Is it time for the Feds? Intimidation and Violence Escalating in West Virginia’s MTR areas

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

A month ago, non-violent protesters infiltrated an anti-Progress Mines (Massey Energy) Mountaintop Removal site in Western Virginia.  Through the early morning, they snaked through desolated terrain, formally beautiful mountains and valleys, reminiscent of a World War I battlefield. A trained group climbed the dragline and put up a Stop Mountaintop Removal sign.

Everyone involved had training in non-violent protest. Everyone involved knew that, no matter their actions, they risked physical harm from angered Massey Energy employees. They knew that they risked arrest for this action.  Yet, they went in anyway because they know the harm that Mountaintop Removal is wrecking West Virginia and the devastation that coal is contributing to globally.  People willing to sacrifice their safety and their liberty for something larger than themselves merit a simple description: hero.

And, when called, the police quickly arrived and eventually arrested 19 of the protesters.  And, the FBI is investigating the incident (hmmm … probably not Massey Energy’s devastating impacts on the area and the planet).  

In contrast, at a July 4th picnic with many of locals concerned about Mountain Top Removal went a bit differently than one might expect.  The vast majority of those there: local citizens ranging in age from babies in their parents arms to octogenarians proud of the generations of their families there with them.  To this event came 20 or so (rather obviously) drunken Massey Energy employees (okay, 20 or so people wearing Massey Energy clothing claiming that they worked for the company) who disrupted the event, cursing, and threatening people’s lives — quite directly.  One witness account from jacquesellul.

My wife and I were present at the event and witnessed the? trespass and harassment. The MountainKeepers Festival is a family event with music, food, (no alcohol), and friends hanging out together.

The violent and obscene talk and physical threats certainly were frightening to children and their parents. It should be noted that some of the trespassers tried to prevent overt violence, and that others in the vicinity refrained from coming over.

Intimidation and threats are an ongoing occurrence.

The police arrived — over two hours after they were called.  Despite publicly available film evidence of crimes (at minimum drunk and disorderly), there is no sign of impending arrests.

Hmmm … people make a peaceful protest and 19 people are arrested on site.  On the other hand, people disrupt a private event, threaten people’s lives, and the “Friend of Coal” Gov. Joe Manchin has ignored the situation so far and the rest of the West Virginia State Government remains starkly silent.

And, the indications are that the potential exists for real, rather than simply threatened, violence to hit this battlefield for the future of West Virginia and the planet.  Check out the comment sections to the video of the protest and the video of the picnic.  

These videos (and others related to MTR and MTR protest) have 100s of comments, pointing to the strength of emotions, and many of these comments are quite vitriolic. Here are a few for the flavor.

From the video of the protest:

crawl73 has a myriad of comments. This is one in response to a suggestion to search words like “ash slurry”, etc re other impacts of coal mining. The response:

Uuummm, I don’t think we’re the ones lying. And those weren’t threats tree molester. They’re called promises. If you people don’t back off, and stop trying to make our kids go? hungry, there has to be something done about you hippie monkeys. What else do you expect us to do, just sit around and take it? Because of the lies of a few, many are going hungry right now. Thanks alot chief! Really slick move!

Here’s a few more suggested keywords:

mental disorder, faggot, blind, obama, chicken poo…

You’re very much welcome. You people have been like a bunch of vultures coming around areas that is none of your concerns and causing job losses in an area? that simply can’t afford to lose anymore jobs. Well, we’re sick of it. Some of us that has the backbone are finally taking a stand against you all. We say bring it on. We’re NOT gonna back down. Trust me on another promise (not a threat), if I lose my job, there WILL be a price to pay.

I hope you nutcase hippies come to my job and try to pull this crap! I can’t wait. It’s you guys that are asking for a war. You say you’re “non-violent”. Well, what do you expect us to do while you try to pull these stunts to take food out of our kids’ mouthes? You expect us to just sit back? and take your garbage? I can’t believe how many people are actually falling for your false accusations. You have no clue how this practice is performed.


You see what happened? when you tried tresspassing a week later when Hollywood Hannah came to town. The miners stood up and dared you hippies to enter the property. You laid down like cowards.It will get worse for all of you because we aren’t going to take it anymore.

There is SuperHippieSlayer (who, it seems, really wants a visit from the Secret Service) with, like crawl73, lots of comments:

luckybits 13

Guess you must be a nigger lover and the reason this country is the way it is .Obama is not a savior he is? a politician or as I heard it put A HOUSE NIGGER , a puppet someone to make niggers and hippies feel good. I hope a large caliber round finds him .Also …BLOW IT OUT YOUR ASS …Cause I gotta go help mine coal while you set on your ass.


Well when or if you get the other video from the state police post it on here to prove that it did not happen because a hippie is guilty until proven innocent due to there shit status. Also? mabey it will ease the tensions of us coal miners…But as of now ……WAR ON HIPPIES HAS BEGUN……And remember Shoot a hippie a day and the stinking bastards will go away

Some resources re MTR: Mountaintop Removal Action and Resource Center

The Mountaintop Removal Road Show

Daily Kos 30 Days to Save the Mountains (including Almost Heaven, West Virginia)

RE Massey Energy CEO, see DeSmogBlog and SwitchBoard.

Note: A request from some of those in the mountains:

Please call 304 558 2000 and tell Gov. Manchin to stop the violence.  Calls from all over America are needed – tell Gov. Manchin that you are now afraid to visit the Mountain State after watching the videos on You Tube of coal thugs threatening picnickers.  Tell him to keep the peace.


  1. Why is WV so wrecked? Worse, WTF is up with these racist MFers?

    Thanks for the diary. I hope the feds look into the guy who said he hopes Obama dies.

    • Joy B. on July 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    They’re heavy equipment operators and explosives-setters. That’s it. The Real Coal Miners are out of work because these jerks moved in to destroy the mountains. If Massey, et al. can just level the mountains to get the coal, they don’t need miners. Fortunately, many out of work miners have begun to figure this out, even as their drinking water and views get destroyed. THEY are people you definitely don’t want to mess with… I can recall UMW strikes in Harlan when you were stupid to be out after dark, which is asking to get shot.

    Thanks, A Siegel. This MTR shit has to be the absolute ultimate in environmental destruction for profit. It needs to go away, asap.

  2. this is such a travesty. Please repost this wherever you can.

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