Nov 17, 2010
The fight is heating up to save Blair Mountain from mountaintop removal mining. Blair Mountain was the site of the largest armed insurrection after the Civil War and a seminal event in labor movement history : in 1921, 15,000 union miners fought a private army backed by mine operators for five days on Blair Mountain until federal troops were called in to stop the violence. After a long effort to have the battlefield placed on the National Registry of Historic Sites, the site was listed and then almost immediately de-listed due to pressure from state agencies earlier this year. Already two mountaintop removal mining permits have been approved on Blair Mountain, and mining could begin within the next 3 months. Now Massey has applied for a third mountaintop removal permit on Blair Mountain, which would cover 554 acres, including part of the battlefield. The public comment period on this permit is now closed.
For more details on the history of Blair Mountain and union organizing, see this summary from the Blair Outreach & Solidarity Project.
Coal River Mountain Watch
PO Box 303 Naoma, WV 25140