Tree sit deters blasting, enters second day at Massey Edwight Mine



Contact: Charles Suggs or Andrew Munn 304-854-7372
Editor: Photos, video, audio, and updates are available at It’s also possible to capture video of the tree sit from the mine site itself.

PETTRY BOTTOM, W.Va. —The two tree sitters forced Massey Energy to cancel blasts on the the Edwight mountaintop removal mine above Pettry Bottom. According to a confidential source, Massey Energy had planned to use explosives to blast off a knob near the tree sitters at approximately four p.m., yesterday. This directly conflicts with statements made by the Edwight site supervisor.

As of sun rise on Wednesday morning, the protesters maintain that they will not abandon their treetop platforms until Massey Energy commits to ending blasting above Pettry Bottom and Peachtree, pays the full health care and property repair costs for Pettry Bottom and Peachtree residents, and the Federal Office of Surface Mining commits to the full reclamation of the Edwight mine site.

Mine security called state police to the scene shortly after noon on Tuesday, at which point they arrested Kim Ellis of New Orleans, La., and Zoe Beavers of Hurricane. Ellis and Beavers, an Army veteran, were cited for trespassing and released. According to Ellis and Beavers, they are the only line of communication between the tree sitters and mine security and police.

Following their release, state police asked Ellis and Beavers to return to the tree sit in an attempt to negotiate with the tree sitters. Stocks and Steepleton reiterated their resolve to remain in the trees until their demands are met.

Two state police officers visited the home of Mike Roselle, co-founder of Earth First!, Rainforest Action Network, Ruckus Society, and most recently, Climate Ground Zero. Under the impression that the tree sitters were under his authority, they asked that Roselle recall them, but according to Mike Roselle “We don’t have leaders. All the people who have taken part in acts of civil disobedience, including those who are in the trees today, have done so based on their own personal conviction. Responsible citizens certainly need no orders from me to do their duty in protecting their mountains and communities.”

State police site the tree sitter’s safety as a primary concern as the occupation continues. However, according Climate Ground Zero the tree sitters understand their knots and safety systems, and they’re putting safety first. They’re remaining tied to safety system at all times.

When asked to comment on the protest, Rock Creek resident Ed Wiley said, “If they are worried about the safety of the two tree sitters, they are worrying about the wrong people. What about the 230 little kids at Marsh Fork Elementary School? Those are the ones we need to worry about. They need protection from Massey’s mountaintop removal strip jobs.” Marsh Fork Elementary School is situated under a 2.9-billion-gallon sludge pond and mountaintop removal site. The school is a lightening rod of controversy over mountaintop removal and Massey Energy. Wiley continued, “They are blasting on the ridge that connects to the structure of the dam. Massey is recklessly endangering those kids, and the folks at Pettry Bottom. I’m glad those tree sitters are getting in their way.”

As the sun rises in the Coal River Valley on Wednesday morning, the tree sitters are still on their platforms at the edge of the Edwight mine site.

24 Replies to “Tree sit deters blasting, enters second day at Massey Edwight Mine”

  1. We would like to thank the folks that are sitting in the tree’s. Massey will not BLAST us today!!!! We need more people around here to stand up for there mountains and there heritage. So my hat off to those brave folks!

    Pettry Bottom Community

  2. I live in Peachtree and I thank those folks that are sitting in those tree’s. We need all the help we can get to STOP MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL. So Massey take that!!! You folks are AWESOME.

  3. Mr Roselle is a liar. If the W V state police will contact Massey Energy attorneys they will find proof Mr Roselle was calling for people to come and “take action” on Massey property, courtesy The Ruckus Society.

  4. Watcher, I am not a liar, but you are a coward, hiding behind your creepy name. If you weren’t, maybe we could discuss this face to face like civilized people. I am indeed calling for people to come to West Virginia and see what is happening. Once they are here, what actions they take is there decision, and theirs alone.

  5. Perhaps, Watcher, you misunderstand the idea of personal conviction. Whether Mr. Roselle did or did not call for people to come and take action is irrelevant. The people who are tree sitting and those who are working on the ground to stop mountain top removal are doing so because they care about an issue that affects us all, including you. They are taking personal risks and are willing to pay the consequences to their own lives and futures at the hands of a governmental system that has allowed unjust actions to take place by a minority with money and power against all of us who only have our voices and personal convictions to fight back with. Some people don´t need a call to action; they would be there anyway. Everyone should follow in their footsteps, but most people are afraid to take the risk. What are you doing to secure the future of our people, society and fertile planet?

  6. Actually Watcher, you don’t seem to understand activists at all. We are not good with leaders, but often work well by consensus. And mountain top removal itself is the reason many people are coming here. Many of us have been asking for help to stop this destructive practice. But all that is required is a commitment to activism and non-violence, not blind obedience to any “leader”. Unlike what I witnessed at the June 23rd rally by the Massey folks. Read up on consensus sometime.

  7. Mr. Roselle is not a liar! Those people,heroes in my book,are there on their own accord.Unlike the thugs that crashed the 4th of July picnic on Kayford MT,and openly threatened children & ederly people,and also the maniac that assaulted Judy Bonds at Marsh Fork Elementary earlier this summer! Massey,and it’s Furor Don Blankenship,not only condone violence against activists,”treehuggers” as we’re called,but they encourage it! It sickens me,not only to see our beautiful state destroyed,but to see these criminal corporations,Massey particularly, exploiting the hard work and dedication of West Virginians by forcing them to destroy their own backyards in order to support their families,and pitting us against eachother! We are known for standing up for what we believe in no matter the cost!The fight to unionize the coalfields is historic,but now Blair Mountain is threatened by mountaintop removal,and the UMWA has less than half of the members that it had 10 years ago! No one wants to see people lose their jobs,but we want to have a state left to live,hike,hunt,and fish in,and water to drink.Right??? We all have to stand together on this issue in peace,because screaming obscenities,threats,and violence solves nothing!! I am also calling for people to “take action”,not against anyone or anyone’s property,but for West Virginia and for the citizens of West Virginia.Stop the violence against activists! We are only doing what you are either to afraid,or to ignorant to do for yourselves… Save our state from poverty and destruction!!!!! PEACE,LOVE,& GOD BLESS

  8. The Audacity to call Roselle the Liar when massey coal and other exploitation mining co.s have been liars about everything for decades. I will call for people to come to Appalachia and stand up for the innocents here, to protect the trees, the people, the mountains, the WATER!! I call to GOD, please deliver me from the EVIL greedy idiots hell bent on destruction of everything of value here in this beautiful plush temperate rainforest– yes– Me! I call anyone and everyone to come to Pettry and celebrate the halt in blasting!!! and call me a liar? call anyone a liar? your pants are on Fire, fiend of coal

  9. In that case, WV State Police should probably go ahead and contact Massey Energy for proof about the other 100,000 people who have been calling for and taking action, courtesy of their conscience and the hope that we can get energy without killing our children, as well as destroying our ancient life-giving mountains.

  10. From the bottom of my heart – I truly believe most people are wonderful, caring, kind and committed to making our world a better place to take advantage of all life has to offer. While some may be a little disoriented by the dizzying affects of money and power – and therefore think they need to damage our beautiful planet to meet their unnecessary monetary desires – there are others who will sit in a tree all day to help them find their way. Bless you all and may you find peace and success on your current journey.

  11. whatever,

    calling on people to do something about MTR is a whole lot different than giving orders, being in charge or otherwise telling people what to do.

    see, what you worshippers of authority fail to understand is that concerned citizens know how to work together without a boss or someone calling the shots.

    get over it. Mountaintop removal is a crime against Appalachia, America and all of humanity.

  12. It doesn’t matter where these tree sitters are from. If the citizens of Rock Creek and all the areas that are affected by the devastation of mountaintop removal mining will not take action to protect their children and families against this abomination, then someone needs to take action. I would not let my children live in this environment. I would like everyone affected by mountaintop removal to live to a ripe old age in the mountains that always have been a part of their lives. GO TREE SITTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  13. Latest from the treesitters………..I have a chipmunk friend and theirs a momma bear and her cubs??? I was under the impression these mine sites were devoid of wild life.

  14. Watcher, they’re just outside the edge of the mine site. Of course a desolate war zone-like swath of land will be devoid of life, but the trees outside it will harbor not only the wildlife that was amongst the trees before the mine, but also all the wildlife that was pushed off the land where the mine now is.

  15. Admin……. Isnt that the whole point of the treesit, to be inside the blast zone ? With an excavator working (close) by and theirs still wildlife.

  16. admin really your not making sense I seen 8 bears walking eating and even playing near our mindsite. Also there were 13 deer running and eating in a reclaimed section of our site. Do I have prrof or a photo? No. Take my word for it. Oh and there are even rattlesnakes and copperheads too, and pigeons, mice. The only thing that I see is someone saving a tree but using plywood as a base? How noble is that?

  17. Cascadia sends love and support for the sitters!

    I like that posters here are squabbling over whether or not wildlife has been seen in a mountain top removal site as if hurricane Catrina victims visiting the rubble that once was a home is proof that nothing bad happened.

    Keep the sits up until Massey leaves!

  18. Guin I guess I dont understand “activists”, You say your not good with leaders, your obviosly not good with obeying the laws of this state either. I suggest you follow the lead of the “tea party” folks if you want to affect change insted of endangering the lives of workers,as well as activists by tresspasing into dangerous mine sites .

  19. Some of the laws of man are bad laws that protect the few at the expense of the many. I don’t know the laws of WV, but God’s law states that we should be loving stewards of our planet. Blasting the top off of a mountain, endangering a school full of children and entire communities for corporate profits- even if the “law” allows this to happen it’s not ethical or moral and ita crime against Spirit.
    Massey is motivated to use this method because our economic structure and laws work together to allow the company to externalize all of the negative impacts of its actions. For them it’s about the efficiency of getting the coal out and making the highest possible short run profit. If Massey had to actually pay to clean up the mess it creates, or pay liability insurance that would inhibit the attrativeness of this highly risky method, they wouldn’t be doing it. This is the legacy of unbridled regulation from the Bush era and the revolving door between industry and our regulatory agencies. In other words: back room deals to allow corporateers to rape and pillage our natural resources without regard for the effects on local residents or future generations in oder to create huge investor profits. People profitting from this are removed from the very real effects of their greed. They know not what they do, although, some of them do . . . I liked what Jane said about it above . . .

  20. I’ll get my coondogs and we’ll go hunting…..hey bubba, we’ve tree’d a couple odd ones…sickem boys…so we can skin um’

  21. Are you guys from climate ground zero coming to the friends of america rally ? Hope to see you there Come on down


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