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Announcement :: Environment
AN EMERGENCY CALL TO ACTION! MOUNTAIN JUSTICE SUMMER
by john conner
04 Jan 2005
There is an ecological manmade disaster of geologic proportions occurring in the rolling mountains of the southern Appalachians, its called mountain range -- or mountain top -– removal. It is the ultimate in theft of a people's heritage -- the destruction of watersheds -- and the annihilation of one of the most diverse places on earth. And the perpetrators are turning it into the biological equivalent of a parking lot. The theft of our mountains is escalating as the coal companies strive to outdo one another in their orgy of destruction.
The situation is a desperate one. The greedy coal companies have come up with a “final solution” for our mountains. The tops of our mountains are being blown off by robbing coal companies in their insatiable search for profits at the expense of our land, watersheds and earth. They blow the tops off the mountains, dump them into hollows like they are trash -- often burying highland streams -- then scrape the layer of coal out. They are escalating the process to where over 22 peaks are endangered in East Tennessee alone. We used to call it Mountain Top Removal. Then we saw them destroying entire ranges of mountains, often to replace them with prisons, strip malls, and fast food restaurants. It is Mountain Range Removal, and we are desperate.
Redwood Summer started with an emergency call to action to save the Redwoods. This is our emergency call to action to save our mountains. This is Mountain Justice Summer.
It is an emergency. The Appalachian mountains are some of the oldest in the world. They are the most biologically diverse mountains in the world -- and now the most threatened. When a clear-cut happens there is some chance that someday the trees might grow back. Mountain Range Removal is forever. 10,000 years from now if humans still dwell on this planet their children will be sadly looking on craters where once there stood majestic old mountains and wonder. The major wars of this century will be fought not over energy but over water. These mountains are water-rich but are turned into poisonous wastelands by Mountain Range Removal. Streams that are not buried end up as industrial drainage ditches, often toxic and dead to life. All this may happen in your lifetime if you don’t help us.
Help us Obi-Wan Kenobi! You're our only hope! Small, community-based grassroots groups including Katuah Earth First! have been fighting these multi-billion dollar coal companies with slingshots. An amazing coalition of miners, school teachers, tree huggers, and folks who just plain love the mountains have united to preserve and fight for these mountains we love so much, and we have been kicking ass. But though the love we have for our mountains knows no bounds, neither does the greed of the coal barons hellbent on their search for profits at the expense of all else. Enough is enough. Help us stand. Your presence this summer could mean life or death for a mountain. We need you now, this summer. Next summer may be too late if we can’t rachet up the resistance.
Mountain Justice Summer is a direct call to action for the people to stand up to the ultimate theft, the final solution of our wonderful ecosystem, i.e., mountain range removal. We must have your help to fight. Others ask for your money. We need you. With a little help we can break the back of this massive destruction that lays waste to entire ecosystems and watersheds. We are asking for volunteers to dedicate a summer to our efforts. We see our call to action as an emergency plea, in desperate circumstances -- to rachet up the resistance to the atrocity of Mountain Range Removal before it's too late.
Food, housing, camping is all being arranged. Safe houses modeled on Redwood Summer have been established in 6 major Appalachian cities so far. Like in Redwood Summer volunteers will be routed through these houses for preparation before being sent to the camps. Campsites have been identified and food donations are being secured. Come to our home and help us fight for one summer. During the summer you will canvass, photograph, hike, camp, cook, and fight for the very survival of the oldest mountain chain in the world. We will be alternating between weeklong campsites near mountain range removal sites and weeklong periods in various cities promoting tours, dumpster-diving, and demonstrating at the headquarters of the greedy coal companies. It won’t be easy. Historically the Appalachian Mountains and her people have been considered a “4th world” by the greedy corporate carpetbagging coal corporations. They consider us a national sacrifice zone in their search for profits. But we are standing up and fighting back, and your help can help us tip the balance.
Mississippi Summer hosted schools. Mountain Justice Summer will have teach-ins and workshops throughout the summer. Mississippi Summer had people going from door to door. Mountain Justice Summer has a listening project that has been formed for folks to go door to door in threatened mountain communities to listen and talk to them about their fear, hopes and dreams for the mountains they live and love in. Every language in the world has a word for mountain people.
Plant identification, media escorts, pre-blast photography, endangered species identification, listening projects, demonstrations, tour promotion, direct–action, camping, and in general raising hell for our mountains. The coal companies are betting that they can come and start the process in silence. They are betting billions on silence. They know that if people of North America find out about this theft of mountains, the outrage will destroy their attempted theft of a people's cultural heritage. The icon of the forest campaigns of the west coast are the redwoods. The redwoods are a part of many people cultural identity out west. Here it is our mountains. Join us for a summer. We are going to raise so much hell for our mountains this summer that it will echo from hill to hill. It will be hard field work -- always challenging, sometimes scary -- but in the end you will be able to say, “I helped save a mountain.” And you will leave a monument to your summer's work that will exist for eons. And that’s something special.
If you can volunteer email
mountainjusticesummer (at) hushmail.com
annebonnylives (at) yahoo.com
Or call 865-633-8483
Mountain Justice Summer
2131 Riverside Drive
Or goto our website (still in progress) at mountainjusticesummer.org
We need more safe houses and recruiting folks on the East Coast. Contact us and we will get you information. Call us and we will put you on our email list. But make contact. Help us fight. One person must make a difference.
For the Mountains
This work is in the public domain