If it was easy, they wouldn’t call it a “struggle.”
In 1921, 15,000 miners took up arms against the coal industry’s gun thugs and fought for the basic right to live and work in decent conditions. It was the second largest armed insurrection in the U.S. history (after the Civil War) and the only time the U.S. government used airplanes to drop bombs on it’s own people. The Battle of Blair Mountain has become an historic symbol of resistance against King Coal. Now, greedy coal companies have removed it’s historical preservation status and begun to strip mine Blair Mountain.
In fierce resistance, Appalachian residents most harmed by mountaintop removal coal mining are joining together with union rank and file, retired miners, environmentalists, students, teachers and more for a historic march and direct action to commemorate the battle’s 90th anniversary from June 5-11. And Rising Tide North America will be joining them.
The March on Blair Mountain builds on the energy of Appalachia Rising, which brought thousands to the streets of Washington D.C. last September, and spread to Kentucky where dozens occupied their governor’s office for justice in their state and the region last February.
Now we are bringing the movement to Blair Mountain.
Thanks for all you do.
For the mountains,
Rising Tide North America
Update from Washington D.C.: The Department of Interior dropped charges for the 21 arrested during Reclaim Power March April 18.
On April 18th, a thousand people marched to the Dept. of Interior in an unpermitted march, organized by Rising Tide North America and Peaceful Uprising, singing “We Shall Overcome.” Hundreds stormed the building’s lobby for a multi-hour occupation which resulted in 21 arrests.
Today was their arraignment. All 21 were in court for our arraignment from all over the country. Some planned on going to trial.
But then there was a strange turn. The Dept of Interior essentially dropped all charges.
Here’s a first hand account from one of the DOI 21:
“The court called us up front and, one by one, called us up to the clerk who gave us a paper which said, in part, “The US Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia or the office of the Attorney General for the D. of C. has declined to proceed with prosecution against you for the incident that led to your arrest for the offense of UNLAWFUL ENTRY. This means that your arrest has been NO PAPERED. However, the prosecuting attorney could seek to proceed with prosecution at a later date.”
via Shadia Fayne Wood
Our lawyer afterwards said that in 20 years of experience he knows of only one case where someone who was “no papered” was later prosecuted for the charge.
The 21 of us went outside the courthouse and after exchanging hugs we sang “If I Had a Hammer” together. We also talked about the next big action for many of us, the March on Blair Mountain. We were all juiced!”
Was it the threat of taking it to court, the sheer number of arrestees, or the upcoming presidential election that swayed them? Maybe all three.
Groups to mark Gulf Oil Spill anniversary with actions against corporate fossil fuel extraction
For Immediate Release | Contact: Rae Breaux; 818-271-0386 (cell)
Washington D.C. — On April 20th, dozens of environmental, climate, and social justice groups will target government and corporate operations with aggressive protests and civil disobedience in an International Day of Direct Action against Extraction organized by Rising Tide North America to commemorate the first anniversary of BP’s Gulf oil disaster. The protests were organized to demand an end to the environmental destruction and climate destabilization created by fossil fuel and other extraction industries.
“For all practical purposes, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast function as a third world resource colony within the US. For a hundred years, our people and ecosystems have been sacrificed to provide cheap energy and big profits,” said Devin Martin, a Cajun native of southern Louisiana. “We pay for the hidden costs of oil and gas with our health and our lives through air pollution, oil spills, and a completely corrupted state government. We already lose a football field of coastal marsh every 38 minutes, and now rising sea levels from climate change will put my home, including New Orleans, under water permanently.”
The day of action will feature events organized by Gulf Coast residents fighting offshore drilling, local residents in the south side of Chicago resisting two of the largest coal plants in the nation, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York residents opposing natural gas hydrofracking, Canadians fighting tar sands mining in Alberta and residents of Oregon and Washington resisting coal and tar sands exports along the Columbia River, as well as other community groups engaged in fights against extractive industries. Protests are also planned for the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Continue reading