Eleven Arrested At Peabody Coal’s Annual Shareholder Meeting


peabody AGM11 Activists Arrested At Peabody Coal’s Annual Shareholder Meeting in Clayton

Community members from St. Louis, Black Mesa, and Rocky Branch Unite to Hold Peabody Accountable for Destroying Communities  

ST. LOUIS–Today, for the second time in less than a week, activists were arrested at a Peabody Coal demonstration. 75 people rallied at Peabody’s annual shareholder meeting at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton. Members of the local Take Back St. Louis campaign were joined by Dineh (Navajo) Peabody resisters from Black Mesa and residents from Rocky Branch, Illinois who are currently fighting Peabody’s mine expansion there.

Representatives from Take Back St. Louis, Justice for Rocky Branch, and Tonizhoni Ani had bought shares of Peabody in order to attend the shareholder meeting and voice their concerns to CEO Greg Boyce, but were not allowed into the main meeting room with Peabody executives. When they were placed in an “overflow room,” they walked out of the meeting. The entire rally then marched to the entrance of the Ritz Carlton to deliver a letter outlining the group’s demands to Greg Boyce. Eight people were arrested while trying to enter the Ritz Carlton to deliver the letter. Two other people were arrested attempting to enter the shareholder meeting from the overflow room.

Today’s protest comes less than a week after Wash U Students Against Peabody’s 17 day sit-in ended when seven students were arrested trying to enter their Board of Trustees meeting to encourage Peabody CEO Greg Boyce to resign from the University’s Board of Trustees.

“I am here today to continue to spread the message that the Wash U Students Against Peabody started spreading with their actions over the past weeks,“ said Marshall Johnson, Black Mesa Resident and member of Tonizhoni Ani. “We need to stand up to Peabody on Black Mesa and here in St. Louis so our children and grandchildren and all future generations can have clean water and clean air. I am grateful to Wash U students for standing up for a respectful future for us all.”

Recently, Peabody has been engaging in unprecedented attempts to undermine St. Louis’ local democracy. In late March, Peabody sued to keep the citizen-driven Take Back St. Louis initiative off the ballot and away from voters. The ballot initiative would stop the city’s policy of giving Peabody and other big corporations large tax breaks. Now, in the past few days, Peabody’s lobbyists and Mayor Slay’s lobbyists have inserted amendments into Missouri Senate Bill 672 that would ban the city of St. Louis from “by ballot measure impos[ing] any restriction on any public financial incentive authorized by statute.” The amendment is a blow to local control, stripping the city of the ability to determine its own tax regulation.

“The ballot initiative process exists so that we as city residents can bring our concerns to our government and other city residents. Peabody Coal and Mayor Slay are blatantly attempting to subvert our local democratic process,” said Joretta Wilson, member of the Take Back St. Louis campaign. “We collected 22,000 signatures to put the Take Back St. Louis ballot initiative on the ballot, and now Peabody and Slay’s lobbyists are trying to make the initiative illegal before St. Louis residents even get a chance to vote on the initiative.”

Today’s demonstration united the local Take Back St. Louis campaign with communities fighting Peabody across the nation, including Dineh (Navajo) resistors from Big Mountain/Black Mesa in Arizona, and the Justice for Rocky Branch campaign in Southern Illinois. For decades, these communities have experienced Peabody using its financial power to influence democracy and ensure continued profits without concern for human lives, homes, and futures.

“I am here today to ask Mr. Boyce why our homes and our land are being destroyed for Peabody’s bottom line, “ said Judy Kellen, one of the Rocky Branch residents who tried to enter today’s shareholder meeting.  “Peabody is making profits at the expense of our future and the health of future generations.”

This year marks the 40th year of Indigenous resistance by the Diné (Navajo) communities of Big Mountain and Black Mesa, Arizona to forced relocation from ancestral homelands due to Peabody Coal’s massive strip mining. The effects of the relocation meet all the criteria of the UN’s internationally recognized definition of cultural genocide. Diné (Navajo) resistors on Black Mesa are planning a one-week training camp starting May 16th to demand “not one more relocation” of Indigenous people by Peabody. Members of the Take Back St. Louis campaign will be traveling to Black Mesa for the camp, continuing the increased unity amongst groups fighting Peabody across the country.

More information on Take Back St. Louis is available here: www.TakeBackStLouis.com

More information on the Big Mountain Training Camp is available here: Big Mountain Spring Training Camp

Photos are attached. Video available upon request.

Activists are available for interviews all day.

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Support The Climate Insurgency

donateRTNAIt is time.

The fight against fossil fuel extraction has never been so fierce. All over North America, a spirit as old as the forests and mountains is sweeping our movement.  From the Appalachian Mountains to the great plains of Oklahoma to the Salish Coast on the Pacific Ocean, a great resistance to mining and drilling, fracking and mega-pipelines and export terminals has formed in defiance of Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Gas.

Can you make a small donation to support Rising Tide North America?

Rising Tide North America has been central to building that resistance. 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.

In 2013, our network did some amazing things:

  • We grew both deeper and wider. Not only have we added new chapters in places like Olympia, WA, Toronto, ON and Denton, TX, but our existing network has taken on hard campaign fights in places like southern Utah and St. Louis, MO.

  • In Idaho, Montana and Oregon, Rising Tide chapters joined with Indigenous allies on the Nez Perce and Umatilla reservations to challenge large tar sands refining equipment being shipped overland to Alberta.

  • In November, Appalachians and climate activists took action against Swiss banking giant, UBS, one of the biggest funders of mountaintop removal coal mining, at its U.S. headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Sixteen activists spent days in jail calling on UBS to divest from the destruction.

  • Finally, we’ve discovered that our bold and effective organizing has attracted the attention of both state and corporate security institutions. From TransCanada and Strafor to the federal government, efforts to intimidate us into sitting down and shutting up have grown. But, if anything, that intimidation emboldens us. It encourages us to push harder.

As we enter into 2014, we’re asking you to make a small 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 a small 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.

Thanks for all you do.

For the Earth,

Rising Tide North America

Call Omega Morgan & Tell Them To Stop Shipping The Tar Sands Megaloads!

Tar Pit #3Call Omega Morgan CEO John McCalla  at 503-647-7474 right now with a message: I oppose  tar sands mining and I want you to stop shipping equipment to process it.

Big Oil has been moving massive equipment for a tar sands oil development in western Canada.  The “megaload” shipments have been challenged in Idaho, Montana, eastern Washington, and now eastern Oregon.

Climate activists object to the shipments for their potential to worsen global warming, and tribal members say they’re worried about the possibility of environmental damage in eastern Oregon, where they assert a treaty interest and say they weren’t adequately consulted.

Last week, three people were arrested while blockading these megaload shipments near Umatilla, Oregon.  More blockades are expected this week, and we’re calling on people from all over North America to help us tell shipping company Omega Morgan to stop shipping the tar sands megaloads.

Call Omega Morgan CEO John McCalla  at 503-647-7474 right now with a message: I oppose tar sands mining and I want you to stop shipping equipment to process it. 

You can use these talking points on the call:

  • *I oppose the tar sands megaloads because tar sands will spill into our water supply and soil and cook our climate.
  • *I oppose the tar sands megaloads because tar sands pollution will harm communities from Alberta to those near refinery sites in Houston.
  • *I oppose the tar sands [megaloads] because [they] will only serve to line the pockets of oil industry executives, while landowners from Texas on up to the Canadian border will pay the price for their greed.

If you cannot reach CEO McCalla, call Holly Zander, Omega Morgan’s press spokesperson, at 503-360-7144.

After you call tell us how it went in this short survey.

CALL FOR SUPPORT: Donations Needed for N30 Legal Expenses!

Dear Friends, Supporters, Comrades and Community,

As you may recall, a lively protest took place on the streets of Chicago’s financial district last November 30, on the 10th anniversary of the “Battle of Seattle” and a week ahead of the big UN climate summit in Copenhagen.  Several groups from across the city had come together to demand just, equitable, and effective solutions to the climate crisis, starting with the shut-down of the Crawford and Fisk coal plants in Chicago’s Little Village and Pilsen neighborhoods.  The November 30th (N30) event also targeted “false solutions” to climate change like carbon trading, nukes and agrofuels, and was part of a national day of action for climate justice.

Now, the city has decided to charge these folks $8,340, with a deadline of mid-August to pay the fines.





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