After four days 60 ft up in the air the treesitters, David Aaron Smith, 23, Amber Nitchman, 19 and Eric Blevins, 28 are still going strong. The sleet, fog, mist, and rain are not making things easy – but every time that people have talked to them they sound chipper and steadfast. The sitters plan to endure the discomforts created by Massey security and the weather and hold out for as long as possible to defend Coal River Mountain. This mountain has been a rallying point for clean energy all over the state because of its potential for wind energy.
Since their first night in the trees Massey has been harassing the sitters using sleep deprivation tactics; this is harming the hearing of both the security and the sitters. Security personnel are perpetually shining bright lights and employing the noise-making machines. A few hours ago Eric Blevins took action by calling the state police and reporting a noise violation. Quite soon after he called the noise machines turned off but they have since been turned back on. In a similar vein of harassment, Massey security has tied a rope to a smaller tree next to Amber’s platform. They are pulling and releasing the rope so that the sapling smacks the bottom of her platform, hoping that she will feel unsafe and come down.
Beyond the harassment of the sitters and the miners, Massey is still validating the destruction of the precious Appalachian mountains. In their press release Massey stated, “Opponents of coal who claim Coal River Mountain is the last intact mountain are lying and deliberately spreading this information in a desperate attempt to stop coal miners from working.” We know that this truly is one of the last intact mountaintops in the area. The following video outlines the reality of the situation on Coal River Mountain and the potential for renewable energy instead of coal:
Other information resources:
Our response to Massey’s Press Release:
Marfork Coal Company in Violation of Office of Miners’ Health Safety & Training Noise Protocol:
Clip of Amber’s Voice from the Tree:
Call Massey and Demand a Stop to Their Illegal Abuses:
Update on Arrested United Mountain Defense Volunteers in Tennessee: