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Action Alerts

Dineh families requesting direct on-land support

For four decades, the Dineh communities of Black Mesa have fought to stop the U.S government and Peabody Energy Company's exploitation of their homelands and communities. Today, families remain, steadfastly resisting the mine, colonialism, and forced relocation. 

In the words of one resister, "WE NEED YOUR PHYSICAL PRESENCE OUT HERE, ASAP! WE don't ask for monies, just your good-spirited will to come out for a few days/weeks/months and immerse yourself into a cultural community under threat, and accept the daily challenges in supporting these native elders' existence. And yes, we are not asking for monies because we wish to maintain that human sovereignty, and not seek lawyers or travels to far off cities to protest."

You are being invited to the resistance communities' lands to support their resistance and deter governmental and corporate harassment.

Support the Unist'ot'en Encampment

Members of the Wet'suwet'en clan are re-occupying their land to stop an array of oil and gas pipelines planned for that area without their permission.

As political prisoner David Gilbert (among many others) has pointed out, it's important that our local struggles take inspiration from and lend our strength to global struggles, especially those struggles led by indigenous people and people of color.

RAMPS has supported the Unist'ot'en encampment financially and by volunteering, and we call on our friends and allies to do the same.

Drone Footage of Spruce #1 MTR site
"WE ARE THE STORM" CultureStrike and Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative: Art print portfolio highlights the resistance and resilience of communities under threat by climate change.
Youth Engagement Project
Kanawha Forest Coalition
Honoring the Waters ceremony and candlelight vigil in Charleston, WV.

2017 End of Year Update

posted by admin, Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
 

 

              Happy New Year!                        

2017 has been a busy year for us. We’ve worked hard to cultivate resistance and community support in the face of growing threats like fascist, white supremacist organizations, increased repression of radical activism and all the other fucked up shit that has escalated this year.  Our work continues to change and expand with the shifting political landscape. Here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to this year and what we hope to do in 2018:

Here in Whitesville…
We’ve made significant progress turning a vacant lot into a community garden. With help from Whitesville residents, we’ve planted medicinal herbs, added raised beds, built a rain catchment system for watering, and started terracing the hillside.  When spring comes, we hope to fill the raised beds with vegetables, plant more flowers and herbs on the hill, and plant some fruit trees.  We also look forward to working with our friends Aurora Lights  Herbal Medics again to bring another free herbal and alternative health clinic to Whitesville in 2018.
We are constantly engaged in mutual aid work with neighbors in Whitesville- from helping folks heat their homes, to giving people rides to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store. Our community house is a place where neighbors and visitors come to share a meal, get help with school work, or find emotional support. We feel it is an important space in this chaotic community where so many people face depression, drug addiction, violence, and physical ailments. In the past year, we’ve also provided medical support by hosting and caring for neighbors with serious medical conditions.

 

In “West Virginia”…
We’ve continued our involvement with communities beyond Whitesville as well. We have supported the Stanley Heirs families on Kayford mountain as they carry on the legacy of legendary land defender Larry Gibson. This year we set up and maintained a rain catchment system on Kayford for drinking water and hosted our annual Fall Summit in the park (thanks again to partners Seeds of Peace and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition!). We’ve also maintained our long standing relationship with Prenter, a nearby community severely impacted by mining. This year residents have been forced to run a diesel generator to power the pumping station providing their tap water, though this water is still not clean enough to drink- it is mainly used for washing. While they are hoping they will have access to city water some time in 2018, in the meantime, we will soon launch a fundraiser to help them pay for the diesel fuel. Stay tuned! In addition, we continue to write letters, keep up relationships and advocate for people who are incarcerated throughout the state.
Appalachia…
As fascism grew on a national level in 2017, the threat of fascist and racist organizations within our region specifically- including militias and white supremacist political parties- has risen dramatically. Some of these dangerous groups see Appalachia as an ideal place to establish a “white homeland” and have been working to organize and expand here. We’ve worked with local and regional allies to confront these enemies in the streets of Pikeville, KY; Charleston, WV; and Charlottesville, VA. As an outgrowth of those efforts, we’ve helped establish the “Holler Network”, an Appalachian antifascist network with members throughout the region. This network was instrumental this fall in providing community-based self-defense when black radical artist John Sims came to Athens, OH to lecture and exhibit his work. In the coming year, we will continue to confront the fascists wherever they appear in our region and build the Holler network through trainings, outreach, and direct action to destroy fascism in the streets and the hollers of Appalachia.
 –
Broader Movement Support…
Indigenous solidarity continues to be at the forefront of our work. We are on stolen land! Members of RAMPS spent several months in North Dakota this winter and spring providing legal support to water protectors fighting the Dakota Access pipeline. We also set up jail and legal support for actions throughout Appalachia and hope to continue this work in the coming year (and to provide trainings to folks who are interested!). This summer, RAMPS members supported the Pokanoket Nation’s occupation of part of their ancestral land in an attempt to force Brown University to return it to them. We will continue to support indigenous-led resistance!
 

To continue our efforts into 2018, we’re asking folks to consider donating here. Thanks to all those who donated their time or money (or anything else!) to support us in 2017!

Feel free to get in touch ([email protected]) or stop by if you find yourself in southern WV! We (almost) always need volunteers- please reach out if that’s something you might be interested in.

For the land and people,
RAMPS

This year’s Fall Summit schedule!

There must be resistance!

posted by admin, Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
 

You Are Invited to Stand Up Against The Nazi Threat!

Thanks to artist Jimbo Valentine

Spring is here! As ramps pop up throughout the hollers, our work continues on multiple fronts. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

Solidarity with Standing Rock: The Legal Battle Continues

RAMPS members have been intimately involved in the resistance at Standing Rock for much of the last nine months. We have supported direct action, helped maintain the camps, and now we are working in solidarity with water protectors who were arrested while defending sacred water. The legal battle in North Dakota is only just beginning as the frontlines move to the courtroom. Only a fraction of nearly 800 cases have been tried before the courts and several cases have already been dismissed! Water protectors are increasingly facing trumped-up felony and federal charges. We are committed to supporting our comrades as they face the oppressive criminal justice system and we hope that such support becomes an integral part of all our movements in this era of increased repression of activists.

The Nazis Are Coming. For Real.

At the end of April, the Traditional Workers Party (TWP) and other neo-Nazi, white supremacist factions will be descending on Appalachia. They plan to hold an organizing conference on April 28 and a large public rally on April 29 in eastern Kentucky.  We fear this is a crucial moment for the white supremacist movement in this country and more specifically, central Appalachia.  They are converging in Appalachia to capitalize on fear, uncertainty, and economic deprivation and to recruit, train, organize and spread their hateful doctrine. There must be resistance!   We are part of building a larger Appalachian anti-fascist network for the long haul. You are invited to come show the Nazis that they are not welcome.

Community Engagement

As we fight the rise of fascism and white supremacy and face a swarm of Nazis coming to our region, building community power in Whitesville remains at the center of our work. At the RAMPS house we consistently discuss this dark political climate with folks.  We talk about indigenous solidarity, sovereignty and our work in Standing Rock; we talk about the role the criminal justice system plays in the lives of young people in this region; we talk about the racist, fascist policies of Trump; we talk about white supremacy and now we’re talking a lot about the Nazis coming to Appalachia.  It felt good to see one of our young friends write ‘Fuck Trump 2k16’ in the snow on car windows throughout Whitesville this winter and it always brings us a smile to see the ever-changing “Fuck Trump” art on the dry erase boards around the house.

In addition to these conversations, we work to provide alternatives to organizations like TWP that prey on youth in largely white, rural areas like ours.  Our young friends have been learning to read and learning to drive with us, and we’re all excited to be spending more time growing the community garden, foraging in the mountains and planning Whitesville’s second herbal health clinic, which will take place July 25-28.

Thanks for all the support!  It makes what we do possible!  Feel free to get in touch, drop by, or donate to support our work!

For the land and people, #PunchANazi,

RAMPS

Thanks to Jimbo Valentine for the amazing anti-Nazi poster!  We’ve been hanging it up around town, if you would like a digital copy, please get in touch.

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Ramps Campaign shared Appalachians Against Pipelines's photo.
Ramps Campaign

"Don't keep waiting for the right time. We don't have anymore time. The time is now, it was yesterday, it was years ago, decades ago. We need you. Get involved with direct action in whatever way you can. You are not in this alone."It has been 38 days. 38 amazing, inspiring, life altering, resistance fueled days. I've learned and experienced so much.

I have learned not to underestimate the impact that one action can have.

I have learned that we're strongest when we support and lean on one another. We are not in this alone.

I have learned that no matter how impossible or absurd something seems, we are capable of so much more than we realize.

After 38 days I have decided to come down. When I first climbed up here I wasn't sure how long I could last, but I was driven to endure for as long as possible. But then the day came and went when we reached that one month mark... and then even surpassed that! And MVP has left us alone... for now.

Throughout this blockade, we have persisted through a hurricane, high winds, rain, and MVP cutting trees too close to our traverse lines. I have learned and experienced so much in the form of books and visitors and simply being a part of the forest. There were some days that I just sat and watched birds from my platform as they flew from tree to tree and interacted with each other, oblivious to the danger that lurked just over the ridge line.

If there is only one thing that I take away from this whole experience, it is that we can find strength through the relationships we forge along the way. Visitors hiked up here in the wind and rain to bring us supplies. During a hurricane and on their only days off, people were here.

During my hardest days, I found strength in the moments when I least expected it. It was in the children playing in the stream at the bottom of the hill, it was in the musicians who played us music on dreary days, and it was in the countless visitors who shouted up at us that our blockade gave them hope.

It is important to recognize that this is a collective struggle and therefore it will take a collective effort in order to overcome the hurdles we're up against. This is not something that we as individuals can accomplish alone. We are stronger when we work together.

It is equally as important to recognize when it's time to make decisions with our health and wellbeing in mind. We cannot take on all of these burdens ourselves and sometimes we must admit to ourselves that what is best for us, and for everyone else, may not be what most aligns with our egos. I felt for the longest time that I had to stay up here as long as humanly possible, to push myself even if that meant going past the point of what would be good for me and my personal health.

But that benefits no one.

A message I received from a friend recently provided me with some much needed wisdom when I was struggling with the decision to come down, "Take care of yourself. It is a radical thing to create spaces where that's possible, unlike in school and most jobs where you are expected to keep going even when it's damaging."

That friend was Nettle, who has been a much needed friend and ally in the trees.

Nettle will continue on in the white pine, along with another tree sitter to take my place. Knowing that this blockade will go on despite my coming down fills me with immeasurable joy and gratitude.

We need more people to step up and fill roles like this one. I had never been a part of a direct action before this past spring. I was simply someone who found light and inspiration from prior tree sits and thought to myself, "Why not me?"

It's something we all must ask ourselves. Too often we find excuses not to do the hard thing, the challenging thing, but the truth is that there will always be a million reasons not to do something.

We will never accomplish anything if we don't push ourselves and make sacrifices to try and make the world a place we can all live in. It will require personal sacrifice. Sometimes it will require a lot of long nights, hiking up and down steep mountains, and sleeping on a hard platform high up in the air.

It won't come easy.

If you don't believe that you are capable of doing a direct action like this one, then look at me as proof that you can. I had no prior expertise or experience. I was just somebody who cared.

Don't keep waiting for the right time. We don't have anymore time. The time is now, it was yesterday, it was years ago, decades ago. We need you. Get involved with direct action in whatever way you can. You are not in this alone. There are many, many people who will support you.

I support you.

To every single person who has ever expressed support or solidarity, to every person who has hiked up this steep hill or donated supplies to our tree sits, thank you. I will never be able to fully express in words how grateful I am for all of you. So I will simply say, thank you.

& keep on fighting.

Much love and solidarity, Lauren

Donate to support resistance to the MVP: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance
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Ramps Campaign shared Appalachians Against Pipelines's post.
Ramps Campaign

Still here! We won’t back down! Join us!

No pipelines! No prisons!DAY 26! This morning, Mountain Valley Pipeline workers showed up just after 7 am to start clearing trees. MVP security again stayed overnight last night, and we expect that they will continue to do so.

Today’s cutting was closer to the sits than ever before. Despite MVP security telling loggers to stay 200 feet away (in past days), trees were cut under 100 feet from the sits and rigging, and fell to within 20 feet. As supporters tried to protect the safety of tree sitters today, MVP called the cops and law enforcement responded to protect the interests of the pipeline company. No arrests were made.

We are still encouraging folks to come visit and stay at the tree sits! A larger presence of supporters helps ensure the safety of the sitters.

And if you can’t make it, please donate: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance

These images show Nettle in their sit — in the first image, Nettle is watching the tree clearing crews hike by. A note on these images: supporters, please feel free to share these images on social media! Journalists and professional media, these images require special permission to use, please email or message us with inquiries.

#noMVP #noACP #nopipelines
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