$100,000 bail set for civil disobedients in West Virginia

Mountaintop removal is probably the single biggest act of hubris committed by humanity against the earth that I can think of. They blow up mountains and dump everything but the scraps of goal they can find into nearby valleys, destroying everything. There’s a committed grassroots coalition fighting tooth and nail against this, and those who speak out against the coal companies in West Virginia routinely have their lives threatened, their dogs shot, etc. etc.

One group, Climate Ground Zero, uses non-violent direct action to confront the mining and the mining companies… things like treesits, blockades, mass trespassing, etc.

Yesterday, two civil disobedients blockaded the entrance to Massey Energy, one of those rare genuinely-evil corporations (for christ’s sake, just look at their logo). Massey is known for breaking the union in the 80s, for being a main proponent of MTR, for poisoning entire cities and wiping out entire towns. The CEO is this guy named Don Blankenship, the highest-paid person in the coal industry. He’s got a hitler mustache, lives above a city he poisoned on a mansion on a mountaintop, where he comes and goes by helicopter. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up: no one would believe a fictional villain this gross. He attacked an ABC reporter and told the journalist that he would be shot if he tried to film him. (I’ve seen the video of it, but can only find that article with stills online).

Right, anyhow, two people blockaded Massey’s office, and now bail is set at an incredible $100,000. West Virginia loves its coal companies, even as they destroy West Virginia physically, economically, and socially (whole towns wiped out regularly, everyone young just leaves the state, etc. etc.).

3 thoughts on “$100,000 bail set for civil disobedients in West Virginia”

  1. Thx for posting this!

    They were charged with four teeny tiny misdemeanors (trespassing, obstruction, conspiracy and littering) and are both first time offenders. One of them is an 18-year-old (Who happens to be more solid, high spirited and bad ass than almost any other activist in this campaign, turns out) and one of them is a wry, super smart, kind 23 year old computer programming student.

    Call Snodgrass and demand he reduce bail, find out how here: (http://climategroundzero.net/2010/05/demand-a-bail-reduction-call-magistrate-snodgrass-304-369-7360/)

    Visit http://www.climategroundzero.org to read the press release, the open letter to Massey Shareholders, view video & pictures and see two adorable portraits of our adorable protesters.

  2. Haha, yeah, Don Blakenship is like the villains on Captain Planet. Seriously, he casually gets around in a helicopter?

    That’s too bad about the activists charged with misdemeanors. And they are adorable. Mountaintop removal in West Virginia and elsewhere (coming soon to Utah) is indeed one of the most unjustifiable and short-sighted atrocities people have committed against each other and the environment.

  3. Well sure, but, I mean, look at all the wonderful shit they do for the community.

    Among Massey Energy’s contributions to the community are an annual Christmas Extravaganza for local children[45], financial assistance to local schools [46], and $1 million in college and post-graduate scholarships[47]. Massey co-sponsors the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation (ALEF)[48] and in 1997 formed Doctors for our Communities with Marshall University, providing MD student loans that are waived if the recipient practices medicine for a minimum of seven years in Massey’s operating region [49]. The Massey Cancer Center of Virginia Commonwealth University is named in honor of William E. Masey for his financial endowment[50].

    In 2005 Massey established the Family Wellness Center that offers medical services to employee’s families in McDowell and Logan county in West Virginia, who often lack access to primary care physicians and health care facilities.[51]. A Harvard study found that these counties, perhaps due to the nature of mining operations, rank among the 25 worst countywide life expectancy averages in the United States[52].


    Yeah, perhaps. Logo’s actually kinda clever – mountaintop removal, capstone-less pyramid and Eye of Sauron all in one sigil! Can’t make this stuff up, indeed.

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