From their offices in St. Louis, Greg Boyce and the other executives at Peabody Coal give orders to poison and displace our brothers and sisters in the coalfields, and to continue mining coal when we know that climate change threatens all the people and plants and animals on Earth.
Our friends from the frontlines of Peabody’s violent operations have joined us in St. Louis today, and their presence gives this action great meaning. I want to retell a story I have heard in recent days from Diné and Hopi resisters who have traveled here from their homeland. The colonization of this continent that began 500 years ago continues today, as Peabody and the federal government have colluded to forcibly relocate native people from their lands, and tear out the coal lies that beneath. This relocation, which started in 1974, is the largest forced relocation of indigenous people in the United States since the Trail of Tears.
I cross the line and risk arrest today, not knowing for sure when we will make real our dreams for justice, but knowing that my only choice is to stand on my convictions. I feel connected to those throughout history who have organized and resisted against all odds.
To return native lands, to end the extraction of coal, oil, and gas, we will have to break the rules that are written by our corporate and extractive government. We are breaking away from this violent economy. We are building a world of just relations. We are rising up together. Join us.
- Harry Alper