Actions spoke louder than words in the capitol of the Bluegrass State this morning as 20 Kentucky writers, grassroots activists and coalfield residents staged a sit-in at Ky. Gov. Steve Beshear’s office. The group of local residents, grassroots activists and noted writers demanded an end to mountaintop removal and protection for their land, water and health. Kentucky residents have long lobbied their state government to act in their best interests, yet been consistently ignored by an administration in the pocket of King Coal.
This sit-in is another escalating action in a multi-state campaign that has spanned West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Washington D.C., North Carolina and many other places for the past several years calling for an end to mountaintop removal coal mining.
Among those risking arrest are acclaimed author Wendell Berry, 76, who has decried mining abuses for 50 years, as well as several grassroots activists, mountaintop residents and Kentucky writers.
“The office of the governor must be held accountable,” they citizens explained in a joint statement. “We are once again asking Gov. Beshear for help.”
Among the group are Wendell Berry, 76, the acclaimed writer who has decried mining abuses for the past fifty years; Beverly May, 52, a nurse practitioner from Floyd County; Erik Reece, 43, who has written extensively about the coal industry; Patty Wallace, 80, a grandmother and long-time activist from Louisa; Mickey McCoy, 55, former educator and mayor of Inez; Teri Blanton, 54, a grassroots activist from Harlan County; Stanley Sturgill, 65, a former underground coal miner of Harlan County; Rick Handshoe, 50, a retired Kentucky State Police radio technician of Floyd County; John Hennen, 59, a history professor at Morehead State University; and Martin Mudd, 28, an environmental activist.
Non-violent direct action is for EVERYONE!