Protest at Massey Energy's annual stockholder meeting, Richmond, Virginia.
April 16, 2002
Photos by Janet Fout
The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and environmental groups don't see eye to eye on mountaintop removal
(MTR), even though the huge machines used at MTR operations cost miners
But both wholeheartedly agree that the non-union Massey Energy is a bad corporate neighbor, with an abysmal safety and environmental
record (just check the news sections of our website to read many-a-Massey
story). Also see related galleries listed in the
From a massive 306 million gallon coal waste sludge "spill" that devastated 100 miles of streams, to repeated
"blackwater" and dust violations at several subsidiaries, to an aggressive anti-union stance, to overweight coal trucks, Massey apparently continues to violate laws and put its workers and coalfield residents in harms way.
Last year, citizens protested at the Massey Energy annual stockholder meeting in downtown Charleston. This year, Massey thought it could escape the embarrassment by moving the meeting to its corporate headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. Sorry, Massey.
In the early morning hours of April 16, enviros joined miners, retired miners and their families aboard UMWA buses leaving Charleston for Richmond. About 300 folks made the trip, staying up all night, talking about ways to bring our movements together.
Coffee and breakfast eaten in Richmond's Monroe Park helped to perk folks up before the protest.
After the overnight bus ride, Citizens Coal Council's Bill McCabe and West Virginia Citizen Action Group's Julie Archer use humor and caffeine to revivify themselves before the protest.
Early morning in Monroe Park
The caffeine starts to kick in and protestors gather their signs.
Freda Williams and UMWA president Cecil Roberts agree that Massey Energy is a bad corporate neighbor.
OVEC's Janet Fout, UMWA president Cecil Roberts and WVCAG's Julie Archer want to work together in getting Massey Energy to clean up its act.
The Richmond Police were on hand, perhaps not knowing that the protestors are committed to non-violence. If the police were really wanting to stop violence, perhaps they should have gone in and arrested Massey officials who have allowed their company to commit extreme violence upon the land and waters and people of West Virginia.
Citizens Coal Council's Doyle Coakley carries an editorial cartoon on Massey Energy's bad corporate habits.
To see the cartoon, click here.
Massey stockholders --the Suits-- came out of the meeting inside the posh Jefferson Hotel to gawk at the protestors. Sure hope they saw one protestor's sign:
"Massey Stockholders -- Your Profits Come at Our Expense!"
Sure hope the Suits got the groups' unified message:
"Massey Energy: Bad Investment -- Bad Corporate Neighbor!"