Update: Five of the eight have been bailed out. The remaining three are expected to have bail hearings on Wednesday or Thursday. Read all updates here.
June 23, 2014. Bristol, VA All of our friends arrested in the Alpha headquarters action were arraigned in front of a judge this morning after spending the weekend in Jail. While none of them can be released from jail until their bail is set, only some of them will get bail hearings this afternoon. If enough donations are made to the legal defense fund, we may be able to get some of them out of jail today or tomorrow! While it’s looking like half or more of our friends won’t be able to get a hearing today, we hope to raise money in the interim so that we’re able to make bail as soon as it is set.
Over the past decade, the Mountain Justice Legal Defense Fund has made it possible for countless people to risk arrest in actions and for our movement to bail those arrested out when they needed it. Donations to the legal defense fund are usually used not just once, but again and again as court cases are resolved and those funds return. In other words, one donation can help action after action over the years. Right now, our fund is critically low because many activists are still out on bail for other Mountain Justice actions that have happened this year.
If you can, please donate to the legal fund to make it possible to bail out the 8 people in jail now and to support our ongoing work.
Our friends who were arrested near Alpha’s headquarters thought a lot about the issue before taking action. Here are the statements that they made about why they are organizing against Alpha Natural Resources:
“I’m participating in this action in solidarity with my friends in Appalachia whose daily lives are affected by Alpha Natural Resources’ operations. I’m also doing this to send a message to Alpha that they cannot continue the wholesale destruction of mountain communities.”
“Those who got arrested in this action, who were protesting against the unethical practices of Alpha Natural Resources, aren’t the true criminals. The true criminals are those who are ordering the destruction of these beautiful mountains, symbols of history, culture, and community.”
“Extreme extraction is very close to my family’s story, and the destruction of mountains is near to my heart. My father’s hometown in Peru is right next to the largest gold mine in the world, Yanacocha. As long as I can remember, I’ve had family who worked in the mine – and against it. My grandfather taught me that according to his indigenous beliefs, each mountain has an Apu – its own spirit. I’m here today in solidarity with the people of Appalachia, to demand an end to Alpha’s mountaintop removal mining. I’m standing up for the mountains and all of the life that depends on them.”
“How can we live in a society where corporations like Alpha are allowed to strip the land, blow up mountains, pollute the water and the air we breathe? People are sick and dying because of mountaintop removal, and it’s time we held corporations accountable.”
“I oppose MTR because it harms life. I risked arrest alongside friends practically guaranteed for it because of what has left the sphere of risk and entered into reality and living history for Appalachian communities, working and incarcerated people, and the mountains that sustain them. I will not negotiate on the right to clean water and decent livelihood for everyone. Instead I will act to ensure it.”