The March On Blair Mountain
last night after setting up our campsite, Boone County Officials showed up and told us that we no longer had permission to camp in the park, and that if we didn’t leave we’d all be arrested.
We’re determined to carry on the march. We didn’t come here to stand up to the police in a county park, we are marching on Blair Mountain to stand up to the coal industry, preserve the mountain and its history, and end MTR coal mining.
We’re arranging alternative camping arrangements, and ensuring that we have walkie-talkies and safety equipment to keep everyone safe and secure. Bottom line, we need to raise $5000 to keep the March moving safely and securely.
Upwards of 500 marchers from across Appalachia and the United States will participate in a 50-mile march from Marmet, W.Va., to Blair, W.Va., calling for the preservation of Blair Mountain and the abolition of mountaintop removal mining, in an event dubbed Appalachia Rising: The March on Blair Mountain. Blair Mountain, located in Logan County, W.Va., is currently under threat of destruction by mountaintop removal.Marchers will follow the same route as the coal miners who marched to Blair Mountain in 1921 in an effort to unionize mines in southern West Virginia. The ensuing battle between 10,000 coal miners and the coal industry’s hired gunmen is remembered as the largest armed uprising in United States history since the Civil War, and a landmark event in the labor struggles of the early 20th century.
“Ninety years ago, Blair Mountain epitomized the struggle of working men everywhere who sought a better quality of life,” said Chuck Keeney, a history professor at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and the great-grandson of famed UMWA leader Frank Keeney. “Today, Blair Mountain’s meaning is very similar, for we march to honor the past and provide a vision for a better quality of life for both mountaineers and all Americans.”
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