Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

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Songs, humor, prayers decry mountaintop mining in W.Va.; Gathering at Capitol, hundreds denounce coal-industry practices

Mountain Justice Summer Coverage

Audio of Stop MTR Rally

Stop Mountaintop Removal Rally

July 30, 2005

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Hey Governor Manchin--Can You Hear us?

The heat wave didn't keep them away. Over 400 people from all across West Virginia and beyond showed up on the State Capitol Grounds in Charleston, West Virginia to tell Governor Joe Manchin to end mountaintop removal. The rally was organized by the Friends of the Mountains, which includes OVEC, Coal River Mountain Watch and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, with help from Mountain Justice Summer.

With poignant speeches from affected coalfield residents, excellent original music, Save Our Mountains cheers from the Radical Cheerleaders and the Ms. Mountain Removal Beauty Pageant hosted by King Coal, the rally was a hit with the crowd. Did the message hit Governor Manchin? If it did, it had to come through layers of coal industry campaign contributions: OVEC's Janet Fout, who coordinates Citizens for Clean Elections, reported to the crowd the latest figures on how much campaign cash "our" politicians get from the coal industry.

Rev. Jim Lewis opened with a mini-sermon on greed, illustrating his points by ripping up the King Coal Cash which ole King Coal gave him. King Coal thought he was buying Rev. Jim's silence, but nooo. Rev. Jim, like everyone present, is completely fed up with King Coal's greed. 

Below are images from the event.

 
Some of the estimated 400+ crowd gathered at the July 30 Stop Mountaintop Removal Rally. Hey Governor Manchin, do you hear us? End mountaintop removal! Photo by Jesse Mwaura
Some of the estimated 400+ crowd gathered at the July 30 Stop Mountaintop Removal Rally. Hey Governor Manchin, do you hear us? End mountaintop removal! Photo by Jesse Mwaura

Ukiah loves West Virginia and she wants the mountains, streams and the communities they support to still be there when she grows up. Hey, Governor Manchin, for the sake of the kids, end mountaintop removal! Photo by Jesse Mwaura
Ukiah loves West Virginia and she wants the mountains, streams and the communities they support to still be there when she grows up. Hey, Governor Manchin, for the sake of the kids, end mountaintop removal! Photo by Jesse Mwaura

Waving some "King Coal Cash," the Rev. Jim Lewis talkes to the crowd about the heavy price of greed.
Waving some "King Coal Cash," the Rev. Jim Lewis talkes to the crowd about the heavy price of greed. Photo by Than Hitt

More of the crowd wanting an end mountaintop removal / valley fill coal mining.  Photo by Dave Saville
More of the crowd wanting an end mountaintop removal / valley fill coal mining.  Photo by Dave Saville

King Coal and his puppet used King Coal Cash to try to bribe the crowd into silence. King Coal does not want coalfield residents and air-breathers and water-drinkers everywhere to discuss the truth about mountaintop removal. Photo by Dave Saville
King Coal and his puppet used King Coal Cash to try to bribe the crowd into silence. King Coal does not want coalfield residents and air-breathers and water-drinkers everywhere to discuss the truth about mountaintop removal. Photo by Dave Saville

The Radical Cheerleaders lead the crowd in a Save The Mountains cheer. Photo by Than Hitt
The Radical Cheerleaders lead the crowd in a Save The Mountains cheer. Photo by Than Hitt

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