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Picket at Pettus!
Come join the rising tide of nonviolent civil disobedience to mountaintop removal as Mountain Justice gathers at the gates to Massey Energy's Marfork facility in Pettus, W.Va. To stop this madness we must maintain pressure on the mining and energy companies, lawmakers and regulators. The government's harmful inaction has failed to stop the crimes of mountaintop removal and the administrative remedies have been exhausted, leaving no option but civil disobedience. But we can't do it alone. Please come out!
WHAT: A picket style rally, focusing on the proposed mountaintop removal site on Coal River Mountain. We want to display a pair of shoes for each of the 998 people who's lives are endangered by the Brushy Fork coal sludge dam and impoundment up Marfork Hollow.
WHERE: At the gates of the mine site and preparation plant in Pettus, W.Va. on Route 3 in Raleigh County, where the coal company plans to destroy the last mountain untouched by mountaintop removal coal mining in the Coal River Valley: Coal River Mountain.
WHEN: 12:00 p.m. May 23, 2009
WHY: Across the street from the gates at Pettus, directly in the line of fire, is the Pettus Head Start. If the coal sludge dam fialed, the 40-foot wall of sludge, swelling to 72 feet, would engulf every town from Pettus, past Whitesville to Prenter where it would still be 20 feet deep.
What you should bring: Shoes- all the old pairs of shoes you can find!
The 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster was 132 millon gallons, killed 125 people in a matter of minutes and left over 4,000 people homeless. The 2000 Martin Co., Ky., spill was 306 million gallons, contaminated the water supply for over 127,000 people but, luckily, nobody was killed. The TVA fly ash spill disaster was over 1 billion gallons its aftermath is slowly killing people living nearby.
Marfork Hollow is where the infamous Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment looms over a Head Start school, two elementary schools and close to 1,000 people. The impoundment's dam, at 900 feet, is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the fifth tallest in the world. It has a 9-billion-gallon capacity. As in the Martin County disaster - where the floor of the impoundment broke through into underground mine workings and the slurry burst out through two mine portals - Brushy Fork's current seven billion gallons sit on top of a honeycomb of underground mines. Massey wants to set off explosions as close as 100 feet to the impoundment. Here's a video about Brushy Fork and the blasting.
If the slurry - coal toxin concentrate - broke through into those deep mines, it could rush out all sides of the mountain and down onto dozens of communities. If the dam broke, the kids at the Pettus Head Start would have 12 minutes before the sludge is 5.7-feet-deep, 31.5 feet in 20 minutes and 72 feet in 30 minutes--that's an average of 4 feet per minute. More of the numbers on this are available in Marfork Coal's emergency warning plan (PDF). Either of these disasters would dwarf the Buffalo Creek, Martin Co., Ky., and TVA coal ash spill disasters, combined.
Please come out at noon on May 23!
Citizens and Gauley Mountain Need You June 9 (and Maybe June 10,
Day to Register for Mountain Justice Summer Camp
Note: Today, May 14 is the last day to register for Mountain Justice Summer Camp. Click here to register.
Aid Concert Tickets on Sale Now
Mountain Aid concert in the news: Mountain Aid concert to educate about mountain top removal
from the Producers of "On Coal River"
11: Save the Date! West Virginia premier of "Coal Country"
Evans and Geller also created the film "The Appalachians," which had a companion book, as does Coal Country. Evans, Silas House, and Dr. Shirley Stewart Burns co-edited the new book, which, when released, will include essays and photos from people working to end mountain removal in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
Near and Far
May 30: 1 - 5 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, Va. Save Our Mountains: The Dirty Truth About Coal in Appalachia! Join us at an Environmental Justice Benefit for Mountain Justice Summer, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Concerned Citizens of Giles County and Energy Justice Network.
Tickets: $10 (donations above ticket price are tax-exempt with form); For tickets and updates, visit Homebody or email Beth Wellington at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kim Kirkbride at email@example.com. Can't attend? Be a sponsor! Individuals $10, local businesses $20.
Co-sponsored by OVEC, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.
May 30 - June 30: OVEC is sponsoring the art exhibit "Awareness," at the Habitat for Humanity Restore, 815 Young Street, Charleston, WV. The opening reception is 6-8 p.m. on June 24. The exhibit is part of Charleston's FesitvALL.
June 28-July 3: Listening for a Change: Oral History and Appalachian Heritage - A Summer’s Week in the Highlands of West Virginia. Fall in love with traditional Appalachian music and the thrill of a good tale. Open up to an Allegheny Highlands Week. These rugged mountains have nurtured a rich and vibrant culture that resonates in its songs, ballads, and oral traditions. Learn to document life stories and community experience through the art of deep listening. This course will explore techniques for seeking out and recording the voices and songs of local citizens through field trips to West Virginia hillside farms and general stores. For more details, click here.
Note: Registration deadline is May 15.
August 23: Save the Date! Charleston, WV Capitol Building Stage. Aurora Lights Release Party for the second stop mountaintop removal benefit CD. The CD is titled "Still Moving Mountains: The Journey Home." Groups that will appear at this event include Everett Lilly & the Lilly Mountaineers (International Bluegrass Musical Association Hall of Honor Winner) and The LoneTones (TN originals with Appalachian Roots). Volunteers needed for this event. Contact Danielle Henry at Danif1000@aol.com or 716-432-9455.