Appalachia Needs You! Join Mountain Justice May 20th-27th

By scott parkin

Dragline actionLast Saturday at Powershift 2011, climate activist Tim DeChristopher challenged the climate movement to join Appalachian groups in their campaign to stop mountaintop removal. He called for waves of activists, young and old, to occupy mountaintop removal mine sites and create a crisis for the coal industry and for political administrations that allow mountaintop removal to continue.

This fight is happening in the hills and hollers of Appalachia.

For five years, Mountain Justice has built an infrastructure to fight mountaintop removal in Appalachia with training camps, campaign houses and long term campaigns aimed at shutting down the coal industry’s economic grip on the region.  On May 20-27, Mountain Justice is hosting their annual camp to continue to build this movement. If you want to take action and shut down the oppressive coal industry, join them in Letcher, KY.

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Here’s the full announcement and details from Mountain Justice:

Mountain Justice training camp 2011!
Letcher County, Kentucky
May 20th – 27th

Registration will be open soon!

As the campaign to stop mountaintop removal gains national awareness, we have more and more opportunities for folks to help out. We’ve got a job for every interest, skill set and time commitment! We invite you to spend the summer working in Appalachia with one of our ally groups or to work with us in your hometown throughout the year!

Mountain Justice training camp is an opportunity for veteran and novice activists to build the skills and vision needed to abolish mountaintop removal and build vibrant, healthy, self-reliant communities. We ask that you attend camp with the intention of using these skills either working with allies in Appalachia or working on this issue in your hometown. The registration process will help you develop a plan for how you will use this training. Training camp is a time for training, strategizing, bonding, service and action for people living both within and outside of the Appalachia, for people of all sex and genders, for people of all races, for youth and elders, and anyone in between.

Realizing that we ought to model independence from coal, camp will be off the grid this year!

We’re so excited to be off the grid, but for Mountain Justice, a sustainable community is more than some solar panels and rainwater barrels. It’s about the people that defend what they love, the people who work to create sustainable communities, and the nourishing relationships between them. Our focus on sustainability will mean building a strong and diverse organizing community that works on both resistance and solutions.

Trainings and Discussions

This year camp will feature themed training days. Themes will include, Community Organizing, Non-Violent Direct Action, Science and SMCRA, and Alternative Economies. Check back for more information about the schedule.  Some workshops being covered will include:

  • community organizing
  • air and water monitoring
  • administrative and legal avenues to stop MTR
  • media work
  • direct action and civil resistance
  • alternative economies
  • sustainable livelihoods
  • and a lot more!

Trainings will be collaborative as possible, so come open minded and willing to actively participate. If you want to facilitate a workshop, please let us know! Our hope is to continue to build a broad community to sustain, guide and nourish us as we all continue working to abolish surface mining and rebuild economically self-sufficient communities in Appalachia.

No community is sustainable without fun, dancing, bonfires and Appalachian mountain music! So bring your instruments, dancing shoes and high spirits, we’ll be celebrating the ways of life we’re fighting to preserve!

Join Us for a Summer of Mountain Justice