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5 activists with Mountain Justice, Ramps Campaign and Rising Tide North America were arrested this morning while delivering a message to billionaire coal baron, Jim Justice: Clean Up Your Act, now! Today they’re being held in the Roanoke Jail, but you can help support these folks, this action, and any more that may come in the ongoing effort to hold coal barons accountable for the destruction of Appalachia, by donating now to the Mountain Justice legal defense fund.

Mountain Justice has worked for 10 years to support a diversity of tactics in the effort to stop the destruction of Appalachian communities, from petition drives to non-violent direct action. The MJ Legal Defense fund has, and will continue to offer support to anyone who’s freedom is put on the line in defense of mountains. This Fund is wholly supported by individual donations from people that know that every action can move the needle a little bit, and keeps us on the path to an end of mountaintop removal. 


Banner Suspended Above Downtown Roanoke, Calls On Billionaire To Clean Up His Act

     20140904_092658More Pictures below, and HD available upon request. Contact: Kim Ellis, (310) 560-2915 or Erin Mckelvy, (540) 808-6221

 

Updates:

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10:15 AM – Five activists arrested and taken away in association with the banner hang this morning. Waiting to hear their charges. Two fire trucks responded to the scene and have removed the banner.

 

Banner Suspended Above Downtown Roanoke, Calls On Billionaire To Clean Up His Act

National groups call on Jim Justice to pay for his plunder

Roanoke, VA – Early this morning members of Mountain Justice, Rising Tide North America and Radical Action for Mountain and People’s Survival (RAMPS) hung a banner, suspended between two downtown buildings on Jefferson street in Roanoke. The groups are acting in support of community demands in Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee that billionaire coal baron Jim Justice stop poisoning water, exposing communities to devastating mountaintop removal coal mining operations and leaving central Appalachia a public health disaster. The banner reads; “Jim Justice Profits, Appalachia Pays.” and “Jim Justice, Toxic Spill Billionaire”.

The activists hanging the banner are with Mountain Justice, a regional group committed to an end of Mountaintop Removal and a just economic transition for Appalachia. They are joined by RAMPS, based in West Virginia, and Rising Tide North America, an international network of grassroots groups focused on stopping climate change.

Erin Mckelvy, of Lee County Virginia and a member of Mountain Justice spoke to reporters on the scene, “ There’s a lot of people out of work across the coalfields today, in part because of the bad business planning done by people like Jim Justice. Justice has the means to properly clean up these sites, and we think Justice’s part in destroying Appalachia’s mountains needs to end yesterday. How much more does one person need? Appalachia needs a new path forward, and Jim Justice should join us, or get out of the way.”

D. Steele, with RAMPS in West Virginia said: “I’m taking this action today to keep the bright light shining on Jim Justice and the ways that his coal mining operations hurt communities. From damaged house foundations to poisoned streams, violated permits to unpaid workers, billionaire coal operator Jim Justice is making millions from the exploitation of Appalachia’s people, forests, and mountains. He needs to clean up his act now, and commit to giving back to the communities that have given him so much.”

Today’s action comes after weeks of bad news for the Justice Group and Roanoke-based Southern Coal. From $9.9 million in new bonding fees, and fines of over a million dollars in Kentucky, to cessation orders in Tennessee and bond forfeitures in Virginia, Justice’s corner-cutting practices across the region show that community concerns are grounded in reality. Mountain Justice and allies call on people to support the groups most impacted by Jim Justice, like the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards in Virginia, in their push to hold the billionaire responsible for the damage he’s caused.

Today’s action is part of a long tradition of non-violent civil disobedience addressing social justice and environmental issues. Like in the civil rights era and movements to stop the destruction of forests, oceans and the climate, regulatory and political solutions to stopping mountaintop removal have proven ineffective and people working to stop the destruction of Appalachia’s Mountains have taken the next logical step in confronting coal barons like Jim Justice.

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Mountain Justice is a regional Appalachian network committed to ending mountaintop removal.

 

Radical Action Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS) is a direct action group working to stop mountaintop removal in southern West Virginia

 

Rising Tide North America is an all-volunteer climate justice network working to confront the root causes of climate change.

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Activists Blocking Bristol Offices of Alpha Natural Resources

Update, 10:45 AM.

Eight Activists Arrested In Blockade of Alpha Natural Resources Corporate HQ

Three activists, demanding an end to mountaintop removal, block entrance to corporate office, stop business as usual, hang banner from flag pol

June 20, 2014 — Bristol, VA. Eight activists are currently in custody in Bristol after a two hours long blockade of Alpha’s HQ in Bristol, VA.  Two activists with Mountain Justice and Radical Action for Mountains and People’s Survival (RAMPS) spent the morning blocking entrance to the office. One hung with a banner from a flag pole, it read “Save Coal River Mountain” .  RAMPS and Mountain Justice took the action in protest of Alpha’s devastating practices of mountaintop removal coal mining. Specifically, the groups are protesting the opening of new mines on Coal River Mountain in Southern West Virginia.

 

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Activists Blockade Alpha Natural Resources

Three activists demanding an end to mountaintop removal, block entrance to corporate office, stop business as usual.

June 20, 2014 — Bristol, VA. Three activists with Mountain Justice and Radical Action for Mountains and People’s Survival (RAMPS) are currently stopping business as usual at Alpha Natural Resources headquarters in Bristol, VA, in protest of Alpha’s devastating practices of mountaintop removal coal mining. Activists were protesting the opening of new mines on Coal River Mountain in southern West Virginia. Two protestors are locked in front of the front doors of the office, while a third is hanging from a flag pole displaying a banner that reads “Save Coal River Mountain”

“That mountain is the mountain I learned to hunt on, it’s the mountain that’s sustained my family for generations.  I’ll be a dead man before I see them take what’s left up there,” said

Junior Walk, of West Virginia. Walk lives in the Coal River Valley, directly below Alpha operations on Coal River Mountain. Alpha recently began blasting on the 264 acre Collins Fork mine.  Local residents and activists have opposed surface mining on Coal River Mountain since the late 1990s.

“I am here today to demand an end to Alpha’s role in the destruction of Appalachia. While coal is exported and profits leave the region, the health effects remain in the communities,”  said Camilo Pereira, one of the protestors blocking the office. Two of the protesters in a lockbox at the front door of Alpha’s headquarters and blocked the entrance.

While coal production has decreased nationwide in the past years, coal exports are at an all-time high.  The overwhelming majority of coal extracted from Coal River Mountain is metallurgical coal used primarily to produce steel and is likely bound for export markets. Adam Hall, of Glen Daniel, WV, said, “As a country, we have made great strides against the dangers of coal fired power plants. However, new emission regulations will not stop Alpha from blowing up Coal River Mountain and endangering my home and family.”

More than 20 peer-reviewed studies demonstrate a connection between mountaintop removal coal mining operations and increased cases of lung and heart diseases, as well as increased birth defects, early mortality, and depression.

 

The RAMPS Campaign’s ongoing work against Alpha Natural Resources demands an end to Alpha’s mountaintop removal practices in Appalachia. Furthermore, RAMPS urges the company to re-employ miners for effective and thorough reclamation of retired and abandoned mine sites.
Photos of today’s protest can be found here when available: flickr.com/photos/mountainjusticephotos


Activists being held in police custody in Bristol, VA need your support!

This morning, eight activists with Mountain Justice and the RAMPS Campaign were arrested during a protest of Alpha Natural Resources, at their corporate headquarters in Bristol, VA. After a two hour blockade and high-flying redecoration of a flag pole, at least five people supporting the protest were arrested, in addition to the three committing civil disobedience by blocking the corporate office.

Alpha blockade

These eight people are being held by the Bristol Police, and we’re awaiting details of their condition, charges and bail amounts. We ask you to support the movement to end mountaintop removal, and to help save the few unblasted mountains left in our region, by donating to the Mountain Justice Legal Defense fund in support of today’s action.

Mountain Justice has worked for 10 years to support a diversity of tactics in the effort to stop the destruction of Appalachian communities, from petition drives to non-violent direct action. The MJ Legal Defense fund has, and will continue to offer support to anyone who’s freedom is put on the line in defense of mountains. This Fund is wholly supported by individual donations from people that know that every action can move the needle a little bit, and keeps us on the path to an end of mountaintop removal.

We wont stop until you do


Mountain Justice Summer Camp

10th Annual Mountain Justice Summer Camp, June 14-22 2014

At Wileys Last ResortSand bar compressed by Malcolm Wilson
on Pine Mountain near Whitesburg, Kentucky

→ Register Here

→ Directions

From the McDonalds in Whitesburg, head south on US 119 for 4 miles to the top of Pine Mountain.  Start down the mountain, and in the middle of a left-hand curve you will see the driveway for Wileys (with pink famingoes) on your left.  Park in the big gravel lot on the side of the highway.

 

 

2014 will be the 10th Annual Mountain Justice Summer Camp and we are excited to announce that we will be back on beautiful Pine Mountain in Kentucky at the wonderful and wacky place called Wileys Last Resort.

Pine Mountain (elev. 2900 ft) is one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse mountains in Appalachia, and it has numerous hiking trails, mountain views, wateralls, rare and endangered plant species, black bears and gorgeous forests.  The mountain laurel will be in bloom during our camp and there is an abundance of wildflowers on the mountain.

Our Mountain Justice Summer camp will feature nine days of workshops, trainings, learning about coal mining and mountaintop removal and Appalachian history and culture.  Our Summer Camp site overlooks a huge mountaintop removal mine on nearby Black Mountain.

Evenings will feature music, films, bonfires and dancing with mountain and traditional Appalachian music

Food is lovingly cooked by our dedicated crew – all meals and tent camping are included in your registration

Sliding scale, no one is turned away for lack of ability to pay

Please pre-register – about 150 people are expected to attend

Please do not bring your dog

You can bring cash or check and register at the gate, but we cannot accept credit cards at the gate

 

Register Here


MJ Fall Summit, Oct. 25 – 27, WV

Mountain Justice Fall Summit

Friday – Sunday Oct 25-27, 2013

Southern West Virginia

Register Here

Join us in West Virginia for an action-packed
weekend of workshops, trainings and action in the heart of the
Appalachian mountains.    You will learn about Appalachian culture and
history and the long tradition of resistance to strip mining and
mountaintop removal mining.  You will see mountaintop removal from the
top of Kayford Mountain, the beloved homeplace of the famous “Mountain
Keeper,” the late Larry Gibson. 

Larry died protecting his mountain from mountaintop removal – now
it’s up to us to keep defending his home.  At the Mountain Justice Fall
Summit you will meet residents of the Appalachian Mountains and the
Coal River Valley who are fighting to protect them, and the people who
are standing alongside them. 

We will teach you about non-violent civil disobedience and direct
action and how Mountain Justice and allied organizations are using
these tools to directly confront the coal companies who are blowing the
tops off America’s oldest mountains.  Mountain Justice is committed to
peaceful, non-violent resistance to mountaintop removal.

Everyone is welcome to attend.  Students from across America
will be there.  You do not have to be an expert on coal or energy issues
to participate – everyone who agrees to abide by Mountain Justice’s non-violence policy
and Mission Statement is welcome to attend the Mountain Justice Fall
Summit.  You will have the option whether to participate in a direct
action, or in a support role, or not.  There will also be several
opportunities to do community service work on Kayford Mountain and in
the local West Virginia communities impacted by mountaintop removal.

After the Fall Summit, participants will have the option
of remaining in the area for the following week for more in-depth
training, listening projects and other activities.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1407707029448939/

Registration fee for Mountain Justice Fall Summit
includes all food and activities for the weekend – lodging is tent
camping, so bring your own tent, sleeping bag, water bottle, sleeping
pad, camera, camping chair, warm clothes, etc.  You will need to provide
your own transportation and car-pooling is encouraged.

The Fall Summit begins with a dinner Friday night around 6:00 -
we will have a Youth Panel after dinner, followed by a screening of the
great documentary film about the mountaintop removal resistance movement
“On Coal River.”  There will be workshops all day Saturday, with live
Appalachian and folk music around the campfire Saturday night.  On
Sunday we will visit Kayford Mountain.


Hands Off Appalachia Fall Action Camp, Nov. 19 – 25

Three weeks after the Fall Summit, check out Hands Off Appalachia’s Fall Action Camp in Connecticut [UBS America's Headquarters] November 19-25.

HOA flyer

The camp will build organizing capacity and leadership skills among anti-extraction activists in the northeast. After all the hard work and learning, we’ll put our new skills into practice with a culminating action!

Expect a week of collaboration and workshops such as:

  • Non-violent direct action training
  • History of Appalachian resistance
  • Art in activism
  • Media training
  • and much more!
Register here: https://bitly.com/CampHOA
Support the camp by donating here:https://bitly.com/SupportCamp
 

Hands off Appalachia is an urban-based campaign that targets the funding of mountaintop removal.