Today about a dozen mountain defenders from MJS paid a visit to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, home of Chancellor Gordon Gee who sits on the board of directors of Massey.
While some layered the campus in flyers explaining the connection between Gee and the mountain destroyers at Massey, “Gorden Gee”, with his over-sized bowtie, and “King Coal of Massey” with her over-sized tophat, strolled arm-and-arm through the campus while others handed leaflets to staff, students and prospective students who walked by.
Later in the afternoon, a public rally of about 15 people outside Gee’s office was met by a spooky “private security” officer, media from both NPR and Channel 4, and the Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs for Vanderbilt.
The spokesman was questioned several times about the role of Gee in the destruction of mountains and said that Gee “appreciated our interest” in his role in MTR and that Massey is and will continue to be an “environmentally friendly” company. We delievered a letter to Gee calling on him to use his position as a respected member of the community to acknowledge the harmful effects of surface-mining
When we asked if he thought our photos of some Massey mine sites in West Virginia looked environmentally friendly, he thanked us for coming without answering the question. Better luck next time…
All in all, we got a few hundred leaflets out, a few hundred posters up, and blew Gee out of the water to a lot of people. The security presence as well as the Vanderbilt spokeman show that we hit the nail on the head, that Gee knows we are on to him, and that we are serious about ending mountaintop removal mining throughout the Appalachian regions.