Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

 

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Iraq Watch

NoWar Collective
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U.S.-Iraq: On the War Path

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Toxic Jihad: Our Hidden Bombs

The Bloodstained Path

Conflict Of Interest For Vice President?

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The Men Who Stole the Show

 

Spooky W in W. Va., Again

October 31, 2002
Photos by Vivian Stockman
(unless noted)

Page 1 (Photos/Text)
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From a previous visit to WV: Bush and Rumsfeld in WV with WV Coal Association President Bill Raney (also a Colonel in the National Guard) and Gov. Wise.
Photo from Whitehouse Website

Like a bad Halloween sequel he was ba-ack in West Virginia. This time, more people gathered on the sidewalks to say "No!" to his tricks.

Marshall Action for Peaceful Solutions, the Charleston Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, West Virginia Patriots for Peace, Concerned Citizens' Coalition and OVEC, as well as veterans and individuals not affiliated with any groups, joined together to protest outside the Charleston Civic Center, while Bush was inside, making one of many appearances on his whip-the-masses-into-a-fury tour, just prior to the elections.

War in the Coalfields

Author Dennis Burke, using government statistics, calculated that 2,500 tons of explosives are used against the Appalachian Mountains each day. Every four days, more explosives are used in mountaintop removal coal mining than were used in the entire post-9-11 bombing of Afghanistan in the hunt for Bin-Laden.

The Coal industry loves Bush and Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, whom Bush praises every time he visits here. National Guard Colonel Bill Raney, who is president of the West Virginia Coal Association, was seen scurrying into the Civic Center. Perhaps he was on his way to deliver MORE money to Capito.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Capito is the top recipient among all House members in contributions from coal: $36,250. This election cycle, she's also the top House recipient of the mining industry's largesse: $46,000. The coal-burning electric utility industry gave Capito nearly $33,000 this election cycle. Oil and gas interests gave Capito $47,000.

Now, Coal gets its paybacks, as Bush and Co. attempt to gut long-standing, life-saving provisions of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Not to mention the pending energy policy bill.

Knowing these things to be only the tip of the melting iceberg, OVEC was out to protest. We weren't herded off to some remote "Free Speech Zone," where no one would see us, thanks to the work of activist lawyer, Jason Huber, and activist Rev. Jim Lewis who had meetings with the Secret Service beforehand to ensure that our civil liberties weren't trampled. The protest included legal observers with video cameras, so we could have a record on what went down, just in case. As usual, all protestors were non-violent, as we visually and vocally stated our case for A Little Sanity, Please.

War in the Oilfields

While the talking heads blather that war is about promoting democracy worldwide, the U.S. is in fact "undermining fragile democratic processes" abroad, and here at home.

More than one pundit believes the U.S. drive for a unilateral war on Iraq is more about controlling the massive oilfields under Iraq than removing a dangerous despot armed with weapons of mass destruction - especially now that we know North Korea already has nuclear bomb building capabilities, while Iraq probably does not. There's no call for a preemptive strike on oil-poor North Korea.

Bush and Cheney are Oilmen, closely associated with the shady dealings of Enron, Halliburton and Harken. In this, a supposedly open society, they refuse to reveal the details of their secretive meetings with fossil fuel industry execs, including Bill Raney and other Coal Boys.

How will bombing an already war-torn Middle Eastern nation increase our national security? CIA officials have wondered out loud if attacking Iraq wouldn't set us up for an onslaught of terrorist attacks. Walter Cronkite warned that launching a preemptive attack on Iraq could begin World War III.

What would happen if just some of the money we spend on killing people instead went to educating/helping people? Sure, it' a long-term thing, but the fall-out from war is exceedingly long-term, especially if you are one of tens of thousands or more who die.  Perhaps fewer people would follow fanatics if more saw some hope for their futures. Perhaps we could go a long way toward providing what the world wants. Maybe it's a simplistic thought, but what have we got to lose? That is, those of us who don't have lucrative government contracts for producing armaments.

War in the coalfields. War in the Oilfields. That's the scariest Halloween we've ever spent - contemplating the extent to which our government is willing to go in order to satisfy our nation's massive energy appetitive --even as alternatives are increasingly available (despite the fossil fuel cartel's decades of lobbying to suppress efficiency/conservation and alt energy advancements); even as the planet screams at us to stop the madness.

We know another world is possible.


Thousands of people lined up in the cold, waiting to get in to see Bush/Capito. A lot of them wore scarlet. What's with that?

Katie and Kian (center) had tickets to get inside. The SS (Secret Service) stayed close by them throughout the event, which included a lot of war-mongering the pair found hard to stomach. Winter and her friend (not pictured) went in, too. The SS shredded their "Regime Change Starts at Home" signs. No pro-Bush signs were shredded.

The ticket, but not to paradise.


 

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