I got arrested with six other Mountain Justice activists for trespassing at a civil disobedience action on Saturday. The max fine for our charge is $100 each, but they put us in jail and set our bond at $2000 each, cash only.
The action was at the Brushy Fork coal sludge dam. The dam holds back 7 billion gallons of toxic coal sludge. Massey Energy wants to mine coal by blasting within 100 feet of the dam. Massey has over 2,000 documented safety violations and coal waste dams operated by Massey and other corporations have failed in the past, but the government has given them permission to blast. According to Massey, if the dam breaks, at least 998 people will die.
Why does the government give a corporation permission to threaten a community with imminent death, but arrests concerned citizens for walking down a road that the government believes belongs to Massey, when in truth the land belongs to you and me and God?
Two other activists were arrested earlier that day for going out on the surface of the toxic coal sludge in boats with a floating banner that said, "NO MORE SLUDGE." They were arrested for trespassing and littering. Why is a banner considered littering, while toxic coal sludge going in to the soil, water and air is allowed by our government?
Massey wants to blow up Coal River Mountain for the coal, the last mountain left in the Coal River Valley. A community group has been trying to get permission to put a wind farm on the mountain, which would provide some long-term jobs, but the government has given Massey permission to destroy the mountain, which would destroy the wind potential and threaten communities throughout the valley with destructive flooding like that seen in six West Virginia counties earlier this month.
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