“When you decide to be something, you can be it. That's what they don't tell you in the church. When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I'm saying to you is this: when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?”
-Frank Costello, The Departed
“The corporations take advantage of people in Appalachia, and
this is happening all over Appalachia, not just West Virginia… We have
to save one mountain at a time.”
-Psera Newman, Lexington KY
Billy Bragg sings about there being power in a union. But after the past week, I see that there is power not just in unions, but in unity.
Amidst threats and intimidation by King Coal's supporters, 600 courageous marchers kicked off a five day march from Marmet, WV to Blair Mountain.
Gandhi. King. Eastern Europe. Seattle. Latin America. People powered non-violent, yet confrontational, movements make historical change. We're now in the midst of another groundswell of people power. As we've seen in Egypt, Tunisia and the U.S. Mid-West, peaceful protest and non-violent direct action have led the way.
“Mountaintop removal is an act of aggression. Civil disobedience is an act of love.”
-Terry Tempest Williams
A mountaintop insurrection in Kentucky is underway. And it definitely must be on Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear’s mind this week.
We’re mourning the passing of our friend Julia “Judy” Bonds. She was a mother, a grandmother, a coal miners daughter a national leader in the mountaintop removal abolition movement, a director of Coal River Mountain Watch and a community organizer.
She’d been diagnosed with a very serious case of cancer back in the early summer.
Yesterday, on January 3rd 2011, she passed away.