Today, three different acts of civil disobedience confronted mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia, all under the banner of Mountain Justice. Six people locked themselves down to mining equipment on Kayford Mountain, bringing operations to a halt for hours. Two people kayaked out onto the Brushy Fork Coal Slurry Impoundment and proudly displayed a “No More Sludge” banner. (this is, by the way, the tallest dam in the western hemisphere, and it holds back 9 billion gallons of coal toxin concentrate. You see, to “clean” coal, they wash out the toxins and dump them in giant toxic lakes poised above towns, and then act surprised when they fail and destroy towns.)
Then, this afternoon, people went out to Pettus, West Virginia and engaged in a symbolic line crossing, marching boldly off to arrest for trespassing. When this dam bursts, the coal sludge will be almost 20 feet high as far away as 28 miles down the road. Conservative estimates from Massey Coal themselves say that 998 people at least will die if it the dam fails. Oh, did I mention they’re about to start blasting away Coal River Mountain as close as 100 feet away from the dam?
So these people were all arrested, and they’ve been treated unprecedentedly harshly. 9 of them (include the line-crossers) are being held on 2000 cash bail… what this means is that they will not accept bond, they will not accept checks. They will only accept cash, for all 9 of these folks.
So people are trying to raise bail. Please help. Jail sucks. Mountaintop removal sucks.