Mountain Mobilization shuts down largest mountaintop removal mine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2012

Contact: Charles Suggs, 304-449-NVDA (6832), media@wg.rampscampaign.org
Talking Points document: http://rampscampaign.org/key-messages-of-mountain-mobilization/

“Mountain Mobilization” shuts down Logan Co. strip mine

Call for end to strip mining and a just transition for the region’s families

Charleston, W.Va.—More than 50 protesters affiliated with the R.A.M.P.S. Campaign have walked onto Patriot Coal’s Hobet mine and shut it down.  Ten people locked to a rock truck, boarded it and dropped banners: “Coal Leaves, Cancer Stays.”  At least three have been arrested, with another in a tree being threatened by miners with a chain saw.  Earlier in the day, two people were arrested at Kanawha State Forest before a group of protesters headed to the state capitol.

“The government has aided and abetted the coal industry in evading environmental and mine safety regulations. We are here today to demand that the government and coal industry end strip mining, repay their debt to Appalachia, and secure a just transition for this region,” Dustin Steele of Matewan, W.Va. said.  Steele was one of the people locked to the rock truck.

Mounting scientific evidence shows that strip mining negatively impacts community health and miner health.   Recent studies have found a 42 percent increase in risk of birth defects around strip mines, and miners who spend at least 20 years as strip-mine drillers have a 61 percent chance of contracting silicosis, a virulent form of black lung.  “The coal companies are poisoning our water and air, and they’re treating the workers no better than the land – fighting workplace health and safety protections to get the most out of labor as they can,” said Junior Walk of Whitesville, W.Va.

As coal production declines, protesters are concerned that the region will be left with only illness and environmental devastation as the industry pulls out of the region and companies file for bankruptcy to shed legacy costs.

Patriot Coal is currently going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in which union contracts and pensions could be on the chopping block.  Both UMWA pensions and the state’s Special Reclamation Fund are funded through a per-ton tax on coal.  With Central Appalachian coal production in the middle of a projected six-year, 50 percent decline, this funding stream is increasingly unsustainable.  Protesters are calling on the coal industry and government to ensure that funding is available both to honor commitments to retired workers and to restore the land.

“Coal companies must employ their surface mine workers in reclaiming all disturbed land to the highest standards.  Instead of arguing about the ‘war on coal,’ political leaders should immediately allocate funds to retrain and re-employ laid off miners to secure a healthy future for the families of this region,” said R.A.M.P.S. spokesperson Mathew Louis-Rosenberg.

Appalachian communities, from union miners to the anti-strip mining activists of the 1960s, have a proud history of confronting the coal industry and demanding an end to its exploitive practices with direct civil disobedience. R.A.M.P.S. and other campaigns have returned to this tradition to eliminate strip mining once and for all. Since its founding in 2011, R.A.M.P.S. has organized a range of actions, from tree-sits to blockades of coal trucks.

Today’s protesters are among the hundreds of people across the country who are joining this summer’s National Uprising Against Extraction, using radical tactics to fight oppressive extractive industries and demand a transition to a sustainable economy.

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Rising Tide North Texas Announces North Texas Keystone Convergence, July 27-29

Rising Tide North Texas Announces North Texas Keystone Convergence, July 27-29

Register Here!

On July 27th-29th, Rising Tide North Texas and the Tar Sands Blockade are hosting a 3-day training in North Texas for anyone hoping to engage in nonviolent direct action against the Gulf Coast portion of Keystone XL pipeline.

It’s strongly suggested that local activists interested in taking part in the Tar Sands Blockade, or creating their own direct actions, attend this training.

Participants will focus on learning, implementing, and imagining new tactics for non-violent blockades and other forms of direct action. This camp will take place outdoors in the Texas summer, people should come prepared for very hot weather. Participants will be camping on site, and while special arrangements may be available, people should understand that the nature of this camp may make it difficult for those with physical conditions that limit their ability to be in hot environments for long periods of time.

With this convergence, organizers intend to take a very large step towards implementing the most effective and sustained blockade this country has ever seen. If you are passionate about the environment and want to be a part of an unprecedented blockade action, we urge you to attend this camp and throw your energy and talents into the mix.

The afternoon hours of the day will be filled with informative workshops while folks escape the heat:
Nonviolent Direct Action
Anti-oppression
Community organizing
Dealing with police
First-aid
Environmental Justice

If you want to help make the Tar Sands Blockade bigger and better, and to do that you must participate! But the bigger picture in this fight involves inspiring others to take action for themselves. One of the primary goals of the Keystone Convergence, aside from preparing folks to participate in our action, is to collaborate with people who want to design an action of their own. This is the most exciting part, and we want you to be there!

Friday the 27th will be a travel and welcoming day. Trainings will begin the 28th and continue for two full days. Those who want to stay and continue helping us organize the blockade are welcome to do so! Details of camp location will be released to those who have signed up a few days prior to the camp. We will also be sending a list of recommended items to bring.

We are making every effort to make this camp free and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. We will be accepting donations for food, water, and materials on a sliding scale. Tents and other camping gear will be provided for those who are unable to bring their own.

See you in North Texas!

Register here.

Rising Tide Chicago Disrupts Heartland Institute’s Climate Denial Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Contact:  Josh Trost, 312 343-8259 email:thisperfectworld@yahoo.com

Rising Tide Chicago Action Video

“HEARTLAND’S LIES DESTROY OUR PLANET,” CLIMATE ACTIVISTS SAY
Activists protest “climate denier” mis-information at Heartland
Institute’s annual climate change conference

CHICAGO—Today, two climate action advocates with the group Rising Tide
Chicago challenged the nation’s biggest climate denier organization on its
home-turf – a national conference taking place in Chicago organized by the
now infamous Heartland Institute. The two activists displayed a banner
during the Conference which read “Heartland’s Lies Destroy Our Planet.”
The Protesters were escorted out of the building by security while
chanting.

The action came at the end of the second day of Heartlands “6th Annual
Climate Conference.” The fossil-fuel industry-funded Heartland Institute
is a self-proclaimed “think tank” fueling the climate change denial
industry to work against the public interest.

“I’m willing to risk my arrest, because if Heartland Institute gets its
way, it could be the end of civilization as we know it,” stated Alice
Coffey an activist who risked arrest at today’s event.

“Anyone who can deny climate change has never been to Texas where there is
an historic record drought caused by the climate crisis,  or Arizona,
where we no longer have monsoon season, but haboob season – just wind, and
dirt and heat, but no rain,” said Ian Fecke-Stoudt, who also participated
in the climate confrontation.

A second group held a rally outside the event earlier in the day.  Scores
of activists demonstrated outside the Hilton Hotel protesting the
Institute and the Conference while a banner was dropped from a hotel
window.

“The Heartland Institute exists to spread climate disinformation to
protect the profits of the few,” said Josh Trost of Rising Tide Chicago.
“Climate Deniers have no right participating in policy discussions.
Daily, the global scientific consensus strengthens as planetary health
indicators decline. Each lie is a theft from the remaining time we have to
act to limit escalating climate chaos.

“For the sake of the future of humanity, we demand the Heartland Institute
to respect the global scientific consensus and stop disseminating climate
lies,” Trost said.

James Hansen quoted in The Guardian said, “[Climate change] can’t be fixed
by individual specific changes; it has to be an across-the-board rising
fee on carbon emissions,” said Hansen. “We can’t simply say that there’s a
climate problem, and leave it to the politicians. They’re so clearly under
the influence of the fossil fuel industry that they’re coming up with
cockamamie solutions which aren’t solutions. That is the bottom line.”

In May 2012, DeSmog Blog reported that the Heartland Institute had added
the Illinois Coal Association (ICA) as a new “Gold Sponsor” for its 2012
ICCC-7 climate conference. ICA joined following the Heartland’s leaked
documents and Unabomber billboard campaign. In Heartland’s leaked 2012
Fundraising plan, Murray Energy gave $100,000 in 2010 and was expected to
give $40,000 in 2012; the company’s subsidiary, The American Coal Company,
is a member of the ICA.

The Heartland Institute has lead many mis-information campaigns which have
included:

  • Denying the harmful effects of tobacco
  • In 2010 the Institute defended BP during its infamous oil spill in
    the Gulf of Mexico
  • The Institute opposes the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact,
    which was signed into effect in December of 2005 by the governors of eight
    states that border the great lakes, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois,
    Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York, and the premiers of
    the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The compact was proposed in
    light of the unprecedented low levels of water in the lakes, which are now
    at the bottom end of the historical fluctuation range of 4-6 feet. In
    order to mitigate diminishing water levels, the compact will limit the
    consumption of water from the Great Lakes to areas within these eight
    states, or to areas outside of the boundary only by petition subject to
    strict regulation.

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Rising Tide is an international, all-volunteer, grassroots network of
groups and individuals who organize locally, promote community-based
solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the
root causes of climate change.

Donate to Save the Int’l Tar Sands Resistance Summit

TarSandsResistance_Poster1-300x403

WE DID IT!

We Saved the Anti-Tar Sands Summit! And we did it with a network of small donors who mostly gave $50 or less.

Much gratitude to everyone who pitched in and helped us raise $6000 in less than 36 hours!

Northern Rockies Rising TidePeaceful Uprising and others within the Rising Tide network have been involved in organizing an anti-Tar Sands Action Camp in Montana.

A new wave of grassroots resistance and direct action campaigning is emerging in Idaho, Montana and Utah to extractive industry like tar sands and coal.   This camp is part that emerging wave.

The space is reserved. Activists are registered.

But an unforeseen funding complication could stop the whole thing as money for the camp has become no longer available!

To make the camp happen, we need to raise $6000 by Monday evening.

Can you donate $5,$10 or $50 and support grassroots resistance to tar sands infrastructure in the west?

DONATE HERE

Here’s an open letter for support from the organizers at Northern Rockies Rising Tide:

Dear community,

We at Northern Rockies Rising Tide have been involved in organizing an International Tar Sands Resistance Summit to take place just outside of Missoula, Montana from November 19 – 22. To promote this event we were working in collaboration with the Indigenous Environmental Network, local community groups, and national environmental organizations. The notion of the camp is to bring together communities directly impacted by Tar Sands development and related infrastructure projects to learn from each other, strategize, and take action against what some have characterized as the most devastating industrial project on the planet. To this end, we have invited organizers and engaged citizens from communities impacted by the XL Energy Pipeline, the Alberta Tar Sands, the Utah Tar Sands (which would be the first Tar Sands surface mining operation in the United States), and the mega-load shipments to attend the Summit. The response we have received in support of this summit has been amazing. Continue reading