Hurray for the Coal Sit In!

Gov Beshear, when he shouted “get off our backs!” regarding the EPA and its reasonable regulation of the mining in Appalachian Kentucky, might as well have said “segregation now, segregation forever!”

Same idea – “Dont tell us what to do with our land and our people!”  And he says that for the benefit of 3 or 4 people – those who run the largest coal interests. 

“Get off our backs!” 

Would he say the same thing to the nearly 7 billion other people who share the world with him? 

 “Get off our backs!” 

Does that really sound like what a truly great governor would want to say to the world about us here in Kentucky? 

Most of our elected officials proclaim to be Christian.    Has it really come to this?  That it is “us” against “them”?  The “them” being every single other human on the planet.  Surely, this isn’t what God intended for us.

Fortunately, there are people brave enough to stand up for what’s right. 

Not me, I’m just a bystander who doesn’t have the balls to spend the weekend camped in the Gov’s office.   I do wish those true Patriots the best.  Read below. 

But in case anyone needs a reminder about the “fabulous benefits of coal” – the counties in red below are included in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s list of distressed counties. 

See how great coal mining has been for Kentucky?  After 50 years of intense help……


From the Herald Leader

FRANKFORT — Cheers erupted from a crowd gathered on the steps of the Capitol Sunday as environmentalists who commandeered a portion of Gov. Steve Beshear’s office for the weekend held signs and gave thumbs up from the windows of closed doors.

“Let’s cheer loud enough that they can hear us,” yelled one person.

On Friday, a group of 14 people, including Kentucky author Wendell Berry, settled into the governor’s office for a sit-in to protest mountaintop removal mining in Eastern Kentucky. Supporters of their cause gathered outside the Capitol for a rally Sunday afternoon.

The group inside the Capitol, which calls itself Kentucky Rising, could not leave the building because they would not have been allowed to return.

They plan to stay in Beshear’s outer office at least until Monday’s “I Love Mountains” rally, when hundreds are expected to show their support for long-stalled legislation designed to stop coal operators from burying creeks and streams with mine waste.

Teri Blanton, a Harlan County native, said the group might stay longer.

“We’re still working on that,” Blanton said. “You know, the governor did say we could stay as long as we wanted.”

Blanton, in a telephone interview, said so much food was donated to those inside the Capitol that they called for representatives at area shelters to pick some of it up. El Rancho, a Mexican restaurant in Lexington, donated dinner, she said.

Sam Avery of the activist group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth said plans for the spontaneous rally outside the Capitol started Saturday morning.

The crowd of several dozen, some holding flags and signs that read “Save the Mountains,” turned away from the Capitol at Avery’s request and looked toward the rolling landscape and trees.

“It’s been given to us,” Avery said of the landscape. “It’s been trusted to us. And mountaintop removal is a systematic, deliberate destruction of what you’re looking at right now.”

Mountaintop removal is a type of mining that blasts the tops off of mountains to extract coal. Environmentalists say it harms the watershed and causes other long-term problems.

The governor has agreed to a request from protestors to visit homes in Eastern Kentucky that have been damaged by mountaintop mining but has declined the protesters request to withdraw from a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the Clean Water Act.

Margaret Stewart, a volunteer from Louisville, spoke at the rally about land that cannot speak for itself and demanded clean water. She carried hearts that were signed by protestors outside the Capitol and a sign that expressed appreciation for those inside.

At a side door to the Capitol, the message “we love you” was written with a black marker on a piece of notebook paper and held in a window by Stanley Sturgill of Lynch.

“Sorry we can’t come out,” the note said.


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