West Virginia is one of the nation’s biggest coal-producing states. But both the production and treatment of coal produce major health risks for our local residents.
Many residents in West Virginia are adversely effected by the coal industry and have been protesting for decades, especially against mountaintop removal coal mining. But no matter how much our residents protest and fight nothing is ever done to stop or halt the destruction to our state and it’s people.
Because West Virginia representatives are bought and paid for by Coal.
They all own a part of a coal company in one way or another. As long as their paychecks keep coming in and their bank accounts stay full of coal money, they will destroy anything and everything in sight. They could care less if it destroys the people who voted them into office as long as the money is coming in for them.
In late May, activists from Mountain Justice and Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival, or RAMPS, organized two actions to disrupt coal business as usual, employing nonviolent civil disobedience to block nine coal trucks and a coal barge.
Also, on Memorial Day, a group called Women Unite to End Mountaintop Removal gathered on the steps of the state Capitol in Charleston and shaved their heads in protest.
The people of West Virginia will not give up the fight to save our state from King Coal and the destruction it brings to our people. No matter how many times we are arrested, we will continue the fight and stand up to protect the mountains’ and our way of life.
For more, the following video was shared by a friend on Facebook:
It looks like seven folks were just arrested from Nick Rahall’s office from West Virginia. We don’t have the names yet.
Here are statements from some of the people from West Virginia who risked arrest:
Dustin White: “I would like Nick Joe Rahall to look me in the eye and tell that my life and that of my friends and future generations are less important than profit. I want him to stop blocking legislation that will curtail mountaintop removal. I want him to represent the region he is supposed to represent – not the coal industry. If he really cares about the people of West Virginia, he needs to do something to help them, not support an industry that’s killing us.”
Paula Swearingen: “I’ve talked to Nick Rahall several times over the years, and I really think that he needs to start working for the betterment of the people instead of the betterment of his pockets in the coal industry.”
Donna Branham: “If they could actually see these waters, see what’s been done to our homes, see the children that are sick and the people who are dying, then maybe they’d be willing to do something about it. I want to make sure that Congress knows what’s going on in Appalachia. They don’t think it’s a problem, but I see first-hand what it does to our children, especially our young children and our unborn children.”
Health impacts should be on the forefront of our Representative’s minds, but they don’t want to see it. They think they can keep their eyes shut and it doesn’t exist. Representative Rahall is not taking these studies of our health seriously. I think it’s really apparent that Mr. Rahall is both bought and paid for by coal. Most of our politicians in West Virgina are like that and they would rather do the wrong thing and stay elected, instead of doing what the right thing for the people is.
Donate here to support the 22 arrested on June 6, 2012 for sitting in Congressional Offices to stop mountaintop removal!
Sources: Appalachia Rising and www.btlonline.org
Image Credit: by Rana X