Dave Cooper takes Treesitter on Tour

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
posted by fern

During the first half of the month of November, Dave Cooper took me on a New England tour with his Mountaintop Removal Roadshow. We visited Columbia University, Skidmore College, Salem State College, Eastern University, Emerson College, College of the Atlantic, and Green Mountain College, recruiting new activists and raising critical funds.

Dave has been doing the roadshow for eight years now, educating college students across the U.S. about mountaintop removal and teaching other activists how to speak about their struggles. When he heard that RAMPS members were facing their second winter without having housing secured, he volunteered to take me on the road to talk about the RAMPS treesit and the direct action campaign. Dave Cooper is generously donating all proceeds from the tour to the RAMPS housing fund.

Some of the students we spoke to didn’t really know about mountaintop removal, and bringing our story to them was one of the most gratifying aspects of our trip. At Emerson, for example, students in the environmental organization said that they may dedicate their next semester to working on MTR. Another rewarding aspect was that got to have some valuable discussions, whether in the hall for the East Lynn Labor Council or while wandering Green Mountain’s rural campus; many people on our peregrination had experiences, advice, and wisdom to share.

We’re now about $1,700 closer to our goal of having a campaign house. Some day maybe we’ll have internet and phone access to get our work done, heat to keep our hands thawed, a kitchen to keep our bodies fed, and a common space so that everyone who wants to work on the campaign has a place to come, and everyone who is already working on the campaign has a place to be together and collaborate effectively.


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