Friday, October 26, 2007

Keeper of the Mountain......

Hello my friends..... I am back from the Stream Buffer Zone Hearing with a renewed passion and energy to fight the evil of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining. I finally got to meet some of the heroes of the battle.... the people in the midst of the struggle, enduring great hardships because of Coal, but standing up to the giant. I am not quite done processing the whole experience yet.... but after seeing everday folks stand up and testify, bring filthy water in from their wells and creeks, despite the jeering and laughter of big, intimidating men all around the room sent out by the coal companies, I see the need to fight even harder. I, myself, was jeered as I spoke and was able to see the true nature of the industry that we are fighting. They had absolutely no respect for any of the speakers, even a little 71 year old lady who spoke on behalf of her community.... they constantly interrupted her and one even yelled out: "You're senile, Sit Down and Be Quiet!"

So while I am processing it all, I am going to feature some of the heroes fighting for their land, lives, and community. Firstly, Larry Gibson , a.k.a. 'Keeper of the Mountain', whom I was so honored to meet. Here is his story:

Larry Gibson's family has lived on or near Kayford Mountain since the late 1700's. More than 300 relatives are buried in the cemetery on Kayford Mountain. Larry and his family used to live on the lowest lying part of the mountain, and looked "up" to the mountain peaks that surrounded them. Since 1986, the slow motion destruction of Kayford Mountain has been continuous -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Eighteen years after the "mountain top removal" project began, Larry Gibson now occupies the highest point of land around; he is enveloped by a 12,000 acre pancake in what was previously a mountain range.


(As a sidenote.... just recently, part of Larry's family cemetery was bulldozed through, even though the coal company knew it was illegal..... )

8 comments:

photowannabe said...

That is a powerful video blue. Its a crime that so few people even know about.
I think that meeting would have had me shaking with anger so I could hardly speak.

backpakker said...

very inspirating when we hear about the people who fight against the bullies ..its sad that there are so many of them around who are not even willing to listen to the people

Moi said...

i will never understand why democracies are called people's government when i am yet to see one that's truly one!!!! i am angry and sorry Blue ..but not in the least surprised...it does not take much to get cynical these days, i guess!!!

ASH's Eye said...

How incredibly infuriating ... It makes me so sad that there are individuals who can see nothing but money and power as worthwhile goals. And even if that is their desire, to be proud of it and openly rude to others ... just beyond the pale.

June said...

Your post upset me so. It's all so horrible and just when I think I've heard/seen it all, here comes more. We have to stop this!

brandy said...

I've heard about Larry for several years now and will likely never forget his words about not taking pictures of things that will be there forever. So touching and awakening.

bluemountainmama said...

brandy.... i thought of you, b/c i know they didn't grant virginia a hearing even though one was requested. a lot of the speakers got up and asked for the OSM to grant virginia a hearing, too.

L.L. Barkat said...

Jeering?! I'm glad you are outing them here. Their reprehensible behavior should not be kept secret.