Julia Bonds and Bo Webb, both activists for Coal River Mountain Watch, were taken into custody after demanding Massey close the coal preparation plant, which includes a silo and storage facility, located near Marsh Fork Elementary School. Both were released a short time later.
Bonds said awareness was the main reason for their gathering, saying, “we wanted to bring attention to the unsafe and dangerous conditions which Massey is making at the elementary school. Massey has no concerns for the people living in the coalfields or the children at the school.
“I think we really accomplished our goals for that day,” Bonds continued, and said that this is the first time the group has gathered at this site. “But I don’t think it will be the last.”
Coal River Mountain Watch organizes rallies with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and Mountain Justice Summer to demonstrate opposition to mountaintop removal mining. “That is our vision...to let American know the ‘dirty little secret’ of who suffers for America’s so-called ‘cheap energy,’” said Bonds.
The group plans to return to the same site for another rally in the early afternoon hours of May 31 to again attempt to talk to Massey. In addition, they have planned a series of anti-coal events surrounding Longwall USA in Pittsburgh June 7-9.