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Richmond IndyMedia Live! Every Tuesday, 12:30 - 1PM on 97.3 WRIR LP-FM, and streaming online from wrir.org!

LOCAL News :: Environment : Labor & Class : Protest Activity

Day 2 of Whitesville march

On day 2, protesters marched through the town of Whitesville, WV. At the far end of town, a red car swerved off the road and came inches from Bo Webb, in an obvious attempt to hit him. After the attempt, a lady jumped out of the car and turned her license plate up, making it impossible to read.

For high-res pictures, please contact Streetzen (at) riseup.net
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Following Heated Escalation on Day Two of Three Day March
Protesters Challenge Massey to be a Community Partner not Corporate Outlaw

On day two of the event counter-protesters became increasingly hostile yelling at the march participants, intimidating protesters, kicking up gravel with vehicles and in one case appearing to purposefully attempt to hit a march participant with their car. Just after missing protester Bo Webb, of Coal River Mountain Watch, the driver of the car in question pulled off to the side of the road and quickly removed her license plate before jumping back inside and speeding off. Protester Bo Webb has said he intends to file criminal charges.

Telling march participants to “go home? counter protesters were met with Julia Bonds, leading the march. Bonds, took the megaphone and told of her own families displacement at the hands of Massey energy. Ms. Bonds, a Goldman award winner and active member of Coal River Mountain Watch once lived up Marfork hollow, where the counter-protesters were stationed, but was forced to leave her hollow eight years ago when a Massey owned coal processing plant and 9 billion gallon toxic waste storage facility destroyed her community. Bonds was one of many Coal River Valley residents responsible for organizing the three day event supported by participants of Mountain Justice Summer.

Participants of the event say they are concerned about the devastating environmental impacts of mountain top removal mining but also have deep concerns regarding further mechanization of coal extraction and the detrimental economic impact on local communities. Bonds emphasized that she and others do not want to drive jobs out of the valley. “Even though Massey Energy is from Richmond, Virginia, they would be welcome to do business in this valley,? Julia Bonds stated, adding, “so long as they mine coal responsibly. Massey needs to stop hiring outside miners from Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Kentucky, and hire our boys from right here in the valley to mine this coal underground.? According to the West Virginia Coal Association there were more than 100,000 miners employed in 1952 a little over a half century later there are fewer than 15,000.
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