This week in a West Virginia court, Judge Robert Burnside issued a preliminary injunction to block anti-Mountaintop Removal protests on certain Massey mining sites. He narrowed it from a previous ruling that stated it adjoined anyone associated with protesters (essentially the entire No Coal Movement) to only those actually named on the injunction and those acting in immediate concert or association with them. He also acknowledged the injunction only extends to Raleigh County, WV (his jurisdiction).
In the past few months, Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice have escalated direct action tactics on mining sites in an effort to stop mountaintop removal. Over Memorial Day weekend, 17 were arrested in three separate actions including two women charged with littering while floating a banner on a toxic sludge pond.
Mountaintop removal has destroyed almost 500 hundred mountains and buried thousands of miles of streams and rivers with debris. Blasts rock residents out of their homes. And the waste associated with coal poisons groundwater and leaves a dangerous toxic legacy.
Obama’s EPA recently approved 42 of 48 mountaintop removal permits as “environmentally responsible.”
The politicians are failing us on this issue and it’s time to say “Enough!”
Edward Abbey once said “At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoroeau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behavior.”
Next week, the Climate Ground Zero Peace Camp opens for business. The group is resurrecting a long abandoned former Girl Scout Camp on the Coal River near Rock Creek and have beautiful tent sites, a full kitchen and a swimming hole. Stay for a week, stay for a month. Please come and join the struggle to save the Appalachian Mountains.