Support team released, sitters sittin’ strong

The tree sitters endured their first night and day of rain today as they continue to prevent blasting in that area of the mine site for a fourth day. Following the Thursday evening arrest and jailing of tree sit ground support Kim Ellis and Zoe Beavers, Massey security adopted positions at the edge of the mined area and at the base of the trees.  The tree sitters said in a message “We’ve stayed dry through the rain but security has been kicked up a notch & so has the harassment! Their plan is to wait us out.”

As of Friday evening, it is reported that between 10 and 12 Massey security guards have taken up posts near the tree sit.  

Kim Ellis and Zoe Beavers were bailed out of Southern Regional Jail late Friday morning. They both face charges of trespassing, with a maximum fine of $500 and/or six months in jail. No court dates have been set. Contrary to prior information, Ellis and Beavers were not asked to leave their positions when police arrested them this second time.

In a radio interview on MetroNews, Mike Roselle of Climate Ground Zero said the tree sitters have supplies for ten days. Despite harassment and rain, the tree sitters maintain that they will not descend from the trees willingly unless Massey ceases operations above Pettry Bottom, pays the full cost of health care and home repair to Pettry Bottom residents, and the Federal Office of Surface Mining begins the full reclamation of the Edwight mountaintop removal site. Roselle’s interview can be listened to here.

Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy, told his side of the story in an interview with Metro News. The interview, in which he accuses the tree sitters of childish behavior and claims that mountaintop removal is necessary to for Americans to maintain a high standard of living, can be listened to here. Interestingly, areas with similarly rugged terrain but no coal mining have a much higher standard of living than areas with coal mining. When comparing county coal production in West Virginia it’s evident that the more coal produced, the lower the median income. Life spans are shorter here and cancer is more common than elsewhere in the U.S.

In other news, it seems the tree sit’s impact may be spreading to the financial sector. Two articles, today, reported on an increase of put trading on Massey Energy stock, indicating a growing pessimism among commodity investors. This came as Massey shares dropped 4% on Thursday and news of the tree sit spread to major news publications in the US and Canada.

4 Replies to “Support team released, sitters sittin’ strong”

  1. You would think after all the years of BS that people would teach their kids not to believe the lies and crap of Big Companies or even the smaller ones in our area, I believe they are called contractors now. My Father always taught us NOT to believe nothing they told you even though you had a job to do for them don’t let them fool ya.

  2. If something is not done to stop Massy,Coal River will soon be just be a memory. I know people need to work,but there are better ways than killing the mountains and places were we live. How long will it be when there is nothing left of Coal River. Do any of you think that Massy will give a shit about you, when the coal is gone? We all need to get off are asses and get this stopped NOW. Alot of you reading this will not like it,but the truth hurts .

  3. Tommy, by the last few months it is obviously apparent NO company will , well I don’t use profanity but yeah what you said. Don’t be blinded by the lights.

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