Strip Mining Appalachia’s History

By scott parkin

We’re starting hear rumblings that Arch Coal might be preparing to begin mountaintop removal coal mining operations on historic Blair Mountain. Blair Mountain is the site of the second largest armed insurrection in U.S. history (after the civil war.) In 1921, 10,000 miners fought an army of coal company thugs on Blair Mountain who were trying stop union organizing campaigns in Logan and Mingo counties.

via the New York Times

According to a press release put out by the Sierra Club and the Friends of Blair Mountain:

“Residents of Blair, West Virginia have noticed increased activity from mining company Arch Coal around the historic Blair Mountain Battlefield site. Members of the town have become more and more concerned about Arch’s activities and fear they are moving forward with plans to mine the Blair Battlefield site. There have been reports of proposed buy outs of resident’s property, increasing industrial activity in the area and other preparations indicative of a move towards mining operations on the battlefield itself.”

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a groundswell of opposition to mountaintop removal that has ranged from legal and legislative fights to activists taking to the trees in southern West Virginia to stop mining operations.

But the energy and momentum of feisty activists seems to have grown in past years as well. Last year, thousands marched and rallied in defense of Blair Mountain, another tree sit went up on Coal River Mountain, Arch was targeted at last summer’s climate convergence in St. Louis and community organizing has sprung up around Blair.

This is a fight we won’t be backing down from.

In other words “Occupy Arch Coal.”