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August 01, 2012

Solidarity With Those Who Protest Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Mtr siteEarlier this week Radical Action for Mountain People's Survival (RAMPS) organized a rally and protest to stop mountaintop removal coal mining at a site in West Virginia. More than 50 protesters walked onto the property and shut it down, and many were arrested, including activist Dustin Steele - West Virginia native. Dustin has reported being abused by police during his arrest.

Two of our clean energy partners from India who are active in people's movements there and who have traveled to Appalachia and know the struggle wrote this week to send their encouragement to Dustin and all those fighting mountaintop removal coal mining:

The Bars of Dirty Coal That Hold You Will Be Broken Soon,  Dustin

While we in India demand an immediate release, compensation for abuse and apology from those responsible for the brutal actions against peaceful and morally right action by the anti-coal activists against the cancerous MTR coal mines, it was not a shocking news that young Dustin Steele, leading a courageous action against the destructive Hobert coal mine/ mountain top removal in West Virginia, has been arrested and mistreated.

The retaining bars that hold Dustin - and other such crusaders against the oppression of the dirtiest energy,  are not only in the Police station, the bars of that oppressive jail that hold all of us  are created by the reign of the dirty Coal industry, and are co-sponsored by all the rougue political action that still support coal. As long  as we accept  coal as a major source of energy -- even after it became clear that coal is the primary assault on the planet's climate, its clean air and water, the jail will be there for all of us.
But now, the world is changing. Along with the young leaders like Dustin from the Blair Mountains, thousands are rising in protest -- across oceans and national boundaries.  Coal mines and coal fired power plants are challenged, resisted and forced to shut down - again across boundaries. And the more people realize the devastation that coal brings to them, the more people will join in the crusade that our young leaders like Dustin are leading. 
The world has seen much cleaner energy for its needs, and its time that the obnoxious greed and dirty tricks of coal are challenged, exposed and terminated. The Blair Mountain activists and others in The Radical Action for Mountain People's Survival, have taken a big step in that last fight. From far off India, we join in spirit and admiration, with our own fights which are all connected.
Carry on Dustin - and other brave fighters. The blows you take today might be harsh, but are only transient. The blows the dirty coal industry takes as a result of your actions,  will pack it off to extinction. And that will be one extinction which humanity will rejoice.   
Soumya Dutta
Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha (India people's science campaign)

Solidarity With Dustin

While I am very sad to know that many activists have been arrested, injured and badly treated in this noble movement against MTR, I am also very proud of them; especially the young Dustin. We all wish his 21st birthday was celebrated in a happier environment.

I am also very sad and surprised that police act in USA could be so inhumane to severely injure an young man for such non-violent protests.

Our best wishes for the speedy release of all the activists. Young Dustin and his associates can be rest assured of moral support from all those who are opposed to dirty coal around the world.

May there be an early end to the very need for such struggles against coal mining. Please convey my best wishes to all the activists.


Shankar Sharma
Power Policy Analyst


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