Activists Appeal To WV Supreme Court

March 2, 2010



Charles Suggs 304 854 1937   Antrim Caskey 917 349 0422   Roger Forman  304 346 6300


ROCK CREEK, WV —  Attorneys for four Climate Ground Zero activists and independent photojournalist Antrim Caskey are to file a Petition for Appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court over civil disobedience activities in Raleigh County in the Circuit Court this morning.

“We are petitioning the West Virginia Supreme Court to review rulings which we consider erroneous and look forward to presenting the petition to the Supreme Court,” said attorney Roger Forman, partner at Forman and Rist, from his office in Charleston, WV.

Attorneys for the plaintiff, Alex Energy, Inc, a subsidiary of Massey Energy, will have thirty days to file a response, after which time the West Virginia State Supreme Court will then decide  to hear the case or not.

Activists William Wickham, Madeline Gardner, Charles Suggs IV and Jordan Freeman are named on the appeal in conjunction with an April 16, 2009 protest on Massey Energy-owned Goals Coal Company.  The activists hung a banner over a highwall at an active blast site on the Edwight mountaintop removal site just above Clays Branch. The homes of Naoma were clearly in view.

“The coal companies are blasting just above the homes of Coal River Valley residents, like the Webbs in Peachtree.  It’s unbelievable what the coal companies get away with.  Everyone I know down here is determined to stop them,” said photojournalist Antrim Caskey, who moved from New York City to Rock Creek to cover mountaintop removal.

From February 3, 2009, more than one hundred activists have been arrested for trespass or obstruction on Massey Energy mountaintop removal mines in dozens of actions of non violent civil disobedience.

Will Wickham and Glen Collins and Willie Dodson used U-Locks to attach themselves to a massive dump truck on the Patriot Coal mountaintop removal site at Kayford Mountain. Eight activists were arrested on the site in total. Interestingly, the authorites recognized Caskey's standing as a journalist in this May 23, 2009 protest; Caskey was not arrested while documenting this protest. photograph by Antrim Caskey


Press Release: Dragline

January 20, 2009


MEDIA CONTACTS: Appalachia Watch: Antrim Caskey 304 854 7788
Climate Ground Zero: Mike Roselle 304 854 7372

Magazine to be fundraising tool — designed to inform, inspire action
to stop mountaintop removal coal mining

ROCK CREEK, W. Va. — Appalachia Watch – a journalism advocacy project – and Climate Ground Zero – a pressure campaign to stop mountaintop removal coal mining – have released Dragline, a devastating 74-page photojournalistic exposé of mountaintop removal coal mining and the frontlines campaign to end it.

Dragline chronicles the fight against mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia and the non-violent direct action campaign to stop it. Dragline is a work of classic photojournalism — in design and intent — inspired by great photojournalistic works like W. Eugene Smith’s Minamata (1975) and Philip Jones-Griffiths’ Vietnam Inc (1971), ” said Antrim Caskey, director of Appalachia Watch and creator of Dragline.

“ Climate Ground Zero will distribute the initial 6,000 copies to news media and decision makers in an effort to draw attention to the deadly consequences of mining and burning coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, which we use for almost half our electricity, ” said Mike Roselle, Climate Ground Zero’s campaign director.

The forty-six color photographs – most being published for the first time – are punctuated with excerpts from Caskey’s original reporting, which began in May 2005 while on assignment for the New York City-based newspaper, the Indypendent. Since then, Caskey has made more than 20 independent reporting trips to West Virginia, publishing her work in newspapers and news magazines along the way.

Caskey moved from Brooklyn, New York to the Rock Creek, WV in September 2008 to live and work in the field full-time. Over the past year she has documented the direct action campaign against mountaintop removal as the embedded photojournalist with Climate Ground Zero, which has taken her to new territory: the witness stand. On May 1, 2009, Caskey was held in contempt of court – along with four activists – in Raleigh County District Court for violating Massey Energy’s Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by her continued reporting on the peaceful protests. Massey vs. Caskey is pending appeal. Caskey’s attorney Roger Forman promises to take the case to the highest court.

Caskey’s documentary photography has focused on community and social justice issues in such diverse locations as the streets of New York City, the war in Afghanistan, the new cities of India and the hollers of Appalachia. Caskey has published her work in newspapers like the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Indian Express; as well as magazines like the Smithsonian, Orion and Le Point.

In December 2009, Caskey earned her Masters of Art in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, with Distinction, from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Caskey hopes to expand her journalism project to include the Rock Creek School of Photography, a burgeoning field school to advance and foster long form documentary photography, investigative journalism, and the printed page.

Dragline will be available by mail only. Please contact Climate Ground Zero directly. Dragline will not be released electronically.





(304) 854 7372


Wednesday, December 30, 2009



At 3:47 pm Tuesday, December 29, four Climate Ground Zero activists were arrested for trespass at their homes in Rock Creek, West Virginia.

Mathew Louis-Rosenberg, Jacqueline Quimby, Kimberly Ellis and James McGuinness were taken to the Southern Regional Jail by West Virginia State Trooper Lt. Bowers. The charges stem from an October 10th demonstration at Walker CAT’s headquarters, which challenged Walker’s pro-coal advertising campaign. Gabe Schwartzman,19, and David German, 18, were arrested by City of Belle Police and cited for trespassing on a structure or conveyance. The two had unfurled a banner which read, “Yes, Coal is Killing West Virginia’s Communities.”

As of noon Wednesday, the four activists remain in police custody in the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver, WV. They have yet to see a magistrate and have not been informed of their charges, other than trespassing, which, if proven, would result in a maximum one hundred dollar fine.

“This is outrageous behavior on the part of the Kanawha County prosecutors.” said Climate Ground Zero activist Mike Roselle.

“These four people are guilty of nothing. They were simply present during a
demonstration last October and none of them were ever informed at any time that they were trespassing. Usually in this type of case they simply write you a ticket or mail you a summons. To drag them out of their homes and refuse to allow any bail violates their most basic constitutional right to due process.”


More information as the situation develops. For more
information, call Mike Roselle, Climate Ground Zero 304 854 7372.