16 arrested while attempting
to deliver demands to Massey
photo by Vivian Stockman with OHVEC
16 People were arrested for their participation in a peaceful
protest in Sundial, West Virginia today. Residents of the
Coal River Valley are fighting for the very lives of their
children, whose Elementary School is under attack from the
callous Mountaintop Removal mining operations of Massey Energy.
Coal dust from a coal prep plant only 150 feet from the school
enters through air intake vents, causing asthma and other
respiratory problems, and coating everything with a toxic
black powder. There are currently 228 students at Marsh Fork
Elementary School. One student reported that when it rained
a plastic covering was put over the drinking fountain so that
they did not drink from it, but nothing is being done to protect
these students from toxic air.
leaking coal sludge dam containing 2.8 Billion Gallons of
toxic waste-- laden with mercury,
cadmium, arsenic, and other toxins and heavy metals-- is only
400 yards from the elementary school and could burst at any
minute killing everyone in its path, and wreaking havoc for
hundreds of miles downstream.
more background information
Mine Workers Association songs about Massey being a bad
5 local residents, including parents and grandparents of
children attending the Elementary School solemnly crossed
a bridge onto Massey property, attempting to deliver a list
of demands to officials, and were arreseted. Then, waves of
supporters, in a beautiful act of solidarity, followed across
the bridge with the same list of demands.
River Valley residents' demands
- That Massey shut down the prep plant and cease its Mountaintop
Removal mining above the school Immediately;
- That Marsh Fork Elementary School be cleaned up or that
a safe, new school be built in their community;
- That Massey withdraw its application for the second coal
loading silo behind the school;
- That Massey stop blasting their homes because residents
have a right to be safe and secure;
- And that Massey shut down its surface mine sites and invest
in true sustainable energy.
These 2 photographs were taken by Bo Webb of CRMW
arrested were Amy Wendell, 30, Asheville, N.C.; Inez Gallimore,
82, Naoma; Patricia Feeney, 22, Chelsea, Ala.; Mary O'Farrell,
56, Charleston; Janice Nease, 68, Poca; Debra Jarrell, 46,
Rock Creek; Constance Sisk, 19, Naoma; Jordan Freeman, 21,
Naoma; Brian Bernhardt, 22, Annandale, Va.; Katie Clark, 20,
Annandale, Va.; Larry Gibson, 59, Dawes; Zach Noel, 22, Florida,
Mass.; Shane Andrews, no age available, Raleigh, N.C.; John
Johnson, 34, Knoxville, Tenn.; Abigail Singer, 25, Knoxville,
Tenn.; Robert Russo, 23, Asheville, N.C.
generous contribution is Urgently Needeed and Greatly Appreciated!
This is an urgent issue, because, as Ed Wiley,
grandfather of a Marsh Fork Elementary student explained,
"What Massey Energy is doing to these children and this
community is nothing short of terrorism. The kids live in
fear, but we shouldn't let Massey drive us out of our homeland.
We should have the same rights as any other American citizen."
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Energy owns Goals Coal Company, which operates a coal preparation
plant, loading silo, and coal sludge impoundment (essentially
a toxic waste storage facility) pointed directly at the K-5th
grade school. There is also a 1,849-acre strip and mountaintop
removal site directly above the sludge dam.
At the rally at the same site on Tuesday, May 24, two Coal
River Valley residents were arrested when they refused to
leave Massey premises. They had a list of demands to present
to the plant superintendent, but were refused admittance.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) held a public hearing Thursday, May 26, at
6:00 p.m. at the school in Sundial. At the hearing, the DEP
allowed the residents, many of whom were elderly and in poor
health, only two minutes each to voice their concerns over
the silo and also over the renewal of Massey's permit to operate
the waste facility, a 2.8 billion-gallon earthen dam whose
base is 400 yards from school grounds. Many participants in
the Mountain Justice campaign also spoke passionately
in support of the students and against the prep-plant and
sludge dam. Despite residents' earlier protests, in 2004 the
DEP approved Massey's permit to operate a 1,849-acre mountaintop
removal site around the waste facility above the school.
Mountain Justice (MJ) seeks to add to the growing
anti-MTR citizens movement. Specifically MJ demands an abolition
of MTR, steep slope strip mining and all other forms of surface
mining for coal. We want to protect the cultural and natural
heritage of the Appalachia coal fields. We want to contribute
with grassroots organizing, public education, nonviolent civil
disobedience and other forms of citizen action.
Historically coal companies have engaged in violence and
property destruction when faced with citizen opposition to
their activities. MJ is committed to nonviolence and will
not be engaged in property destruction
For more information, contact:
photos from Paul Nelson member of CRMW
unless otherwise named
Charleston Daily Mail (from the AP nationwide)
photo by Vivian Stockman with OHVEC
State Police arrest 16 at Massey site
WHITESVILLE, W.Va. (AP) -- State Police arrested 16 people
Tuesday and cited them for trespassing at Massey Energy's
Goals Coal processing facility.
The 16 were part of about 150 environmentalists protesting
at the plant, said Sgt. Wayne Vessels.
The group wants Massey to close the preparation plant, which
is adjacent to Marsh Fork Elementary School; clean up the
school or build a new one in their community; withdraw an
application for a second coal loading silo behind the school;
and halt blasting operations near their homes.
The protesters marched from the elementary school to the
plant and crossed onto Massey property.
"They were warned several times by the security guys
from the Massey headquarters. Of course, we had our guys there.
We asked them to please step back. They had a list of demands
to present. They went ahead and presented their list of demands,
and they refused to leave,'' Vessels said.
The 16 were handcuffed and taken to the Whitesville State
Police detachment, where they were given citations and released,
Vessels said. Vessels did not have a list of names, but said
one woman was 80 years old, one was from Alabama, another
from Tucson, Ariz., and some were local residents.
Among those 16 people was Debbie Jarrell, 46, of Rock Creek,
whose 10-year-old granddaughter attends the school. Jarrell
was concerned about Massey's plans to build the second silo
near the school.
"I don't understand how anyone in their right mind could
even bring that to the table, to think about being that close
to the kids,'' she said. "It looms over top of this elementary
school, and they're wanting another one.
"I want the kids to have a safe environment to learn
A Massey spokesperson did not immediately return a telephone
call seeking comment on Tuesday.
photos from Paul Nelson member
News-Standard (New York)
Mountaintop Removal Protests Continue
Jun 1 - For the second time in as many weeks, activists and
concerned citizens rallied yesterday outside a West Virginia
coal processing facility to protest the actions of a company
that conducts a highly profitable form of strip mining increasingly
recognized as being irrevocably damaging to the environment.
The protesters demanded that the company, Massey Energy,
cease operations at a facility near an elementary school in
Sundial, WV and either pay to clean the school grounds or
fund the construction of a new one.
Police estimated the crowd at around 150 people, sixteen
of whom they arrested for trespassing. Two people were arrested
at a similar protest last Tuesday.
The plant, called Goals Coal, processes, stores and handles
coal and coal sludge. Activists term it a "toxic waste
storage facility" and say they are committed to continuing
the protests until Massey and the state act to clean the area
and put an end to mountaintop removal mining operations near
the town. They are also seeking to halt plans for the construction
of a second storage silo on the same site
As many coal extraction companies in the Appalachian and
Ohio valleys do, Massey operates a nearby 1,849-acre mountaintop
removal strip mine. The mining technique is coming under increasing
scrutiny as environmentalists and scientists question the
environmental impact of removing large tracts of mountain
and forest to extract the minerals inside. The companies literally
raze the mountaintops and push the rubble into the nearby
valleys, often burying streams in the process. It is estimated
that 500 square miles of forested mountains have been denuded
permanently in the Ohio Valley area alone.
Headquartered in Richmond, VA, Massey Energy is the nation’s
fourth largest coal producing company, according to a corporate
© 2005 The NewStandard. See our reprint policy.
Posted 5/31/2005 05:19 PM
State police arrest more anti-mountain top removalprotestors
at a coal preparation plant in Raleigh County
Story by Jessica Quast Email
About 100 people gathered for a rally in front of MasseyEnergy's
Goal Coal Company this afternoon.
This is the second rally and the second time protestors were
arrested in front of the same plant in two weeks.
They say coal companies are stealing Appalachia... and they
want your attention to stop Mountain Top Removal.... And some
are prepared to march, protest, and yes even get arrested
for their cause.
The protestors want Massey to close the preparation plant
and clean up Marsh Fork Elementary school.
They also want Massey to stop blasting operations near their
In all 16 people were arrested for trespassing.
Some are people living in Marsh Fork and surrounding areas.
Others are members of Mountain Justice- a grassroot
group of young adults from the Appalachia region.
This was not a violent protest.
But members of MJ also say this will not be the last rally.
In fact, members tell me they plan to spend this summer making
waves... fighting to save the mountains.
To see more news coverage go to OHVEC
Insane Reporting on WWNR radio
We heard that WWNR News/Talk 620 radio talkshow host Steve
O'Brien said yesterday on air "That those people down
there fighting Massey at the MF school are just hoping the
dam will fail so we can say we were right".
Here's the info to tell him what you think of him. Jay Quesenberry
is the General Manager at this station and his email is
firstname.lastname@example.org and the phone number is 304-461-9250.
Feel free to email or call and voice your opinion about how
insulting and misinformed this jerk radio host was yesterday.
Click here to see more actions.