Archive for April, 2011

RAMPS Benefit in Asheville, NC a Success!

Sunday, April 24th, 2011
posted by rampscampaign72

On April 17, supporters of the RAMPS campaign cooked up a traditional Appalachian dinner at Rosetta’s Kitchen in Asheville, North Carolina. The dinner– which included wild foraged ramps, cornbread, soup beans, collard greens and fried apple pies, was accompanied by the music of Sara Lynch and Damien Keyes. The event, hosted by Katuah Earth First!, raised several hundred dollars for the campaign and brought people together in the spirit of stopping mountaintop removal!



Strip Mining Is An Art

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
posted by admin

A delegation of  coalfield residents and allies from Virginia and West Virginia met with Alpha Executive Vice President Michael Peelish today at Alpha’s corporate headquarters in Abingdon, VA.  Mr. Peelish met briefly with the delegation and accepted a letter demanding an end to Alpha’s surface mining. While Mr. Peelish expressed interest in working with communities to mine responsibly, he defended the company’s practices insisting, “We need to be able to practice our art,” referring to surface mining.  CEO Kevin Crutchfield sent a note apologizing for not being able to meet with the residents today.  A longer meeting between Peelish and Crutchfield and concerned citizens is being set up for next week.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Alpha to stop their destructive mining practices. If they want to be responsible community partners, that means no more blasting of our mountains and communities. If they are not willing to work with us, we will continue to fight their strip mines however we can,” said Junior Walk, a West Virginia native who met with Mr. Peelish.

Junior Walk holding a card from CEO Kevin Crutchfield stating, "Thank you for taking the time to visit our office & share your concerns. I'm sorry that we couldn't accommodate the meeting today but we will do so in the near future. Also, I'm sorry I missed you today but hope to see you on your next visit. - Kevin C


Release: Coalfield Residents Deliver Letters to Alpha Energy: Cease Mountaintop Removal Operations

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
posted by admin


Coalfield Residents Demand Alpha Energy Cease Mountaintop Removal Operations

Press contact: Kim Ellis, 304-860-5041
[email protected]

UPDATE: Second letter added, this one from Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards at the bottom of this page.

ABINGDON, Va.­—Coalfield residents and allies from West Virginia and Virginia are traveling today to the headquarters of Alpha Natural Resources to demand an end to invasive surface mining in their communities.

Alpha has recently announced its acquisition of AT Massey, a Richmond-based coal company with a long history of permit and safety violations and a reputation for a general disregard for the land and people of Appalachia. These Appalachians and their allies demand that Alpha cease the destructive practices perpetuated by Massey and explore safe and lasting alternatives to surface mining in their communities.

“With the takeover of Massey, we are here to demand that Alpha stop destroying our mountains and communities. It’s our hope that Alpha will become a responsible energy company and invest in a healthy and sustainable future for Appalachia,” said Junior Walk, a staff member of Coal River Mountain Watch and a life-long resident of West Virginia’s Coal River Valley.

“We stand in solidarity with our friends in West Virginia who, like ourselves, continue to suffer from the toxic and devastating results of mountaintop removal coal mining,” said Jane Branham, Vice-President of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards. “I hear the same stories from people all over the world who see big fossil fuel industries invade their homes and rape their land for profit. Those communities do not profit by digging, drilling, fracking and blasting. They not only see their land and water destroyed; they see worsening poverty, negative health impacts, and despair. Coalfield communities are among the poorest in our states. The only profiteers are the coal industry; the people are the losers.”


Stop the Kaboom Fest! April 29-May 1, 2011, Hedgesville, WV

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
posted by rampscampaign72

Stop the Kaboom! Festival is an event merging music, art and activism in a fundraiser for a new direct action campaign, Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’  Survival (RAMPS).

The festival and campaign will help raise money and awareness for this cause, and will be used to acquire a living space in West Virginia’s Coal River Valley. The music will include several local and regional musicians, representing a wide range of styles and genres, including bluegrass, funk, reggae, jam, folk and electronic music.

In addition, we will have several informed and inspiring Speakers from throughout West Virginia taking the stage. They’ll be speaking on their involvement in organizing to stop mountaintop removal and hydro-fracking of Marcellus Shale for natural gas, as well as their struggles to create a more sustainable, healthier West Virginia.

The event is located in Hedgesville, WV and will be held April 29th through May 1st, 2011. The festival will include admission and 3 days of camping for a minimum donation of $15 dollars.

If you would like to take part in vending, wish to set up a table with an environmental or social justice group, or donate an item for the silent auction, please contact event organizer Laura Steepleton at [email protected].

For more info, please visit us at or on Facebook  at


Sit-in at Dept. of Interior Demands Phase Out of Fossil Fuels

Monday, April 18th, 2011
posted by admin

From the folks at It’s Getting Hot In Here:

Washington D.C.—Hundreds of climate activists marched to the Department of the Interior’s headquarters today, with ten people committing civil disobedience inside, calling for the abolition of offshore oil drilling, coal mining and tar sands extraction. Reclaim Power led hundreds from Lafayette Park to the agency’s headquarters in Washington D.C. the same day after Powershift, a mass youth climate conference, ended and 2 days before the one year anniversary of the BP Gulf Oil Disaster.The Dept. of Interior has oversight over two agencies, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and the Office of Surface Mining (OSM), which are responsible for the BP Oil Spill, mountaintop removal coal mining and tar sands oil drilling in southern Utah. Furthermore, the Dept. of Interior just opened up over 7,000 acres of land to industry for coal extraction in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.“Our demonstration today is to show that Wyoming might be small in population but mighty in heart,” said Kevin Uransky, a resident from Wyoming’s coalfields and member of High Country Rising Tide participating in the sit-in.  “We don’t want to just stand by and allow big corporations to destroy our homes, our way of life, and some of last open, beautiful, and undeveloped terrain left in the United States.  We want to show that Wyoming has a voice not to be drowned out by those of more represented states, we have a voice, we have an opinion, and we want to be heard.”

The full piece is available here.

Ramps for RAMPS: An Appalachian Dinner & Fundraiser in Asheville, NC

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
posted by rampscampaign72

March on Blair Mountain

Friday, April 1st, 2011
posted by admin

June 4 – 11, Marmet to Blair.

Tracing the route that coal miners took 90 years ago that ended with the Battle of Blair Mountain.  More information at

Welcome, under construction

Friday, April 1st, 2011
posted by admin

Welcome to the RAMPS website.  We’re workin on a logo and putting this thing together, so please bear with us.