July 28, 2009: Legal Funds Needed for Anti-MTR Activists Arrested Defending Kayford Mountain

A fierce campaign is being waged in southern West Virginia against companies destroying the Appalachian Mountains with mountaintop removal. This week, five activists received hefty fines ($1900 each) after chaining themselves to mining equipment on Kayford Mountain in May after Mountain Justice Summer camp.

Now they need your support in paying these fines and keeping the campaign going.

Please consider donating to Mountain Justice using the Donate Now button on the left or by mail. Please mark your donations “Kayford Legal Fund”. Every contribution helps! Fundraising with your friends and communities to stop this atrocious practice helps even more.

Read the letter below from our friend Kim for more details.

Hello one and all,
As some of you may know, in May of this year, eight Mountain Justice activists willfully trespassed on to the mountaintop removal site on Kayford Mountain in West Virginia with the intention of shutting down mine activity and directly preventing the destruction of one mountain, for one day. I was one of those protesters, and am proud to say that we did stop them from blasting Kayford that day. We went on to the mine site with the emotional support and prayers of many who have wished they could take this same action, including Larry Gibson who lives on Kayford Mountain and is the grandfather of our resistance to mountaintop removal.

It may have been only one day that we stopped the blasting, but when all the political routes to justice are bought and sold by the coal companies that exploit the land and people of Appalachia, sometimes the most effective action is to place yourself directly between the land and those that intend to destroy it. If these types of actions were happening weekly or daily all across our region, mountaintop removal would soon become economically impossible, and ultimately we would command the attention our legislators and politicians, so that they’d have no other choice but to notice our actions and listen to our voices.

Our action wasn’t without consequence, and now 5 (and likely all 8) of the protestors are facing nearly $2000 each in fines for their acts of conscience. We received the maximum fine allowable for this offense, which is unprecedented in this type of protest. We need your support now more than ever, as many of us are devoted to this all volunteer work on a full time basis and are not able to pay these fines alone. We took this risk for the greater good, and we hope you will be willing to support us for doing so.

Please consider donating to Mountain Justice. You can also contact me directly for more information.

For the mountains and the people and the birds and the bears,

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