January 22 2013. Source: RAMPS
Seven protesters affiliated with the RAMPS campaign (Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival), MORE(Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) and Mountain Justice are locked down to a 500-pound small potted tree in Arch Coal’s third-floor headquarters while a larger group is in the lobby performing a song and dance. Additionally, a helium balloon banner with the message “John Eaves Your Coal Company Kills”, directed at the Arch Coal CEO was released in at the Arch Coal headquarters.
“We’re here to halt Arch’s operations for as long as we can. These coal corporations do not answer to communities, they only consume them. We’re here to resist their unchecked power,” explained Margaret Fetzer, one of the protestors.
Arch Coal, the second largest coal company in the U.S., operates strip mines in Appalachia and in other U.S. coal basins. Strip mining is an acutely destructive and toxic method of mining coal, and resource extraction disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. Continue reading
By Zach Hagadone, November 21, 2012. Source: Boise Weekly
Photo: Zach Hagadone
A plan by some of the globe’s biggest mining companies to ship hundreds of millions of tons of coal by rail through Idaho’s panhandle is still in its infancy, but that’s not stopping activists from raising a ruckus.
Members of Moscow-based Wild Idaho Rising Tide joined Occupy Spokane Nov. 17 to take their opposition to the Idaho panhandle town of Sandpoint, where many of the shipments would roll through on a journey from Montana to the Pacific Coast. The coal would ultimately be loaded onto ships bound for China or India.
According to WIRT organizer Helen Yost, communities like Sandpoint and Spokane are being left out of the process.
“[Public hearings in Spokane, Wash.] are the closest hearings for folks who live in Idaho and Montana, and we feel like our concerns are being ignored,” said Yost. “How legitimate is the scoping process if they’re not even considering input from two of the affected states?”
According to opponents, the coal-shipments’ effects could be dire.
By Scott Parkin, August 21, 2012. Source: Alternet
It wasn’t as big as we’d hoped. These things never are, until, well, they are.
It didn’t really matter though: Hundreds converged from across the country for the Coal Export Action and 23 participated in five days of civil disobedience in protest of the coal industry’s latest scheme to save itself from obsolescence. The message we sent reverberated around the state capitol here in Helena, MT: We will not sit idly by while King Coal attempts to export coal from the Powder River Basin through port towns in Oregon and Washington to Asian energy markets.
Photo Credit: Rae Breaux, www.coalexportaction.org
Every day, people sat-in in the middle of the Montana statehouse until it closed at 6 pm. At 5:30, the nervous facilities manager, Marv Eicholtz, would awkwardly give the larger group the first dispersal order. At 5:50, he’d issue a second one with Helena policemen standing in the background. At 6 pm, Eicholtz would approach and say, “I’m giving you the third and final dispersal warning. Anyone refusing to leave the building will be turned over to the Helena Police Dept.” Those not risking arrested would circle around those sitting in and ask them why we were going to jail, sing civil rights songs, or chant. They’d then quickly leave and wait outside as the police brought the arrestees out to idling sheriff’s vans and took them to the Lewis and Clark county jail.
Every day for five days this routine happened over and over. By the end of the week, 23 had been arrested. Most of the arrestees were from Montana, Oregon and Washington—all states expected to be impacted by coal exports, coal trains and expanded western coal mining.