I am in St. Louis today for many reasons. To stand in solidarity with the native people of Black Mesa and the Navajo nation, as they demand to have their grievances heard. To raise awareness with Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment against Peabody Coal for taking taxpayers’ money just for threatening to leave town, thus taking resources from the city for schools and other services. To shed light on the pensions and benefits that are on the verge of being stripped away while countless men and women, both past and present, toil and struggle with the promise that the dues they pay will secure their days of leisure.
How does this all tie together? At face value we see the resource: coal. But when you look beyond the resource and see the legacy the industry leaves for the people, those who live in the shadow of the extraction, you see nothing that can be sustained. You see sickness, dying, conflict, torment, grief, sorrow, and anger. These feelings are not sustainable and are in need of remedy. Yet we are ignored, mocked, threatened, and ultimately, for some, broken. This is where those in power want us. They want complacency and obedience, which is masked with the illusion that if we give our lives to those in power our quality of life will improve. Resistance makes the powers that be quake. They know that should the masses resist, quality of life could be fair for all, thus rendering the current structures of power obsolete to society.
Peabody Coal was built on a foundation of deception and intimidation. Where they go,
suffering follows. Today I will let them know just how united these struggles are against their power. Peabody’s past and present abuses will come back on them today, when those affected by their practices from the east and west unite and demand justice for our people.