Will this be the fate of historic Blair Mountain in Virginia? Photo credit: iLoveMountains.org/Creative Commons
The Sierra Club is joining Appalachia Rising and a huge coalition of organizations who will march to protect the beautiful landscape that not only has environmental significance, but historic as well.Blair Mountain is the site of the largest civil insurrection since the civil war. In August of 1921, more than 10,000 miners fought local sheriffs and union busters in attempt to secure basic rights for them and their families. Part of the battlefield was approved to become a national landmark on the national register of historic places. But the approval was rescinded after significant pressure from coal mining and energy interests.
Now, 90 years after the battle of Blair Mountain, a group of archaeologists, miners, conservationists, historians and concerned citizens are leading a five day march from Charleston, West Virginia, to the site of the battle in an effort to highlight the unique place that Blair Mountain holds in American history and to underscore the need to protect the mountain from mountain top removal coal mining.
Here's a great video that describes more of Blair Mountain's history.
For the March on Blair Mountain, marchers will arrive on June 5th to prepare and head off on the 6th marching around 13 miles every day before unpacking their tents and camping for the evening. At the end of the march the activists will be joined by Robert Kennedy Jr. and many others for a rally, a day of action, and education on the slopes of the mountain.
So far more than 550 people have signed up to join the march, and that number is only expected to grow. This is the kind of grassroots activism that our leaders cannot ignore. We've seen thousands and thousands of Appalachian residents stand up to King Coal and its destructive practices.
This march is the just the latest action bringing attention to this devastation that the coal industry imparts on the entire region. Appalachian Rising says it well on the march's website:
Today, Blair Mountain, like dozens of other historic mountains throughout the region, is being threatened by mountaintop removal and it is here that a new generation of Appalachians takes a stand. By working to preserve this mountain we are demanding an end to the destructive practices of mountaintop removal coal mining that threatens to strip Central Appalachia of its history, its economic potential and its health.
Will you join the March on Blair Mountain?
Read more about mountaintop removal mining:
See 25 Years of Mountaintop Removal Mining Destruction in 10 Seconds
Why They Keep "Removing" Appalachian Mountain Tops
Biggest Financers of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Exposed