Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition


Video

WV Public Broadcasting's Outlook: Marsh Fork v Coal Industry
You Tube Video Part 1
You Tube Video Part 2

YouTube video posting of protest

Protesting for a new school for the children at Marsh Fork Elementary School:
Part 1
Part 2

News

Raleigh school board asks governor for money to build new Marsh Fork school (audio and transcipts)

Arrests at protest of coal facilities that threaten school

OPEN LETTER FROM DAVE COOPER: Protesters Arrested at Capitol Rally

More Photos

Photographer claims Capitol, State Police used 'abusive force' at protest

Beckley Register Herald editorial: No matter how you cut it Marsh Fork deserves a new school

Coal silo protest: 13 arrested in governors office

Marsh Fork Elementary protest leads to arrests (Scroll to 3-16-07 entry)

Huntington resident among protesters

Protesters arrested at Capitol

Activists occupying WV governor offices

Coal toxins threaten kids' health, protesters say

Activists occupying WV governor offices

Protestors Arrested at Marsh Fork School

Governor Says Marsh Fork Future A Local Decision

DEP files appeal in Massey silo ruling

Split board grants Massey silo permit

Board overturns DEP rejection of silo near school

Massey Cleared to Build Silo at Goals Coal

 

Marshfork ElementaryDemanding a New, Safe School

March 16, 2007

Additional text below the photos.  (I don't know about you, but if someone picked me up like that it would dislocate my shoulders or tear muscles, not to mention being extremely painful in several ways).

Hillary Hosta, who was not in the polices forbidden zone, is arrested.
Hillary Hosta, who was not in the police's forbidden zone, is arrested. Photo by Paul Corbit Brown, http://www.paulcorbitbrown.com/

Coal River resident Hilary Hosta is painfully hauled away by the State Cops.
Coal River resident Hilary Hosta is painfully hauled away by the State Cops.  Photo by Graham Boyle

Coal River resident Hilary Hosta is painfully hauled away by the State Cops.
Coal River resident Hilary Hosta is painfully hauled away by the State Cops.  Photo by Graham Boyle

OVEC board member and Keeper of the Mountain Larry Gibson arrested.
OVEC board member and Keeper of the Mountain Larry Gibson arrested. Photo by Dave Cooper.

Ed Wiley, in red jacket, and Larry Gibson, escorted to the paddy wagon.
Ed Wiley, in red jacket, and Larry Gibson, escorted to the paddy wagon. Photo by Dave Cooper.

OVEC organizer Abe Mwaura dragged off by police (Abe had taken that day off).  Photo by Dave Cooper.
OVEC organizer Abe Mwaura dragged off by police (Abe had taken that day off). Photo by Dave Cooper.

About 75 people crowded into the governor's office.  Photo by Dave Cooper.
About 75 people crowded into the governor's office. Photo by Dave Cooper.

One of the officers in the action.
One of the officers in the action.  Photo by Dave Cooper.

OVEC volunteer Michael Morrision is dragged away by the cops.  Photo by Michael Morrison.
OVEC board member Michael Morrision is dragged away by the cops. Photo by Dave Cooper.

Marsh Fork Elementary School has become a touchstone in the fight against mountaintop removal.  The Raleigh County school sits 400 yards directly below a sludge impoundment permitted to hold 2.8 billion gallons of toxic coal sludge. The dam is slowly leaking.  (Massey Energy says its just controlled drainage.)  Directly above the impoundment, Massey has a permit for an 1849-acre mountaintop removal mine, where repeated blasting shakes the ground. Residents worry about the effects of the blasting on the impoundment and dam. Weve heard workers testify that some safety measures were not followed when they built the earthen dam.

A 185-foot coal silo is directly adjacent to the school, spewing toxic coal dust and chemicals from the adjoining coal preparation plant. Last year Massey decided to build a second coal silo less than 300 feet away from the school. Citizens fought that plan and the Division of Environmental Protection denied the permit, even though Massey had already started to build the second silo.  But, as Bo Webb of Coal River Mountain Watch said about Marsh Fork school, even when we win, we lose.

In early March, the WV Surface Mine Board overturned the DEPs permit denial, giving their approval to Masseys second coal silo.  The school was there before any of the coal operations were. For three years, residents and friends have been fighting for a new school in their own community.  The Board approval of the second coal silo was the last straw for citizens who have followed EVERY available means to be heard by their government. Meetings with the governor proved futile.  Over and over again, folks say that weve listened too long to false promises and outright lies.

In sheer desperation, about a hundred people occupied Governor Manchins reception area and inner office hallway.

At the Capitol, OVEC board member Winnie Fox said, Theyve ruined lives and were not going to take it anymore. 

Non-violent civil disobedience is never a step that is taken lightly. But we've tried so many possible avenues of redress without success. Peoples very lives are at stake. This is our latest effort to be heard. Anyone present at the protest couldnt help but come away with a sense of awed horror at the extent to which Coals minions in the State Capitol are willing to go to protect Coals profits. The pictures here and the three YouTube videos (see links in left column) tell the story best. Shame! Shame! Shame!

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