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