Stand with Poisoned Inmates

Graphic by Adam Peck via Think Progress.

This is climate injustice.

In January, thousands of gallons of the toxic coal cleaning chemicals contaminated the drinking supply for 300,000 people and hundreds of inmates at the South Central Regional Jail (SCRJ) in Charleston, WV, were deprived of access to enough safe water.

Many inmates suffered from illness and injury from dehydration or chemical exposure. Some even faced violence and legal repercussions for seeking medical help and for asking for clean water to drink. You can hold SCRJ accountable and ensure the basic human rights for inmates if you speak out right now!

Click here to demand basic human rights and safe water access for inmates at West Virginia’s South Central Regional Jail.

Our allies with West Virginia Water Hub and Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS) met and corresponded with more than 50 inmates, and based on their stories, it’s clear that this failed crisis response is just the latest example in a larger pattern of abuse, violence, and negligence by the jail’s staff and administration.

WV Water Hub and RAMPS are amplifying the voices of inmates and exposing this horrendous abuse in order to force a response from prison authorities.

Add your voice: sign RAMPS’ petition to demand basic human rights for inmates in coal country.

RAMPS has stated that they are acting “in solidarity with broader movements of resistance to the growing prison state and poisonous extractive industries.” Combined, the systems of state repression and fossil fuel industry profit are creating a perpetual crisis. Like RAMPS, our movements must respond in kind and directly confront fossil fuel expansion, challenge the political power of that system, and act in solidarity with those facing the brunt of the crisis.

That is climate justice.

No Business as Usual at Alpha Headquarters

flagReposted from the RAMPS Campaign

June 20, 2014 — Bristol, VA. Three activists with Mountain Justice and Radical Action for Mountains and People’s Survival (RAMPS) are currently stopping business as usual at Alpha Natural Resources headquarters in Bristol, VA, in protest of Alpha’s devastating practices of mountaintop removal coal mining. Activists were protesting the opening of new mines on Coal River Mountain in southern West Virginia. Two protestors are locked in front of the front doors of the office, while a third is hanging from a flag pole displaying a banner that reads “Save Coal River Mountain”

“That mountain is the mountain I learned to hunt on, it’s the mountain that’s sustained my family for generations. I’ll be a dead man before I see them take what’s left up there,” said
Junior Walk, of West Virginia. Walk lives in the Coal River Valley, directly below Alpha operations on Coal River Mountain. Alpha recently began blasting on the 264 acre Collins Fork mine. Local residents and activists have opposed surface mining on Coal River Mountain since the late 1990s.

2014-06-20 06.25.05-2“I am here today to demand an end to Alpha’s role in the destruction of Appalachia. While coal is exported and profits leave the region, the health effects remain in the communities,” said Camilo Pereira, one of the protestors blocking the office. Two of the protesters in a lockbox at the front door of Alpha’s headquarters and blocked the entrance.

While coal production has decreased nationwide in the past years, coal exports are at an all-time high. The overwhelming majority of coal extracted from Coal River Mountain is metallurgical coal used primarily to produce steel and is likely bound for export markets. Adam Hall, of Glen Daniel, WV, said, “As a country, we have made great strides against the dangers of coal fired power plants. However, new emission regulations will not stop Alpha from blowing up Coal River Mountain and endangering my home and family.”

More than 20 peer-reviewed studies demonstrate a connection between mountaintop removal coal mining operations and increased cases of lung and heart diseases, as well as increased birth defects, early mortality, and depression.

The RAMPS Campaign’s ongoing work against Alpha Natural Resources demands an end to Alpha’s mountaintop removal practices in Appalachia. Furthermore, RAMPS urges the company to re-employ miners for effective and thorough reclamation of retired and abandoned mine sites.

Photos of today’s protest can be found here when available.

Mountain Justice is a regional and national network that has worked for 10 years to support community based, grassroots efforts to end Mountaintop Removal and build a brighter future in Appalachia.

Help Make Climate Justice A Reality In 2013!

scenes from a tree sit-2Donate to Rising Tide North America and Help Make Climate Justice a Reality in 2013

Our climate movement is fierce.

And we’re not afraid to stand up to the worst drilling and mining companies on the planet.

Over six years ago in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Rising Tide North America emerged as a radical force in the climate movements. Seeking to connect the dots between climate change and social justice, we have built a network throughout North America that has not only fought on the frontlines of climate justice, but challenged the root causes of climate change while there.

Donate to Rising Tide North America and help make climate justice a reality in 2013.

2012 has been a watershed year for the climate movements. Community led campaigns against fracking have sprouted up in OH, PA and NY. Appalachians occupied and shut down the largest strip mining site in West Virginia. Climate activists joined up with Texas landowners to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.

At the center of each of these environmental mobilizations and campaigns have been Rising Tide chapters and activists. This year, we’ve:

 

  • Started new chapters from Alaska to Santa Cruz, CA to Toronto to Vermont to the Florida Keys.
  • Worked with the Tar Sands Blockade in a direct action campaign to stop the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • Trained and organized activists for civil disobediences at the Mountain Mobilization in West Virginia, the Coal Exports Action in Helena, Montana and many other events.
  • Coordinated with the “Summer of Solidarity” which included actions against fracking, mountaintop removal and tar sands.


As we begin 2013, we’re asking you to make a donation to Rising Tide North America to keep our momentum building.

Whether its $5, $50 or $500, we’ll take whatever you can give. We’re an all-volunteer network of activists and we don’t take money from large foundations or celebrity donors. We only have you.

Please donate and help us build this movement.

Media Advisory: Dozens of people to walk onto West Virginia strip mine next week, shut it down

PRESS ADVISORY, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mat Louis-Rosenberg
Phone: 304-449-NVDA (6832)
E-mail: media@wg.rampscamaign.org

Dozens of people to walk onto strip mine next week, shut it down

Who: RAMPS (Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival), local and regional allies, activists from around the country.

What: The Mountain Mobilization–largest in U.S. history protest to shut down a strip mine in Southern West Virginia.  The movement against mountaintop removal has been gaining ground, with the longest tree sit in the history of the eastern US last summer, coal barge and truck blockades this Spring, and June’s sit-ins in Washington D.C. Meanwhile, environmental protections are under attack by politicians serving corporate interests. “Mountain Mobilization” is part of a national uprising against fossil fuels taking place this summer. In sharp contrast to Washington inaction, ordinary citizens around the country are turning to the proud American tradition of direct action– from July 28’s Stop The Frack Attack protest in Washington D.C. to August’s Coal Export Action in Helena, Montana.  RAMPS and allies will not back down until the Obama Administration takes decisive action to protect American communities from these extreme extraction industries.

When: Wednesday July 25 – Wednesday August 1, with mass walk-on to a strip mine July 28

Where: Southern West Virginia.  Contact us to be present for the mass walk-on on July 28.

Why: Demand the end to a mining practice that is destroying communities and an end to government inaction.  Mountaintop removal is a high-technology mining technique that has reduced employment in Appalachia and endangered the health and safety of mountain communities.  Numerous studies have shown clear links between the technique and cardiovascular disease, birth defects, cancer, and other illnesses.  Junior Walk, a native of southern West Virginia’s Coal River Valley who has experienced first-hand the health impacts of growing up with polluted water, says,  “King Coal is feeling the pressure like never before, and that means this is the most important time to ramp up resistance.  Now is when we decide if we let the coal industry strip it all before deserting Appalachia or if we send them packing while we still have mountains.”