Dastardly, society threatening, and subversive acts will be committed today.

Dastardly, society threatening, and subversive acts will be committed today.

Cross-posted from Upper Watauga Riverkeeper

Another non-violent civil disobedience demonstration will be held today to fight for the mountains, waterways and communities of Appalachia. And just what criminal act will these lawbreakers do that could earn them a strong reaction from law enforcement-complete with handcuffs and a paddy wagon ride to jail? Well, they plan to try and do the dastardly, society threatening, and subversive act of planting trees. They will attempt to return trees back to the denuded moonscape that was once a forest destroyed by mountaintop removal coal mining.

Although mountains can never be brought back, with commitment and hard work spanning decades, perhaps the beautiful native oak-hickory hardwood deciduous forests of the mountains could. But since the coal companies seldom ever reclaim mountaintop removal sites or even attempt to repair the forests, waterways and mountains they destroy, it is up to the people to do what neither the coal companies nor our government will do.

Today’s seditious act of tree planting on what is left of Kayford mountain in West Virginia isn’t just about one mountain, it is part of the larger fight to save the planet. Coal is one of the largest contributors of carbon which exacerbates the climate change problem. By working to stop the polluting impacts of coal, the people and organizations of Appalachia are also doing everything they can to save the planet. Thanks to the courageous acts in West Virginia today and last month when more than 100 people were arrested at the White House protesting mountain top removal coal mining, people are beginning to see and distinguish much more clearly between the villains and the heroes.

The moral tragedy here is that the coal companies responsible for the destruction won’t be the ones going to jail today. The people trying to return trees and life to a bombed out crater of death will be the ones who could go to jail. It makes you feel way down deep into the core of your soul that something is deeply and thoroughly broken in our government when destroyers are protected and healers are arrested and thrown in jail.

I am however profoundly grateful to the lessons of history. There are so many positive and inspiring examples of people uniting for the common cause of justice and prevailing against the tyranny of those who have utterly lost their moral and ethical compass. From the abolishment of slavery to the destruction of the Nazi regime, the righteous do indeed triumph. I am confident things will change provided we continue to unite, support and build the movement to save the planet.

We are in our third world war. Climate change is the biggest global threat we have ever seen. This war won’t be won with gun toting conventional armies, it will be won with an army of the people peacefully demanding we change from our current destructive and polluting relationship with the planet to one of stewardship and sustainability. The people of Appalachia are just one of many worldwide groups coalescing a growing circle of collaborators who are relentlessly determined to do everything we can to save our planet. I hope you will join us. It’s simple really, all you have to do is act locally against the sources of climate change in your neighborhood and together will have an impact globally. So here’s to the world war three warriors on the front line in West Virginia today who are showing us how to act locally and have a global impact. Those of us who honor courage and self sacrifice for the greater good salute you.

To follow the live action today, please go to: http://climategroundzero.net/
Hundreds Rally on Kayford Mountain; Dozens to March Onto “reclaimed” Site to Plant Trees
Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Nick Martin 304.854.7306
Debbie Jarrell 304.854.7306

Kayford, W.Va. – Hundreds of West Virginians and their allies will rally on Kayford Mountain and march from the Stanley Heirs Park onto the neighboring mountaintop removal site to plant trees on the surface mine. The rally begins at noon.

Lifelong Coal River Valley resident Junior Walk said, “Coal companies sure as hell aren’t going to take it upon themselves to do something about it – some one’s got to do it.”

Dozens of individuals intend to walk onto the mine site to plant trees on a “reclaimed” area of the site in an act of non-violent civil disobedience. They call for the abolition of mountaintop removal and thorough reclamation of the over 1 million acres flattened by surface mining in Appalachia. Standard reclamation involves regrading high walls into steep slopes and seeding the rocky soil with grass. The biodiverse mixed mesophytic forests of central Appalachia cannot regrow on reclaimed surface mines.

John Johnson, forester and environmentalist said, “The coal industry does not attempt to return the landscape to its previous biodiversity – leaving it up to the citizens to reclaim it themselves. Fixing the ruined landscape will provide long term jobs for those put out of work by the abolition of mountaintop removal.”

The rally and action comes on the heels of the EPA’s recommendation to veto the Spruce No. 1 mine’s permit and Appalachia Rising, the largest national gathering of people in opposition to mountaintop removal coal mining to date. Appalachia Rising culminated with a march to the White House of over 2,000 people and 118 arrests for non-violent civil disobedience at the White House, PNC Bank, Department of Interior, and Army Corps of Engineers.

“It’s up to us to fix our community,” said Chuck Nelson, a retired deep miner from the Coal River Valley, “the coal industry’s not gonna fix it.”

Note: Information, Directions, Photographs, & Video will be updated on www.climategroundzero.org throughout the day.

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Dastardly, society threatening, and subversive acts will be committed today.

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