Honoring the Waters: Two of the Speeches

Heavy snowfall kept a couple of our speakers and likely hundreds of folks who had planned to be there from our January 21 Honoring the Waters Candlelight Vigil.

Robin Mahonen and a fellow Wheeling Water Warrior during the 2013 Great Ohio River Relay.

Robin Mahonen and a fellow Wheeling Water Warrior during the 2013 Great Ohio River Relay. Photo by Vivian Stockman.

Robin Mahonen with Wheeling Water Warriors and Donna Branham of Mingo County both could not safely travel to the vigil, but they sent along their speeches.OVEC’s Robin Blakeman read Robin Mahonen’s statement:

Namaste and greetings from Robin Mahonen and the Wheeling Water Warriors!  Our hearts, our thoughts, and our efforts have been with you from Day One of this Aquapocalypse, and we stand in solidarity with you tonight.  This has been a slap in the face and a wake-up call, and a serious reminder that our water supplies are not safe, and that we are in danger from a very real threat: the extraction of fossil fuels from our Earth, and the danger that  presents to our air and our water.

We’ve been told we’re crying “wolf” and fear-mongering without reason, and we’ve been called “Chicken Little,” accused of screaming that the sky was falling. Well, this is no fairy tale.  The wolf is now at our door, and the proverbial sky has landed on us with a resounding splash.

The concerns of an educated public have been validated by this disaster.  We are all part of the family of man, and our rights have been violated as our basic human needs have been stolen from us. It’s time for us to act like responsible adults, and protect the generations that will follow us. Let’s continue to work together, first, to help the victims who still thirst in the hills, and second, to say “Never again!”  The time has come to stand up and be counted.

May you never thirst!

Donna Branham, second from left, bottom row, at an event in 2012, where several women shaved their heads in protest of mountaintop removal coal mining. Photo by Vivian Stockman.

Donna Branham, second from left, bottom row, at an event in 2012, where several women shaved their heads in protest of mountaintop removal coal mining. Photo by Vivian Stockman.

Debbie Graff read Donna Branham’s statement:

It was heart-warming and uplifting to see how the people of this great state and neighboring states helped during this man-made corporation crisis.  We all require safe, clean water, clean air and a healthy environment!

Many thanks to Matt Sherman and Elder 2 Eagle for honoring and cleansing the waters!

My name is Donna Branham.  I am from southern West Virginia, Mingo County. We feel the pain, sorrow and loss our sister counties have been forced to endure, due to the chemical spill that was allowed to flow into the Elk River and was allowed to contaminate the water source of more than 300,000 citizens of this great state.

The coalfields are impaired daily with pollutants from the fossil fuel industry.  Our water supplies are spoiled with hazardous by-products from the coal industry, which have detrimental effects to our environment, and on our people’s health.

We must not let our guard down.  We must push for and demand safer regulation.  We must protect our natural resources.  e are the people of the United States.  The People! The People  Demand Safe Water!… Demand Clean Air! ….Demand Environmental Protection!

Remember and ponder the great words of Martin King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Gandhi said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

It is horrifying that we have to challenge and fight our own government to save the environment.

God granted man the serenity to accept the things that he could not change, the courage to change the things he can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Do you have the courage to demand your right for a safe clean, healthy environment?  An environment that will protect our most precious beings…our children and the future generations!

I may not be with you in person, but my spirit is abundant, I was born of this land, and to this land I shall return….

Thanks, Donna Branham – Still Standing My Ground!

Dec 6 2019  Newlsetter
Winds of Change, Winter 2019-2020
April KeatingOct 5 2019  Hoots and Hollers
Goodbye April…
Aug 27 2019  Hoots and Hollers
Our Appalachian Storage Hub Videos Are Here!
Aug 2 2019  Hoots and Hollers
Something in the Water: West Virginians New Fight for Clean Water
Updated: Dec 28, 2014 — 7:01 am

The Author

Vivian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend