Recap of the Tree Sit So Far

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
posted by rampsmedia

Becks and Catherine-Ann have been in their trees for a full week and one day now.  They have weathered severe heat, thunderstorms, and biting insects, but they remain resolute and in high spirits.  They are determined to remain in the trees for as long as they can.  They have succeeded in halting most work and blasting on the portion of the Bee Tree strip mine within Bee Tree hollow.  Little work has continued on other parts of the site, and only one small blast was set off this past week – on Friday afternoon.  The small blast occurred approximately 2010 feet from the sitters, which is outside of the MSHA required 1500 foot blast evacuation radius for strip mine workers.

Click for Full Sized Map

The already-charged blast holes may have been more of a security concern than the blast itself.  The sitters were not harmed by the blast, and we are monitoring the situation to ensure that the safety of the sitters is maintained.  No blasts since then have been seen or heard by the tree-sitters, and they are hearing very little work being done near the Bee Tree holler of the surface mine.

Junior Walk, who was arrested earlier this week for providing direct supporter to the sitters, said today, “The sitters are courageous for stopping the dangerous blasts that are making families sick and contaminating our water, air, and environment in the Coal River Watershed everyday.”
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Check out this more indepth video with the tree-sitters and their direct supporters explaining their perspectives on the action and what is at stake:


The sitters have expressed their solidarity with Tim DeChristopher, a West Virginia native who was sentenced yesterday to two years in federal prison for peacefully disrupting an illegitimate oil and gas auction and saving tens of thousands of acres of public land from oil and gas exploitation.  In a speech earlier this year, DeChristopher spoke strongly of the need for direct action to end mountaintop removal mining. On the eve of his sentancing, he also  spoke of the ongoing tree sit.  Becks, who prefers gender neutral pronouns, which Tim was unaware of, writes, “Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years today. Please support him and all those who suffer to bring justice to us all.”

RAMPS will be posting deChristopher’s mailing address as soon as it is publicly released so that others can send him words of encouragement and solidarity.
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Donations, words of encouragement, and physical support for this direct action campaign are invaluable.  RAMPS, along with Junior, Eli, Becks and Catherine Ann thank you for your continued support for the tree sit.

One Response to “Recap of the Tree Sit So Far”

  1. carol judy says:

    taking a stand is practicing and living democracy, non-violence is practicing love and this action for this mountain and people is an awesome testimony to being a fully alive and connected human being. a wonderful generational gift to the future, moment by moment.. thank you

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