Monday, September 27, 2010
Following an office occupation during which 9 protesters were forcibly removed, the rally circled the building. Two Kentucky coal field residents gained an audience with officials from the Army Corps of Engineers. And the day has just begun!
Friday, September 24, 2010
The singers also demanded that Pepco(al) stop sourcing energy generated from burning coal, particularly coal from mountaintop removal mining, use renewable energy like wind and solar instead, provide reparations to communities impacted by their power plants and by climate change, and cancel rate hikes for folks in DC.
The flash mob comes one year after DC Rising Tide initially delivered demands to Pepco at their headquarters. DC Rising Tide returned today as part of the Appalachia Rising movement to save the mountains, culminating in massive street demonstrations on Monday the 27th.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
As shareholders entered their meeting in the main ballroom of the sheik Jefferson Hotel, activists occupied the adjacent rotunda, chanting loudly and draping a massive banner over the ornate mezzanine railings. The 10’ x 10’ hand-painted banner read, “Massey – Stop Putting Profits Over People!”
“Coal mining is dangerous. It’s dangerous for workers, dangerous for surrounding communities, and dangerous for the future of our planet. It’s time we move off of our dependency on coal and transition to a just, safe, clean energy future.” said Kate Rooth of DC Rising Tide, one of those who disrupted the meeting. “Massey Energy is notorious not only for putting their bottom dollar over people’s safety, but for driving people out their communities and poisoning their drinking water.”
Protesters loudly read an open letter to Massey (below) demanding they cease mountaintop removal coal mining, a practice that is destroying central Appalachian communities. A similar open letter was tendered by two activists who yesterday were assigned an outrageous $100,000 bail after non-violently blocking the driveway to Massey’s regional HQ in Boone County, WV.
As activists disrupted events inside, several hundred unionists and environmentalists rallied in the rain outside – albeit separately – to demand accountability for Massey’s despicable record of dangerous mine conditions, and its devastating social and ecological impact. Rally-goers pointed to the recent explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, WV that killed 29 miners, and its mountaintop removal operations throughout Appalachia in their indictment of Massey’s corporate greed.
The activists arrested today in Richmond, Kate Finneran and Oscar Ramirez, remain in custody as Massey Energy continues jeopardizing workers’ lives and blasting apart mountaintops and communities throughout Appalachia.
New Press Release:
More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcrt/sets/72157623962766237/
Mountain justice supporters disrupt Massey Energy stockholder meeting in the lobby of the hotel with with chants, signs, banner
“Massey Stop Putting Profits Over People” says banner
Richmond, VA – Several activists have occupied the location of theMassey Energy stockholders meeting and have unfurled a banner from the balcony above the elegant grand foyer of the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. The banner reads, “Massey Stop Putting Profits Over People.” The activists are loudly reading an open letter (below) to Massey Energy demanding that the company cease mountaintop removal coal mining, a practice that is destroying central Appalachia. Several hundred mine workers and environmentalists are rallying outside the building on the street to demand that Massey Energy value mine safety.
"Coal mining is dangerous. It’s dangerous for our workers, dangerous for surrounding communities, and dangerous for the future of our planet. It’s time we move off of our dependency on coal and transition to a just, safe, clean energy future.” said Kate Rooth of Rising Tide, one of the activists who disrupted the meeting. “Massey Energy is notorious not only for putting their bottom dollar over people's safety, but for driving people out their communities and poisoning their drinking water."
Massey, a company with a terrible track record of safety violations was also responsible for the April mine disaster at Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, West Virginia which resulted in the death of 29 workers. In 2008, Massey made a $20 million settlement with the EPA for 4,500 Clean Water Act violations filed between 2000 and 2006. Now, in 2010, they are back in court for polluting America’s waterways again, this time for 971 Clean Water Act violations in 2008 and 2009.
The activists are occupying the mezzanine level in the main foyer of the Jefferson Hotel and the banner they have unfurled is a 10’ x 10’ hand-painted banner.
Over 500 mountains in the US have already been destroyed by mountaintop removal coal mining.
For more information on mountaintop removal coal mining and Massey
Energy, please see http://dcrisingtide.blogspot.com/.
# # #
Dear Massey Energy,
We interrupt this meeting of Massey Energy’s Shareholders in order to spotlight and oppose Massey’s terrible safety, environmental and human rights violations. It is our responsibility to stand in firm opposition to Massey’s corporate behavior. We are willing to face the legal consequences of our non-violent action, for we know we are not alone; millions in Appalachia and across the nation are coming to see Massey for what it is. Whether it is the mountains of Appalachia, the lives of underground miners deep inside them, or the wellbeing of communities living below, Massey continually puts profits over people. It is time for the people of Appalachia and America to reject Massey and work together to create something better in its place.
“Violations are, unfortunately, a normal part of the mining process,” Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey, has stated. In 2008, Massey made a $20 million settlement with the EPA for 4,500 Clean Water Act violations filed between the year 2000 and 2006. Now, in 2010, they are back in court for polluting America’s waterways again; this time for 971 Clean Water Act violations in 2008 and 2009. A 2006 fire at Massey’s Aracoma mine killed two workers. Massey settled wrongful death lawsuits for an undisclosed sum and paid civil and criminal penalties of $4.2 million.
It is clear that neither the EPA, criminal, nor civil fines, can sufficiently motivate Massey, or Blankenship, to adopt a culture of responsibility in their business practices.
When it comes to mountaintop removal and coal sludge , there is no responsible course but to ban them entirely. Mountaintop removal is the practice of demolishing Appalachian peaks, in order to scrape out their coal seams. It fills neighboring valleys and streams with the resultant rubble, and damages the health of nearby communities. Coal sludge is the liquid byproduct of washing coal in a carcinogenic chemical bath to remove impurities, such as heavy metals including arsenic, mercury, lead, and others. We call for the abolition of both.
These two practices meet at Massey’s Brushy Fork sludge impoundment on Coal River Mountain.
The Brushy Fork Coal Sludge Impoundment is the tallest earthen dam in the Western Hemisphere, permitted to hold 9 billion gallons of sludge. Massey’s “sunny day” casualty estimation is that if the dam were to break, the flood would kill 998 Coal River Valley residents.
Coal sludge impoundments have failed in the past. A Massey-operated sludge impoundment in Martin County, KY broke in 2000, spilling 306 million gallons of toxic sludge into the tributaries of the Tug Fork, Big Sandy, and Ohio Rivers, killing wildlife, and contaminating 27,000 people’s drinking water. Brushy Fork sits above a honeycomb of abandoned underground room and pillar mines in which 31 pillars are of insufficient strength to reliably support the mine roof, let alone the mass of 9 billion gallons of sludge. Brushy Fork could also break through bottom failure, causing sludge to gush from abandoned mine entrances into the surrounding, populated valleys.
The peril of Brushy Fork is compounded by Massey’s mountaintop removal operations on the Bee Tree Permit , which surrounds the impoundment. Each day, Massey blasts within hundreds of yards of the impoundment. Every mine blast sends high and low frequency vibrations into the mountain. High frequency vibrations are the visible blast, launching fly rock and dust, and dissipate over a short distance. Low frequency vibrations, however, cause structural damages, often foundation cracks, miles from the blast site. Brushy Fork’s earthen dam structure is within hundreds of yards of blasting operations. Thousands of lives are at risk.
Massey must be stopped—that is why we are putting ourselves on the line today.
Shareholders – you have the power to intervene. Use your institutional power to demand Massey cease its mountaintop removal operations and production of coal slurry. Responsibly decommission the Brushy Fork Impoundment. Also, we ask that you join with the coalition of nine public institutional investors that are asking Massey to withhold support from Don Blankenship and Board of Directors Baxter F. Philips, Richard M. Gabrys, and Dan R. Moore “because they have failed to carry out their duties on the Safety, Environmental, and Public Policy Committee.”
Americans – coal from the mountains of Appalachia is burned all over the United States . It heats our homes, powers our factories, and illuminates our schools and offices. It is sometimes difficult connect one’s energy consumption to a struggle hundreds of miles away, but we urge you to take responsibility for that power and stand in solidarity with the people of Appalachia. We know that not everyone is able to put themselves at risk, but we firmly believe that all Americans can–and must– stand up and say: Massey Energy, Stop Putting Profits Before People!
Signed,People of the Earth and Appalachia
# # #
For more information on mountaintop removal coal mining and Massey Energy, please see http://dcrisingtide.blogspot.com/.
More pictures here:
Friday, March 5, 2010
Join us Sunday March 7th for a panel discussion by
former union coal miners from the United Mine Workers
of America! Come hear them discuss the strikes they
took part in and their current work to stop Mountain
Top Removal, the destruction of environment, community,
economy, and culture of Appalachia by blowing off
mountaintops to extract coal.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
5:30pm - 8:30pm
St. Stephen's Church (downstairs)
1525 Newton Street NW
The movement to stop Mountain Top Removal in
Appalachia has been growing for years, in part
thanks to former Union miners who have stepped
into leadership roles throughout the country. While
locally the history of the Union and its militant
struggles is common knowledge, few people outside
of the "hollows" of Appalachia know these stories.
The panel will cover everything from the "wildcat strikes"
to what the United Mine Workers of America meant for
people's daily lives. Panelists will also talk about the
Pittston Strike, a strike which lasted 11 months, covered
3 states, led to thousands of arrests and included a mass
occupation of the Moss 3 Prep Plant, a mining facility in
the area. Finally, the panel will look at how their involvement
in the UMWA affects their role in the current movement to
end Mountain Top Removal.
DC Radical Space Collective
the RRENEW Collective
DC Rainforest Action Network
DC Rising Tide
Friday, January 29, 2010
funk the warming protest in DC today
presenting the 'fossil hawk' egg to the chamber of commerce
funk the warming visits pepco!
pepco= fossil hawk! because they are responsible for mountains in Appalachia being blown up for coal!
square dance in front of pepco's office
leading the square dance
"if i can't dance, i don't want to be in your revolution" -emma goldman
showing the banner to pepco employees inside
dancing in the streets in front of pepco
delivering a fossil hawk egg to Shell
More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46335929@N08/sets/72157623337272274/
and for more info: dc-sds.org
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
bringing the ruckus against climate chaos and corporate resource wars from stolen Native American land to Iraq and Afghanistan
funkadelic youth & student-powered mobile street party
bringing down the corporate lobbying machine
Friday January 29th, noontime
Last month, Fossil Hawks celebrated two great victories: the US-led failure of the Copenhagen climate summit and Obama's escalation of the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thanks to their aggressive lobbying, the world's worst CO2 emitters, companies like Shell and Exxon, are free from new international pollution regulations and fixing to reap huge profits from Obama's expanding resource wars in the strategic oil and natural gas-rich war zones of the Middle East and Central Asia.
The importance of challenging the violence and treachery of corporate power is becoming increasingly clear to the Climate and Anti-War Movements. If we want to turn the tide of climate chaos and corporate resource imperialism, then 2010 must be a year of unprecedented cooperation between our movements in creative resistance against the Fossil Hawks.
With the US military's ranking as the world's #1 gas guzzler (oil consumer & user), buying from the top polluting transnationals, the problem runs deep. The annual CO2 output of the Iraq War is greater than 139 (60%) of the world's countries. It gets worse, but much of the toxic output from the War on Terror is hard to put a number on. We know that US bombs release heavy doses of other greenhouse gases, and pollutants like depleted uranium (DU) are in regular use. There is a long history of US military-industrial eco-devastation: trench warfare gases in WWI, nukes in WWII, agent orange in Vietnam, DU in Gulf War I, and it'll keep coming 'til we bring them down.
>> Fossil Hawks, WTF?
Fossil Hawks are the war-making corporate climate criminals and the politicians who serve them. They are the mining companies, energy companies, weapons manufacturers, military logistics companies, and mercenaries who profit from resource wars and lobby to sabotage US and UN environmental regulation. Many are at the top of the 122 companies responsible for 80% of global CO2 output. They are diversified corporations and lobbies invested in war and environmental exploitation.
* Exxon is expanding natural gas operations using Halliburton's "fracking" process, poisoning North American aquifers while selling jet fuel to US forces bombing Afghanistan until it's "stable" enough for pipelines moving Caspian natural gas.
* Shell simultaneously profits from Iraqi oilfields and from the fuel US tanks burn to protect them while clear-cutting for tar sands in Alberta and lobbying for "Clean Coal" technology in DC.
* Caterpillar sells the same monstrous gas-guzzling D-9 bulldozers to Massey Coal for mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia that US tax dollars buy for Israeli Military demolition of Palestinian homes.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
DC Residents Shame Environmental Protection Agency for Approving West Virginia Mine Permit
January 6, 2010
This morning concerned citizens spelled out the words “Shame EPA” at the Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters in protest of the agency’s decision to approve the Hobet 45 mining permit in Lincoln Co. West Virginia.
This permit is one of 79 permits which were deemed by the Agency to present significant environmental harm to the local watersheds thus requiring an enhanced review process. EPA claims that in the case of this permit they have found a reasonable compromise.
Unfortunately for residents of Lincoln County and surrounding waterways, this permit will still allow for 3 miles of intact streams to be mined as well as millions of cubic yards of hazardous fill to be placed in existing valley fills offsite.
Residents like Judy Bonds, Director of Coal River Mountain Watch and resident of West Virginia, express grave concern about this decision as they worry that it is a sign at the new year of things to come. "We, the affected citizens that are living with the impacts of this destructive mining practice, pray that this decision is not a preview of other destructive mining permits being approved."
She continued to express concerns that this decision would only encourage miners who have lately resorted more to fear tactics and violence. “The very sad thing about this decision it is that the coal industry will think that their thugery and their threats contributed to this decision and may encourage them to be more violent in the future. Shame, Shame EPA.”
“We certainly hope this is the last destructive permit approved that will allow the coal industry to continue to blast our homes and pollute our streams,” Judy added.
Even with the changes made to the permit unacceptable adverse impacts will be felt in the communities surrounding this mine. Mountaintop removal is a deadly practice and should be abolished immediately.
More Photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46335929@N08/sets/72157623155098704/