81 year old Roland Micklem is a hero. He was arrested after protesting at mountaintop remover Massey Energy's regional offices. Twilight Earth picked up his statement made from jail from blog Climate Ground Zero, it follows in full:
The action went well. Police arrived on the scene shortly after we had formed our human chain across the road, cut us loose, and hauled us to the courthouse in Madison to be indicted. We appeared before the magistrate a few hours later and we were charged with trespass, conspiracy to commit a crime, and damage to private property. Bail was set at $5,000 apiece. As I write the rest of my fellow activists are being released on bail.
The language of the indictments may have made us sound like seasoned criminals, but as we are quick to point out, the real criminals are those in charge of the demolition operations that are wiping out such mammoth sections of Appalachia’s mountains. Among our charges was conspiracy. There’s is an ongoing conspiracy with their political hacks in Charleston and Washington which legalizes MTR (mountaintop removal), and they damage more property on any one of their sites than the combined efforts of all of the vandals in all of the major cities of the nation.
Many of us do not think of this campaign in terms of winning or losing. I, as many of my companions are here to make a statement with our lives; we are announcing to the world that we will no longer tolerate the business-as-usual policies of a power structure that are largely responsible for our economic, health, and environmental crises. The forces arrayed against us are powerful and perhaps overwhelming. But when I am called upon for an accounting of what I have done with my life, I want to be able to say that I have done everything humanly possible to implement my convictions.
This is the reason I’m prepared to carry on, regardless of the outcome.
Mr. Micklem is organizing a march for senior citizens to highlight the evil practice of blowing up mountains and plowing over valleys to get at coal cheaper. Mr. Micklem and his fellow marchers will set out from West Virginia's state capitol building in Charleston and will travel four to six miles a day until they reach the entrace of the Mammoth Coal mine site. To register (marchers need to be 55+, though they welcome supporters of any age) and for more info, swing over to Climate Ground Zero.
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