Katie Huszcza, Colin Flood, Jimmy Tobias, and Sophie Kern, activists with Mountain Justice and Climate Ground Zero were arrested last night and are held on a collective $12,000 bail. They were participating in an act of non-violent civil disobedience against the destructive and irresponsible practice of mountain top removal by locking themselves to a high wall miner on Coal River Mountain.
They are currently being held in West Virginia’s Southern Regional Jail. Colin and Katie are charged with trespass asked to leave, conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor and obstruction, and are being held at $2,500 bail each. Sophie and Jimmy have an additional charge of littering and are being held at $3,500 each. Show your support for the four of them by donating to the anti-strip mining legal defense fund so that they can be bailed out as soon as they are ready. Additionally, all of them would love to receive mail in jail at the following address:
Southern Regional Jail
1200 Airport Road
Beaver, WV 25813
A collection of visual, aural and written accounts and statements about this action:
- The video from the action is here.
- A video of them talking about their actions is here.
- Their written statements are here
- An audio interview here with Rock Creek, W.Va., resident Ed Wiley talking about Brushy Fork before it was filled with coal slurry.
- Photos are here, including two maps.
Below is the beginning of an open letter from Tobias about this action he took:
Right here on American soil the most brutal forms of exploitation are taking place. In Appalachia, an alliance of land companies, coal companies, big banks and Wall Street investment firms are tearing this land to pieces. Every hour of every day they dump cocktails of toxic chemicals into its waters. They poison its people with coal dust and liquid waste. They set off explosions that blast away entire mountaintops. They subject the local communities to de facto servitude by locking out all alternative avenues of economic opportunity. All this for the sake of coal and the satisfaction of America’s relentless energy “needs”.
This economic order recognizes no neighbors, takes no responsibility for the land and prioritizes only one thing — the turning of a profit. It is an economic order of businesses too big to care. The people here have lost control of their lives — a story familiar to many Americans as more and more of this country’s political and economic resources are concentrated in the hands of a relatively small handful of individuals and institutions. The economic system — as anyone in Appalachia can tell you — is explicitly anti-democratic. Whether by bribing regulatory officials in backroom deals or bankrolling elections for the court system, the actions of the banks, land companies and the energy industry along with their friends in the local, state and federal governments are cynically calculated to gut the institutions of democracy in this region.