Announcing late-July Mountain Mobilization

Thursday, May 31st, 2012
posted by admin

Come to southern West Virginia on July 25. RAMPS will host a mobilization where people will prepare to and take nonviolent direct action to shut down a strip mine. We are calling for as many people as possible to come together and do what the politicians, the regulators and the courts have been unwilling to do; to defend the land and the people; to stop strip mining.

Last week, Mountain Justice and RAMPS stopped nine coal trucks and a coal barge after the Mountain Justice Summer Action Camp.  These actions showed once again that people are willing to put their bodies on the line to stop the plunder of Appalachia and raised the spirits of West Virginians fighting to save their home, but Larry Gibson reminded us our work is not done.Coal truck blocked from leaving Alpha Nat. Resouces mine on Kayford Mtn., 5/24/2012.“Everything has to get bigger from here,” Larry said.  “We need to put our backs up against the wall and not back down. The 99% means nothing if we don’t all support  each other.  No matter what our positions are we must come together.”

Larry is right. To win our struggles against the extraction industries, we will have to band together. The fight against strip mining has been gaining ground over the last few years (here, here and here), but King Coal will keep stripping to the bitter end and leave Appalachia with nothing unless we act now.   It was only after aggressive direct action in the 60s and 70s that the political will was created to address strip mining on a federal level.  If we want strip mining to end and restoration work to begin; if we want a post-coal future that is more than devastated landscapes, rampant fracking, and deepening poverty; if we want a healthy and whole Appalachia, we must escalate our resistance.

At PowerShift 2011, currently imprisoned activist Tim DeChristopher pointed out, “With only the people in this room, we could send 30 people onto a mountaintop removal site, shut it down temporarily, start to clog up the West Virginia court system.  And we could send 30 people the day after that and the day after that and the day after that every day for a year.  I believe we would never get to the end of that year because mountaintop removal would end before we reached that point.”

This summer we will take the first step toward that vision.  Come to southern West Virginia on July 25.  RAMPS will host a mobilization where people will prepare to take nonviolent direct action to shut down a strip mine.  We are calling for as many people as possible to come together and do what the politicians, the regulators and the courts have been unwilling to do; to defend the land and the people; to stop strip mining.

The success of this depends on your participation.  Whatever your skills, availability, or ability to risk arrest, there are ways for you to make this mobilization a success.  To join ongoing working groups or find out more about ways to participate, please email [email protected].  We also deeply need your financial support.  Please donate today so RAMPS can continue its vital work.  Most importantly, spread the word.

We are all in a David versus Goliath struggle for our future, but Goliath is starting to stumble.  With our survival at stake, we can unite and we can win.

Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival


Banner blocking coal haul road on Kayford Mountain, 5/24/2012.

20 Responses to “Announcing late-July Mountain Mobilization”

  1. Maphawk says:

    If not now, then when? If not us, then who?

  2. Brad Vance says:

    you guys are stupid. you need to get a job, get a life, and go back where u came from because it is obvious that you arent from west virginia.

  3. Terry Cook says:

    If RAMPS is successfull they will ruin tens of thousands of Appalachian families and hundreds of communities.

  4. Anna Lott says:

    Soooo, is RAMPS going to provide me with a paycheck every two weeks if they are successful in shutting down coal mining? Are they going to provide pay for my dad, my uncles, my cousins??? Do any of the people that participate in RAMPS travel through Yeager Airport?? Do they know how many valley fills were filled in the construction of the airport?? That is just one small example. Do these people enjoy going into their house & being able to turn a light on? What is the plan for a “healthier appalachia” as so called? What plans do you have for all of the thousands of people that will be put out of work? Does RAMPS even care about the actual people that make their living in the industry? Obviously not. How many of these people are actually from WV? I am born, raised & still reside in WV. My family has been in the coal industry my entire life. I think if you want to make a “healthier appalachia” then you should look at the people & how to help the struggling communities. Don’t make them worse.

  5. […] its on to West Virginia for the Mountain Mobilization. State tuned! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  6. Reba says:

    Are really need to live the coal mining famiies alone in West Virginia.. We dont need y’all here… Go out and get a real job.. Oh wait y’all don’t know what a real job… Because every COAL MINER is paying for your dead beat ass

  7. Sheena says:

    I have a question for all you tree huggers. Can you tell me what is the difference in strip mining and constructing a new highway or a shopping mall going in? Can’t answer that one can ya? Because there is NO difference. They cut down trees and I’m sure animals are killed in the process oh an lets not forget the debris that falls in the river. At least strip mining they put the trees back and a few years later you can’t even tell it was mined when it’s done. The water is fine and so are the animals! God made these mountains with coal in them for hard working families to have a job. Most of all probably not a single person from your so called tree hugging group is from WV. We would appreciate if you keep your non-working lazy selfs out of our hard working coal mining state. Better yet find ya a job bc we are sick and tired of supporting you!

  8. Glen says:

    I understand the anger that anna, terry, and brad are feeling. Is it these activists that you should be angry at? The number one thing that has been taking away coal jobs is…the coal companies . Surface mining has led to a dramatic drop in WV coal jobs in the last 40 years. Now there are ghost towns throughout the major coal producing areas of West Virginia. Places that used to be living, thriving, and growing communities now barley hang on. These coal companies do not care about west Virginia or its people. With the coal market on the decline WV needs to look to its future, not continue to toil in the past. A past that is filled with deceit, corruption, murder, and negligence on behalf of the coal industry. Coal companies are putting West virginians in the grave and in the poor house every year. Yet we are the ones who are harassed. We receive the insults and death threats, we have angry drunk people coming to our homes and events to be violent. All we have done is held some signs, lived in some trees, and loved these mountains and the people who live in them.

    • Johnetta Workman says:

      It is understood that i do not like coal but that is not all u have done. U have interuppted work days cost these men their time/ Time that they could be home and for what your unhappiness with an industry that actually in rality u use regularly to your benefit. They come to your house uninvited huh?? Don’t u come to theirs?? And peaceful i think not rape is a big word with u people. The trees r replanted life goes on, u r not affected. But we on the other hand r affected with each small so called victory u have. I have kids and will soon have a grandbaby, who will take care of the needs of mine? We r proud WEST VIRGINIA families who work and do not want handouts. Why do u feel the need to take that away from us, because u do not like it??!! Do u ever consider the kids that u harm with what u do?? This is our lives and our childrens lives that u r messing with and u don’t understan why we r pissed??!!! Honestly to me that is very self-righteous. Where is it that u were born and raised? If here in WV what did your daddy and your grandaddy do for a living?? Because i bet if u look back somebody in your family worked for the mines, I bet they r so proud right now!! Leave us alone fight your fight on a political field. But then again u would lose there would’nt u?

  9. Junior Walk says:

    West Virginia is my home, and I won’t leave. Not so some coal company can make it’s money and certainly not so some scab can buy a bigger truck with the crumbs his masters give him. We’re putting out foot down with this mobilization, drawing a line in the dirt. Scabs know all about lines though, like the picket lines they crossed that allowed this industry to have the power that it does today. The coal industry is on it’s way out in this state, every day coal companies are coming closer to bankruptcy. Then where will that put all of you who rely on them? I know exactly where it will put you, living off MY taxes from MY job. Not that I’m complaining because I believe everyone deserves enough to get by, even scabs who got duped by the same industry who calls us all inbred and is killing us every day.

  10. Cory says:

    All of you are more than welcome to come on back to Twilight, my husband and his crew are waiting. The last time this group visited the dragline at Twilight a gentleman told my husband “this is a non violent protest”, as he proceeded to tell my husband that he was “raping mountains and killing children” he then says “how about I come to your home and rape your wife and kill your children”. If I am not mistaken this is considered a THREAT.
    This is really all a joke. How about taking the $11,000 that has already been donated to this campaign, and place this money towards cancer research. Or even better the man in the movie The Last Mountain complaining that the coal company has made his child sick put his cigarette out.
    The coal industry has provided very well for my family. We enjoy all the nice things that hard work in the coal industry has given us.
    All in all understand that when you fuck with the coal miners jobs, yes jobs it isn’t the President’s, CEO’s of the company that you fuck with, it is the FOOD in my children’s mouth, it is the clothes on their backs, it is the medicine in their bodies. That is when WE fight back. That is when YOU are fucking with our lively hood and our families.
    Best of luck up on that mountain!! ;)

  11. Kylie says:

    Hey ! How’s allllll you treehuggers doin? Do you like havin lights, electric, heat/ac? Well you all can’t have those without COAL MINERS!!!! AND ALL YOU’RE GOING TO DO BY B!TCHING ABOUT THEM IS NOTHING BUT PISS US OFF! Seriously? Yeah I understand you want to save the planet and stuff but stfu about all this “You’re killing our mountains and raping our children” Yeah remember the guy who was said that in ‘The last mountain’ ? Yeah well my COAL MINER DAD was in that movie too & this is his daughter ! You all are NOTHING but ignorant fools . & so I hear you’re going up on the dragline again? HAHAHA. Have fun with that . But I don’t think you’re going to find it to be as easy as last time. (: GOOD LUCK. LOL JK (((((:

  12. robert f says:

    In lieu of the obvious trolling comments, of people pretending they’re poor down and out coal miners (who have no other skills and couldn’t possibly get any other job) but actually work for Big Coal’s interests, there’s still the occasional person with the real concern. What about my job, my family, and so forth?

    Most real miners know the dirty history of coal mining — the deaths, the strikes, the endless fights against a shrinking industry. MTR (mountain top removal) coal is one of the methods of obtaining coal that is the most destructive and employs the least amount of people. If miners are so concerned for their jobs, they would be against MTr for the very reason it takes away most of their co workers jobs, and destroys the very communities they live in. When the spoil breaks free and floods the valleys and hollers, then the real people of Appalachia, the real workers are screwed.

    RAMPS is a wake up call to all those living of this dying, unsustainable system. Your children and grandchildren will not have the same resources you do. They won’t have the same land, either, after it has been pillaged and destroyed by mining corporations. You, the very heart and coul of the mountains, need to demand a better future. Demand a future where your children don’t have to toil and suffer as you did, a future where they can enjoy the land as your forefathers did, and where they can grow and prosper. That future DOESN’T have to depend solely on coal. Despite what they try to make you believe, there are MANY other options out there. Find one.

    • Cory says:

      My husband has been a coal miner since 1980. I am not pretending that I am down and out I am trying to make you see that, this is the career path my husband has chosen. The coal companies have proved very well for my family. My husband works very hard to provide for us, with out having to worry that his job meaning his paycheck will be cut short because you are “taking direct action to shut down a strip mine”. Now you tell me how is that fair to me?? Are you going to pay my husbands lost wages?? Are you paying for my home? My food? No you are not. Just curious what job do you have that allows you to take weeks off work to protest? who is paying your bills?

  13. Johnetta Workman says:

    I have a few things to say, My husband is a surface miner and my father was an underground miner. What is your problem specefically?!! I really think that u do not know yourself. These hardworking men r the backbone of Appalachia, not the enemy. These men r who u ultimately affect with your cult spewing crap. These men go to work everyday, and lets clear this up, not to make your life easier, to make endsmeat and support their families. They r not out their to fight the “political crusade” u r on. U come to their place of work and “protest” them and for what, Their job?? And u wonder why we can’t stand u!! Would u like it if myself and a group of miners families came to your yard and protested u for your beliefs??!! Bet not! We could call ourselves miners WAR, miners wives against retards. Wonder if we could make money like u?? Taking hardworking peoples money with the unfillable promise of shutting down the coalmines, do u really think u can do this?? Take another hit idiot. The mines and the good men that work it r a tradition in this state u on the other hand r a nuisance. U want our respect, for what your growing criminal record?? Do u think u make a point by being arrested? The only point u r making is that u do not have the intelligence to fight your “war” on a political playing field but choose to do it on the playing field of these good men who r instructed to ignore u and call the law! Does not sound like a fair fight to me! Take your money and your efforts and fight something worthwhile like world hunger, child abuse, cancer just to name a few. These r the real enemies of the people in the world!! Your efforts r not causing cutbacks the warm winter did that not to mention our mentally challenged president. But with this new election year things will change. And as for Rockefeller in case u missed it he has been diagnosed with dementia not tree huggeritis. Live your life and let us live ours, stop trying to ruin the lives of our miners and their families. Because i am sure if u got what u wanted u would be thrilled but what about our kids?? R u going to come and tell them that their is not enough to eat or they can’t go to college? Bet not because u eccentric ignorant political zombies do not care about the lives u affect!!!! The bible says do unto others…. how would u like it if we did just that??

    • Cory says:

      Ya know it absolutely amazes me how hard it is for the tree huggers to understand that this is our lively hood!!

  14. Teresa Smith says:

    Not now….then when….how about when the coal is mined out and gone since it is a finite commodity. It wont last forever

    If you shut us down now will you come back to protest the fact that all the green jobs will not go to the displaced appalchian coal worker but to your hippie friends in the Northeast or California.

    Not you…we can take care of it ourselves. We are not so stupid that we are blindly led about by the “EVIL COAL COMPANIES.” Most of us are educating our children so they can get out of the coal industry…because….not because of you , but because we have sense enough to realize it wont last forever….

    I have lived at the edge of a major surface mine since 1979…dont have any diseases, niether of my children have diseases, my grand daughter doesnt have any birth deffects or diseases. Please explain your self….how does surface mining cause birth defects?

    I am so offended by your condscending arrogance. You cant seem to get past the King Coal era, why? we have got past it, we know that coal is no longer king of energy production. You are the ones stuck in the 1940’s looking at the Appalachian region in the black and white still shots. I am not the mother sitting on the rotten porch with 10 children gathered around her in rags. Both of my children and myself are college educated with hard earned coal money. My mountain is leased to be, has been and may be mined again so you better make sure you stay off this poor dumb holler girls mountain.

  15. Gaynell Rowe says:

    you people need to go back to Indiana and hug a tree at home, they miss you..and want you back..leave West Virginia trees to the people of WV…they don’t like it when stranger’s hug them..and you are fucking with my job..and nobody…nobody..messes with a REAL WEST VIRGINIA HILLBILLY..GO HOME..

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