8 Activists Arrested at Kayford Mountain Lock Down
Kayford, WV — Eight activists with a coalition of groups including Mountain Justice and Climate Ground Zero walked on to the Patriot Coal mountaintop removal coal operation on Larry Gibson’s Kayford mountain in the early morning hours of March 23, 2009. Six of the protestors locked themselves, in groups of three, to a piece of massive earth moving equipment–referred to as a Yuke–with tires 24′ tall and hung a banner reading “Never Again” on the machine. The activists locked down for five hours. Ten officers from three different state and county authorities responded to the protest on Kayford, the largest number of people to be arrested during this sustained campaign of non violent civil disobedience that began in February, 2009.
The eight activists arrested include Kim Kirkbride, Ash-Lee Henderson, Tanya Turner, Jared Story, Willie Dodson, Will Wickham, Mathew Louis-Rosenberg, and Glenn Collins.
The activists were arrested and taken to Boone County seat at Madison, were processed and released on their own recognizances.
ROCK CREEK, WVa — The gig is up on mountaintop removal coal mining. The Obama administration has spoken out on the issue for the first time. Today, Lisa Jackson, director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced plans to place a hold on hundreds of permits for mountaintop removal coal mining, for review, to determine the “effects on streams and wetlands.”
It’s an excellent first step towards ending the appalling practice of obliterating the ancient, forested Appalachian mountains and running out her people who’ve lived and depended upon the bounty of these hills for centuries.
But what about the hundreds of permits that have been granted already? It will take at least five years for active permits to run their course of destruction. With only 3% – 5% of post-mined lands reclaimed, cleaning up after Massey Energy in Appalachia is a shovel ready proposition.
Today’s announcement is certainly a harbinger for positive change but today’s announcement does not stop the three million pounds of explosives used in mountaintop removal operations every day in West Virginia. Today’s announcement does not stop the blasting on Cherry Pond mountain and the toxic aftermath that rains down on Bo, JoAnne, Danny and Rosa.
We now need to halt all mountaintop removal operations. Shut them down.
Everyday in West Virginia, over 3 million pounds of explosives are used to blow off the tops of Appalachian mountain peaks — all in persuit of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. The aftermath of this blast – a massive cloud of diesel smoke and silica dust – blanketed the community of Dorothy, WV, sitting just below. In the midst of these Appalachian mountain communities, some of the largest earth moving equipment operates, obliterating the oldest mountains in the world, the most bio-diverse hardwood forests, black bear and bob white habitat; modern day coal mining is poisoning the abundance of pure water and clean air that the Appalachian mountains produce.