WHO: Mike Roselle is Campaign Director of Climate Ground Zero and longtime Mountain Top Removal activist. Mike resides in Rock Creek, WV on the CoalRiver and has dedicated his adult life to working on environmental issues. He is an author, speaker, organizer and Direct Action leader and founder of numerous Environmental Groups. Mike has spent the last several years fighting against the destruction of the Mountains, communities and people of WV by Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining.
WHY: Mike Roselle and Guinn McGuiness were attempting to deliver toxic coal dust from KayfordMountain to WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin at his residence. Mike is in his 6th day of a hunger strike and vigil at the WV Statehouse. After repeated attempts to deliver the coal dust at the Statehouse, Mike went to the governors’ residence. Studies have shown that the coal dust is toxic and is causing severe health effects to the residents of the communities surrounding the Mountain Top Removal sites. Every day more than 5 million pounds of explosives are detonated in WV. There is currently a bill in the house called the ACHE act that addresses the blasting/coal dust issue and would protect the health of the residence of WV from this toxic dust. Climate Ground Zero is supporting the work of numerous local groups to bring attention to the bill and put an end to this poisoning of the people of WV by the toxic dust.
WHAT: At 4:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day, Mike and Guinn, accompanied by a videographer, Mike Cherin , climbed the steps to the front door of the mansion. Mike Roselle spoke by intercom and explained why he was there. He was told “Someone will be there soon”. 5 minutes later the Capitol Police Seargent, who refused to give his name, approached the 3 activists and asked what they were doing. Mike Roselle presented a jar of MTR coal dust and placed it on the doorstep of the mansion. Mike Roselle asked if we were being detained and was told “yes”. The 3 activists were led to the sidewalk where State Police were waiting. After further questioning, Mike Roselle asked if he or the other two would be detained. The answer was no. At this point, the Capitol Sergeant told Mike Roselle to “go get the jar of dust off the steps” .Mike Roselle refused and was immediately arrested by the WV State Police. When asked what the charges were, the police refused that info. The other 2 activists were allowed to go.
Video Available upon request—
Contact: Mike Cherin at 304-807-1105 firstname.lastname@example.org