid-June, when 350.org and RAN started organizing what would become the Tar Sands Action at the White House, I thought it would be an important act of protest. But this has become something much more. It is the largest act of civil disobedience on the environment this generation has ever seen and a pivotal moment for the U.S. on climate change.
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Today I spoke to a woman named Julie, a landowner from Nebraska who is the last person in her county to refuse to sign over her land for the pipeline. She’s never been to a protest, much less been arrested. But she told me that she just had to come because the stakes are so high. Likewise Eleanor, a landowner from Texas, who said defiantly: “I am much more worried about the Keystone Pipeline and the damage it could do to our climate than I am about my children being left with a deficit.” By some estimates, as many as two-thirds of the folks who have been arrested since the sit-ins began two weeks ago have never participated in anything like this — and yet they gave up their own time and spent their own money to voice their opposition to Keystone XL and tar sands oil. This is what a movement looks like. The movement to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has become symbolic of our struggle to avert climate catastrophe, and it’s breaking through and gaining momentum. Here's how we know that the tide is turning:
  • This week has seen the biggest days yet of the "Tar Sands Action" civil disobedience in DC. So far, over 800 people have been arrested in DC (including actress and nature lover Darryl Hannah, who was arrested on Tuesday along with RAN board members Randy Hayes and Jodie Evans). Over 130 were sitting in today.
  • Keystone XL is getting a ton of media coverage: It has been a top item on Google News for the past several days, and the issue has been featured in front page articles by The New York Times and The Huffington Post. It has also received great coverage from CNN, ABC, Al Jazeera, Reuters, and more.
  • Along with our partners, we've collected hundreds of thousands of signatures on a petition that we'll be delivering to the White House on September 3rd. If you haven't signed and shared it, please do so today.
  • In the last few weeks, the tar sands protests have united the leaders of groups as diverse as Greenpeace and the Environmental Defense Fund. A few days ago, the leaders of the top environmental groups in the country all joined together in a letter to the President in which we told him that “there is not an inch of daylight between our policy position on the Keystone XL pipeline, and those of the protesters being arrested daily outside the White House.” I have never seen this kind of unity in the climate movement.
I think we can get loud enough to stop the Keystone pipeline and build the momentum necessary to make a difference on climate — but we need each and every one of you. If you can’t make it to the White House tomorrow or Saturday, the last day of this first Tar Sands Action, you can still be part of the uproar by signing the petition to President Obama now. You can also be sure that we will be back here again if Obama doesn’t deny the Keystone Pipeline permit, and you can join us then. We’ll keep you posted. Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline is an essential part of transitioning this country off fossil fuels. American citizens are voting for green energy with their dollars in increasing numbers. This month, California-based Sungevity sold 2MW of solar systems. To put that in perspective, ten years ago the entire State of California had just 10MW installed. Total. The clean energy revolution is underway — now we need our government to do its part. With these protests, the Keystone XL pipeline has become the current symbol, the line-in-the-sand for the climate movement. If we stand on that line together, and succeed, I believe it will have ripple effects across our entire struggle.

Mickey and Minnie Protest Disney Rainforest Destruction at Company HQ

UPDATE: On October 11, 2012, Disney announced a comprehensive paper policy that maximizes its use of environmentally superior papers like recycled and eliminates controversial sources like those connected to Indonesian rainforest destruction. For more info, visit www.ran.org/disney. Early this morning, two activists supporting Rainforest Action Network unfurled a 35 foot banner across The Walt Disney Company’s two-story entrance arch that reads “Disney: Destroying Indonesia’s Rainforests.” Beneath them, Mickey and Minnie Mouse locked down to the main entrance gates to the company’s Burbank headquarters—blockading Disney’s executives from arriving to work through the main gates. Please support these brave activists by taking action today. Tell Disney CEO Robert Iger that rainforest destruction is no fairy tale. Disney: Destroying Indonesian Rainforests Indonesia’s rainforests are some of the most biologically diverse in the world and they are being destroyed at a rate of 200,000 to 400,000 acres per month. The pulp and paper industry is a primary cause of this reckless deforestation. Most of top U.S. publishers of children's books have taken strong steps to protect their supply chains from controversial Indonesian fiber, but Disney, the largest publisher of kids’ books in the world, has refused to take action. This bold action sends a loud message to Disney’s top executives that it is unacceptable for them to continue to drag their feet when they have known for over a year that paper in Disney’s children’s books has been proven to be connected to rainforest destruction and species extinction in Indonesia. For more on Disney's involvement go to ran.org/disney. Rainforest Action Network is asking The Walt Disney Company to eliminate its use of controversial Indonesian fiber and publicly sever all financial ties with APP and APRIL and their affiliates until key reforms are adopted. RAN is also asking Disney to implement a comprehensive company-wide paper policy and rigorous due diligence procedures that ensure it is rainforest safe. To follow @RANActions and @TheRightPaper on Twitter for up-to-the-minute reports on today's action. UPDATE: 9am pst. A swarm of police officers and fire trucks arrived at the Disney headquarters this morning and arrested Mickey and Minnie Mouse, using bolt cutters to break through the chains attaching them to the entrance gates. Above, a fire truck raised its ladder to cut down the banner and arrest the two climbers attached to the two story arch. The arrested activists were Christopher Toomey, Jennifer Binstock, Blake Hodges and Alexis Dickason-Soto, all residents of the Los Angeles area. The activists are in the custody of the Burbank Police and charges are pending. Though the protest lasted just short of an hour, this was time enough for helicopter and satellite news trucks to arrive and record the colorful scene.

Why Going to Jail for Climate Justice Is More Than a Responsibility: A Closer Look at Our Movement’s Tactics

This is a guest post by Peter Hoy of Chicago, IL. It originally appeared on WeArePowershift.org.
Si al pueblo, no al carbon.Washington, D.C., for better or worse, always feels like a losing battle. I am educated enough to know that our politics are polluted by corporate money. I have lobbied enough to know that even congressional allies will say the political climate “isn’t right” for climate legislation. I have even been arrested enough to know that 100 people committing civil disobedience in front of the White House isn’t enough to move leaders on a moral issue. So what gives? Though I am often discouraged by my time in D.C., I still made the trek to Power Shift 2011, if only to meet with other youth equally confused about the direction of our movement. It is clear to me, at least on the national political stage, that we are not winning. The EPA is under attack, climate legislation is off the agenda until 2013, and mountaintop removal mining is still legal in the U.S. court of law. So we have a lot to reflect on as a movement. I went to Power Shift not with any definitive strategies or answers, but with many questions about what’s next for young people willing to dedicate their lives to confronting the climate crisis.  The main question that guided me throughout the weekend was this: In the face of all these challenges, how can I be most effective? I spent some time in the Clean Economy Track, where I have a personal connection with Grand Aspirations, a youth-led organization that is building the clean economy from the ground up. I am one of three Chicago Program Leaders for the Summer of Solutions, a Grand Aspirations leadership-training program running in 15 cities this summer. Solution-based work like this is a major component of my answer to the question of how to be most effective. We need to draw the line in the sand as a movement and say “no” to the polluters, but we also need to offer our society the “yeses” that build the clean and just future we are demanding. The Summer of Solutions is just one of several summer programs that are offering those “yeses.” Still, there is a need to say “no.” If the Summer of Solutions and other programs like it were to end U.S. consumption of fossil fuels today, we would still have the problem of dirty energy exports, which are growing in volume from U.S. extractors. But the fact of the matter is we continue to burn coal, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel fuels in power plants and vehicles all around this country and in alarming quantities. And everywhere these fuels burn, there are communities absorbing the negative effects of toxic pollution. So, before our solution-based organizing gets to the point of displacing these dirty energy sources, there is a need for communities and solidarity organizers to stand up to the pollution wrought by the fossil fuel industry. If we don’t say “no” now, we accept the exploitation of people and whole communities in exchange for convenience and profit. Is this a world we would be proud to leave our grandchildren? Not satisfied solely by solution-based work, I returned to Chicago to take action against two of the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the United States. On April 20th, as a part of Rising Tide North America’s Day of Action Against Extraction, I joined five other Chicagoans in unfurling a banner on top of a coal pile at the Crawford Generation Station in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. We carried a message penned by the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, which read “Close Chicago’s Toxic Coal Plants.” A rally attended by local residents and allies took place on the street side of the fence where another banner reading “Si al pueblo, No al carbon” was prominently displayed (the English translation is “Yes to the people, no to coal”).

Activst getting arrested at coal plant in Chicago

Six of us went to jail that day to draw attention to a local injustice. We have put the company on notice and after packing the lobby of City Hall for a hearing on the issue the next day, it is clear that we won’t back down. But what is next for our movement? Will we continue to push our tactics and speak LOUDER until we are heard? Or will we allow ourselves to be silenced by the corporate pollution of our politics and the fear of going to jail for speaking the truth? This post is intentionally left open ended for greater discussion. What are the tactics that will allow us to win? We can’t raise billions of dollars to influence Capitol Hill, so how do we level the playing field? I think our movement needs to take a close look in the mirror and consider how we respond to a political process mired in inequitable access and influence. So I ask, in the face of all these challenges, how will YOU be most effective?

Kentucky Has Risen!

[caption id="attachment_11546" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Click image for more pics from the KFTC Flickr."]Kentucky Rising image via KFTC's Flickr Page[/caption] “Mountaintop removal is an act of aggression. Civil disobedience is an act of love." – Terry Tempest Williams A mountaintop insurrection is underway in Kentucky, and it's got be on Gov. Steve Beshear's mind this week. As we contemplate Gandhi's adage, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win," it's painfully obvious that the governor is trying to ignore the Appalachian uprising unfolding in his backyard this election year. He's seen how the insurrection in West Virginia has turned mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining into a national issue and pulled Big Coal out from under their safe little rock, and he evidently wants no part of it. This morning after a four-day occupation of the governor's office in Frankfort, 14 Kentucky anti-MTR activists emerged victoriously from the state capitol to join a crowd of well over a thousand people at the annual "I Love Mountains" march and protest. Kentucky Rising was a group comprised of writers, academics, a film-maker, a retired coal miner, a nurse practitioner who treats miners, community organizers, a graduate student, and others who'd staged a sit-in demanding an end to mountaintop removal. The group refused to leave Beshear's office after he'd expressed his die-hard support for the coal industry and MTR. Author Wendell Berry participated in the sit-in and said: “We came because the land, its forests, and its streams are being destroyed by the surface mining of coal, because the people are suffering intolerable harms to their homes, their health, and their communities." Kentucky Rising garnered international support from Argentina, Germany and Canada, as well as from a host of renowned writers including Bill McKibben, Michael Pollan, Terry Tempest Williams and Naomi Klein, and other Appalachian communities in West Virginia, Tennessee and Virginia. Beshear told his security team to "let them stay as long as they want." But he can't ignore Kentucky Rising forever, and I have a feeling that this sit-in is just the beginning for a growing, ferocious movement in Kentucky to end MTR. Kentuckians and Appalachians will be back again and again through ridicule and struggle to abolish mountaintop removal. The governor had better buckle his seat belt because it is going to be a bumpy ride.

Philadelphia activists rally & risk arrest to tell the EPA no more MTR

Philly EPA Considering 16 New Mining Permits This morning activists in Philadelphia descended upon their Regional EPA branch to put an end to Mountaintop Removal mining (MTR). Decisions made here in Philly have devastating consequences for Appalachian communities and our country as a whole. Activists prepared to enter the building and risk arrest by sitting-in until they were granted a meeting with officials inside, and after a successful engagement and demands met, the rally of 40 people exited. In recent months, the EPA has wavered in their position on mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR); in particular with the recent approval of the high profile Hobet 45 Mine permit. Philadelphia’s EPA has oversight of MTR permits for Virginia and West Virginia, which includes the Hobet 45 Mine. Philadelphia’s Region 3 EPA is considering 16 upcoming MTR permits and is responsible for the enforcement of the Clean Water Protection Act at existing MTR sites, which makes it a critical agent in ending the mining practice. This has become a national issue. Appalachians can’t wait any longer, and Philadelphia activists met this urgency with action. Meanwhile, there is a simultaneous rally at EPA’s region 4 in Atlanta GA, also responsible for MTR permitting. Every day, across Appalachia, the coal industry literally blows the tops off of historic mountains, impoverishing communities, poisoning drinking water, clear-cutting entire forests, wiping out the natural habitats of countless animals, and sacrificing the heritage and the health of families across the region. The EPA estimates that more than a million acres of American mountains across Appalachia have already been lost to MTR, and yet they allow it to continue. More than 2000 miles of rivers and streams have been buried and contaminated by ‘fill’ waste from Mountaintop removal mines. In streams rainwater seeps over rocks that had previously been far underground, which release toxic metals that kill life in streams and cause health problems for people who drink the water. The EPA can intervene and must intervene – not in a month, not in a week, but now. Most Americans oppose mountaintop removal coal mining. its time to ban this devastating coal mining practice, and to transition to energy that is clean, safe and forever – and to generate good clean jobs for Appalachia. As the movement to stop coal continues to grow in the U.S. we are on the verge of ending MTR. Please help.

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