WASHINGTON–Over 1,500 people from Appalachia and across the country converged on Washington D.C. last weekend for Appalachia Rising, a pro-mountain, movement-building conference followed by a mountaintop removal march and protest that ended in over 100 arrested at the White House. NASA climate scientist James Hansen was among the arrestees who were diverse in age and background, and included outspoken strip mining opponents from areas where coal is mined such as Larry Gibson (W.Va.), Teri Blanton (Ky.), Chuck Nelson (W.Va.), Mickey McCoy (Ky.) and Bev May (Ky.). Past Climate Ground Zero arrestees were also arrested, including Roland Micklem, Mike Bowersox and Sue Rosenberg.
The march included stops at EPA headquarters and a PNC Bank, which is the largest U.S.-based funder of mountaintop removal. Four were also arrested for sitting in and refusing to leave the bank lobby, including the Rev. Billy. People carried, played music and even had an impromtu square dance with playing old time musicians in front of the White House. More coverage is available on the Appalachia Rising website.