Activists Disrupt Arch Coal Corporate HQ In St. Louis

arch prayCREVE COEUR, MO —  Seven affiliated with the RAMPS campaign (Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival), MORE (Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) and Mountain Justice are locked down to a 500-pound small potted tree in Arch Coal’s third-floor headquarters while a larger group is in the lobby performing a song and dance.  Additionally, a helium balloon banner with the message “John Eaves Your Coal Company Kills”, directed at the Arch Coal CEO was released in at the Arch Coal headquarters.

Seven protesters locked down outside the corporate office of Arch Coal.

“We’re here to halt Arch’s operations for as long as we can. These coal corporations do not answer to communities, they only consume them.  We’re here to resist their unchecked power,” explained Margaret Fetzer, one of the protestors.

Arch Coal, the second largest coal company in the U.S., operates strip mines in Appalachia and in other U.S. coal basins. Strip mining is an acutely destructive and toxic method of mining coal, and resource extraction disproportionately impacts marginalized communities.

“From the Battle of Blair Mountain to the current fight with the Patriot pensions, the people of central Appalachia have been fighting against the coal companies for the past 125 years. The struggle continues today as we take action to hold Arch Coal and other coal companies accountable for the damage that they do to people and communities in Appalachia and around the world. Coal mining disproportionately impacts indigenous peoples, and we stand in solidarity with disenfranchised people everywhere,”  Dustin Steele of Mingo County, W.Va. said.  Steele was one of the people locked in Arch’s office.

Mingo County is representative of the public health crisis faced by communities overburdened by strip mining.  A recent study of life expectancies placed Mingo County in the bottom 1 percent out of 3,147 counties nationwide.

Arch’s strip mines not only poison communities, but also seek to erase the legacy of resistance to the coal companies in Appalachia. Arch’s Adkins Fork Surface Mine is blasting threatening to blast away Blair Mountain—the site of the second largest uprising in U.S. history and a milestone in the long-standing struggle between Appalachians and the coal companies. 

The devastation of Arch’s strip mines plague regions beyond Appalachia.  Arch’s operation in the Powder River Basin is the “single largest coal mining complex in the world.”  Producing 15 percent of the U.S. coal supply, Arch is a major culprit of the climate crisis.

NASA scientist James Hansen describes the burning of coal as a leading cause global climate change.  The Midwest region faces serious public health impacts from climate change due to “increased heat wave intensity and frequency, degraded air quality, and reduced water quality” according to recently published data from the National Climate Assessment.

More Than 100 Protesters Take Over TransCanada’s Keystone XL Offices in Houston

*More Than 100 Protesters Take Over TransCanada’s Keystone XL Offices in Houston*
MEDIA RELEASE: Jan 7, 2013

Contact: Kim Huynh, Tar Sands Blockade, 940-268-5375,
kxlblockade@gmail.com<https://fruiteater.riseup.net/sm/src/compose.php?send_to=kxlblockade%40gmail.com>

Liveblog and photos:
http://tarsandsblockade.org/houston-action-transcanada-offices

* *

*Tar Sands Blockade Proclaims Next Phase of Organizing with Largest-Yet Action*
*HOUSTON, TX, JANUARY 3, 2013 12:00PM*: Over 100 blockaders stormed the
lobby of TransCanada’s Keystone XL office in Houston this morning.
Protesters danced, spilled black ‘tar sands’ balloons and hung neon orange
hazard tape to highlight the deadly effects of TransCanada’s corporate
greed on communities and ecosystems.

After being forced out of the lobby by police, the protesters gathered on
the sidewalk and performed street theatre in which a “pipe dragon” puppet
destroyed homes and poisoned water until being slain by knights
representing the grassroots coalition of Tar Sands Blockade, Idle No More,
Earth First and others.

Today’s action was the largest yet in the months-long campaign by climate
justice organizers and Texas landowners against the pipeline and the first
mass action in Houston targeting TransCanada corporate offices directly. It
kicks off a new phase of Blockade organizing, targeting the corporate,
political and financial infrastructure behind the Keystone XL pipeline with
solidarity actions planned across the country this week, including in
Austin, Detroit and New York City.

Activist collective Anonymous today released the personal information of
TransCanada executives and Keystone XL’s financial backers in solidarity
with the launch of the Blockade’s new strategy phase. Protesters are
currently chained together and actively occupying TransCanada’s offices
near Boston.

“From the Texas backwoods to the corporate boardrooms, the fight to defend
our homes from toxic tar sands will not be ignored,” said Ramsey Sprague, a
Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson. “We’re here today to directly confront the
TransCanada executives who’re continuing on with business as usual while making
our communities sacrifice zones.”

Last Thursday, a tree blockade near Diboll, TX brought TransCanada’s
illegal practices to light, showing that they hadn’t received permission
from the county commissioner to build the pipeline through county land.

In addition to land and water concerns, the Keystone XL pipeline is a
classic case of environmental racism. In Houston, the low-income
neighborhoods near refineries, such as Manchester, whose residents are 90%
Latino, will have to breathe the noxious wastes of the tar sands refining
process.

“We’ve done everything we can to stop this pipeline: we’ve petitioned,
rallied and taken direct action. The historic resistance to this pipeline
shows how risky an investment this and other tar sands pipelines have
become,” said Alec Johnson, one of the office blockaders. “Tar sands oil
spilling into our waterways and millions of tons of carbon pollution
spilling into the atmosphere means that this industry’s days are numbered.”

####

Tar Sands Blockade is a coalition of Texas and Oklahoma landowners and
climate justice organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience
to stop the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. For
more information visit tarsandsblockade.org or follow us at @KXLBlockade.

Last Chance To Donate To Rising Tide In 2012!

standing up by sitting inWe’ve had a badass year.

From mine takeovers in West Virginia and occupations of the Montana State House to a spectacular tree blockade in East Texas, we’ve brought the heat against the worst earth destroyers in the business. Now we’re asking you to dig deep into your pockets and donate to Rising Tide North America, so we can do it again in 2013.

Donate one last time to Rising Tide in 2012.

We’ll be doing bigger and more badass things next year, including:

  • Fighting Tar Sands not only in Texas, but in New England, Idaho and up and down the Keystone XL pipeline route.
  • Making a stink about Alaskan coal exploration and extraction.
  • Hosting at Northwest Coal Exports Convergence.
  • Standing with frontline communities wherever we’re needed.

There is a grassroots uprising against the fossil fuel industry and we’re out there organizing and leading it. Help us make it happen in 2013.

Please donate and help us build this movement.

Thanks for all you do.

Solidarity, Rising Tide North America

P.S. Our friends and family at Rainforest Action Network (RAN) suffered a tragic loss this week when their executive director Becky Tarbotton died in a swimming accident last week in Mexico. Rising Tide will honor Becky by keeping her spirit, ferocity and dedication to making a better world in our hearts and ongoing work. Please visit Becky’s tribute page at ran.org/becky and leave a comment in her memory.

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.