The Katuah Medics are taking to the hills of Western North Carolina the weekend of July 13-15. This skills track will take the medic skills you already have and supplement them with basic backcountry skills such as:
compass, map, and navigation establishing shelters backcountry hygiene backcountry food and water minimizing your footprint
This is a skill share, so folks with all levels of experience are invited to bring their talents and share them with others.
Email katuahmedics4u (at) riseup (dot) net by July 8th for more information (location, gear list, etc…) and to RSVP.
Last week, Mountain Justice and RAMPS stopped nine coal trucks and a coal bargeafter 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.“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.
Medic Training Opportunity at camp
Mountain Justice is hosting a 20-hour medic training Monday, May 21 at 2pm through Wednesday, May 23 at the Mountain Justice Summer Action Camp. For more information, see this section of the registration form.
us as we build pressure and momentum in stopping strip mining and other
exploitative resource extraction in Appalachia. This Summer Action
Camp is the place to learn new skills, expand on ones you already have;
strengthen ties, meet new friends and get ready for bigger events later
in the year. You
can bet the types of workshops offered will range from mountaintop
removal 101, non-violent civil disobedience, to campaign and community
organizing, science and SMCRA (Surface Mine Control and Reclamation
Act), and Appalachian community economics. In addition, there is a
training-for-trainers track. Expect direct action to be part of this
camp as well, though participation is not required for camp attendance.
Mountain Justice welcomes parents, kids, families, and people at all ages and stages of life. For the past few years, MJ camp and our other events have had a physical space and a crew of people we’ve called the Kid Collective—loving and experienced child care givers and educators, armed with books, crafts, toys, games, and quiet space! Please think about bringing your little ones. Please contact erin(AT)mountainjustice(DOT)org if you plan to bring kids, so we can get more details, give you more info, and prepare as best as possible to make this a great event for your family!
The final schedule will be released later. The registration form is now on-line. To be notified when these come out, sign up for our News and Announcement List.
Registration fees will be $20 minimum plus $15/day, or $150 for the
duration of camp. This includes all workshop activities, three meals a
day and a place to sleep. No one will be turned away for the lack of
funds–scholarships are available.
If you need a ride to camp or can offer one, post at our Rideboard.
There’s also more work to pull this off. If you’d like to get involved now, here’s the working groups and their contacts:
Learn about and take action against the destructive effects of the dirty life-cycles of coal and natural gas!
Our struggle for environmental justice in Appalachia has never been as publicized, analyzed, or urgent as RIGHT NOW! Not a moment too soon, your chance to plug in and make things happen is here! This March 21-28, Mountain Justice Spring Break will bring hundreds of young people face to face with the impacts of mountaintop removal and coal industry abuse- and give you the skills and knowledge you need to fight back! Through education, community service, speakers, hiking, music, poetry, direct action and more, you will learn from and stand with Appalachian communities in the struggle to maintain our land and culture.
This spring break will be like no other! With skill building and analysis sessions ranging from critical organizing to non violent direct action, you will leave camp with the training you need to not only make things happen in your community, but train others to do it as well! And since it is a “break” we will find plenty of time between rabble rousing to relax, reflect, and have a great time with each other, whether hula hooping, playing music, or cuddling in a hammock!
Please share your spring break with us in breathtaking Northern West Virginia, cultivating the skills and visions needed to abolish mountaintop removal and hydro-fracking and replace it with vibrant, healthy, self-reliant communities. Come and bring your friends! We are committed to learning a lot, getting involved in ending mountaintop removal, and having tons of fun!
WHAT? Mountain Justice Spring Break
WHEN? March 21-28, 2012 This year we are very excited to announce that Mountain Justice Spring Break will coordinate community service projects in the coal fields of northern West Virginia and the gas lands of Pennsylvania. In order to accommodate more students with various spring breaks, these service projects will take place before and after the week of camp. Please indicate on your registration form if you are interested, or contact the outreach coordinator, Michelle at [email protected] for more information.
WHO? Mountain Justice participants come from diverse backgrounds such as coal field residents, college students, environmentalists, Earth First!ers, and other concerned citizens that care about our mountains. Participants share a common goal to halt MTR coal mining.
CAN’T WAIT? The MJSB planning collective is looking for Campus Coordinators who can organize a crew of people from your school or community. You (yes, YOU) are strongly encouraged to let us hook you up with a coordinator resource packet to help you start fueling this movement TODAY! Please email Michelle at [email protected] for more information on how to become a campus coordinator or fill out our campus coordinator interest form here.
On the morning of Wednesday, March 26, more than 30 anti-fracking activists from across West Virginia and Appalachia picketed the Bridgeport, West Virginia, office of EQT Energy. The group of activists were supporting two landowners, Eileen and Jim Burke, who came from Doddridge County to try and meet with officials about concerns they had about about EQT’s shale gas operations near their property.
Hydraulic Fracturing, commonly called fracking, is a controversial
method of natural gas extraction that involves injecting millions of
gallons of chemical-laden water deep underground in order to shatter the
bedrock and release the gas.
Eileen said that after setting up an appointment with a company
representative, they found the doors locked. The company representative,
Tim Groves, told the Burkes that he wasn’t allowed to speak with them.
Police were called and the Burkes were escorted outside, where activists
held a giant banner that read “Stop Fracking: Clean Water is a Human
Right”. The protestors chanted and held signs for passing traffic for
the following thirty minutes.
Eileen said that she had not come to cause trouble, but wanted to
talk to EQT about her concerns for the safety of her family: “I worked
as a schoolteacher and we made so many sacrifices to get here. I don’t
see myself as just an environmentalist–but especially as a mother who
wants her kids to inherit the beautiful land and precious water that’s
now being ruined by gas and greed. Is making sure your children inherit
clean water too much to ask?” The Burkes are concerned that they do not
know which chemicals were used in the fracking process, and they
recounted an experience where an EQT truck had caught on fire in front
of their house in the middle of the night. Eileen spoke of how worried
she had been about the possibility of an explosion, and how the company
has done little to explain what happened or to guarantee her family’s
Eileen also commented that people in her community who have been
affected by the gas drilling are under a great deal of pressure to not
speak out. “The gas man who comes around here puts his hand on his heart
and talks to us like we have a patriotic duty to allow this, as if
we’re threatening national security if we speak our minds. It’s a
routine speech that all my neighbors have seen. But to me, patriotism
involves the practice of protecting people and the environment, and that
shows the ultimate love of our country.”
David Baghdadi, 35, who currently lives in Rock Creek, West Virginia,
said that he was inspired to attend the protest after visiting fracking
sites in neighboring Doddridge County and listening to personal impact
stories from local families. “Many local residents don’t own their
mineral rights and are powerless to watch as gas companies erect well
pads, storage tanks and compressor stations on their lands. A lot of
people have had their water go bad after the gas industry moved in, and
many of them can’t afford to move because having fracking operations
nearby can destroy your property value. We’re here today to take a stand
for justice, and to show concerned citizens in this community that they
are not alone in this.”
The protest, following a week-long Mountain Justice Spring Break, was
planned by Mountain Justice, a group that organizes citizens of the
Appalachian region to fight against mountaintop removal mining. A number
of Mountain Justice protestors came from the southern coalfields of
West Virginia and were eager to draw a connection between fracking and
mountaintop removal. A representative of Mountain Justice commented, “In
a state that has been devastated for over a hundred years by the coal
industry, we refuse to let another extraction industry profit from the
destruction of our mountains’ waters and communities. These are our most
valuable resources, and the future of Appalachia deserves to be
“Before you make a decision about fracking, do your research,” said
Doddridge County Resident, Mirijana Beram. “We already have a bad track
record for natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. We’re having our
water polluted with serious toxins, yet we don’t even know what to test
it for because the fracking companies aren’t obligated to disclose the
chemicals they’re injecting into the ground. How can you trust any
industry that can inject carcinogens deep under your home and doesn’t
even have to tell you about them?”
The demonstration lasted approximately 90
minutes with many cars honking in support of the picketers. A few of
the smaller signs read, “Question Fracking”, “Water & Mountains
Matter More Than Gas” with a high school student holding up a sign that
read, “Please Don’t Frack My Future.” Protestors said they hope their
actions will help start a conversation across West Virginia around the
perils of fracking the Marcellus Shale.
From our Dineh friends of Big Mountain/Black Mesa, Ariz.:
Alert! Take Action Now!
In the last two days, livestock impoundment crews have confiscated calves and stolen and immediately sold horses belonging to several Dineh people of Big Mountain/Black Mesa, Arizona. These livestock impoundments constitute human rights violations against traditional Dineh (Navajo); they take away one of their major food sources and one of the main sources of their livelihood. This is a tactical move to further genocidal relocation policies.
Even though it is Saturday, call now and throughout the week and flood their lines and answering machines. Say that the elders need their animals to survive, these confiscations are WRONG, that we are watching, and that we see this ongoing harassment as part of cultural genocide. Also, make sure to ask that they stop driving quads illegally through sensitive environments.
Please Call The Hopi tribal chairman’s office @ 928-734-3102. Ask for the chair, LeRoy Shingoitewa who made the direct order for the impoundments and stolen horses.
We’re collecting funds to pay for livestock reclamation. We know it will be at least $500. The amount increases daily. You can go here to donate now: http://blackmesais.org/donate/
Many Thanks for Your Support. Stay in touch!
The BMIS Collective: Hallie, Berkley, Liza, Derek, and Tree
This October 28th-30th Coal River Mountain Watch and RAMPS will be
hosting the 6th annual Mountain Justice Fall Summit in the Coal River
Valley of Southern West Virginia. Rallying around destructive mining
practices and the corporate control over our communities that allows
these practices to continue, we intend to send a message that we will
not stand for this any longer.
Massey Energy, formerly the largest coal producer in the state was
bought out by Alpha Natural Resource this past June. The move was
heralded as a move away from the safety and environmental violations
that marked Massey’s mining history in the region, Regulators and State
politicians touting Alpha’s “Running Right” slogan as a prediction of
things to come.
However, almost 4 months later it is clear that hopes of Alpha
“Running Right” were misplaced. The mines they took over in the coal
river valley continue to rack up violation after violation, and concerns
over mining practices seem to go unheard, as they continue to go
forward with aggressive mining plans.
This years Fall Summit will be held at Coal River Mountain Watch’s
new volunteer house up Rock Creek Hollow. We have ample forested area
for folks to camp, and will have covered outdoor spaces for workshops
and an outdoor kitchen. Participants should come prepared for the
possibility of cold weather and pack camping gear, and clothing
accordingly. If you would like to attend but are unable to camp, please
contact us. If you are unable to attend, please consider donating to MJ
to help cover the cost of the event.
This devastating practice can not go on. Alpha is “Running Right”
over us. Come join us for the Mountain Justice Fall Summit in Rock Creek
for a weekend of workshops, education and action. Register at Here. For more info, contact [email protected] or 304-854-0390.