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Folklore: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History

Alice 02 Jun 11 - 07:40 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jun 11 - 08:03 PM
Alice 02 Jun 11 - 08:19 PM
gnu 02 Jun 11 - 08:42 PM
Janie 02 Jun 11 - 09:11 PM
Alice 02 Jun 11 - 09:22 PM
gnu 02 Jun 11 - 09:44 PM
katlaughing 02 Jun 11 - 10:04 PM
Bobert 02 Jun 11 - 10:16 PM
Alice 02 Jun 11 - 10:27 PM
Alice 02 Jun 11 - 10:30 PM
Greg F. 03 Jun 11 - 09:57 AM
Fred McCormick 03 Jun 11 - 10:27 AM
Alice 03 Jun 11 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Paul Burke 03 Jun 11 - 06:56 PM
saulgoldie 03 Jun 11 - 07:13 PM
katlaughing 03 Jun 11 - 10:41 PM
Janie 03 Jun 11 - 11:56 PM
ChanteyLass 04 Jun 11 - 04:08 AM
Janie 04 Jun 11 - 08:15 AM
catspaw49 04 Jun 11 - 12:30 PM
Greg F. 04 Jun 11 - 12:34 PM
catspaw49 04 Jun 11 - 12:39 PM
Greg F. 04 Jun 11 - 12:44 PM
Janie 04 Jun 11 - 01:01 PM
catspaw49 04 Jun 11 - 02:02 PM
katlaughing 04 Jun 11 - 06:34 PM
gnu 04 Jun 11 - 07:45 PM
Alice 04 Jun 11 - 11:32 PM
Alice 04 Jun 11 - 11:35 PM
Richard Bridge 05 Jun 11 - 02:54 PM
wysiwyg 05 Jun 11 - 10:49 PM
Janie 05 Jun 11 - 11:20 PM
Janie 06 Jun 11 - 12:46 AM
Janie 26 Jun 11 - 08:35 PM
Bobert 26 Jun 11 - 09:23 PM
GUEST,marks (on the road) 26 Jun 11 - 10:24 PM
DebC 27 Jun 11 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 27 Jun 11 - 09:25 AM
Janie 13 Aug 11 - 08:14 AM
catspaw49 13 Aug 11 - 09:59 AM
catspaw49 13 Aug 11 - 10:28 AM
Janie 13 Aug 11 - 11:27 PM
GUEST,Russ 14 Aug 11 - 12:26 AM
Janie 14 Aug 11 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,Philippa 08 Dec 12 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Philippa 08 Dec 12 - 04:26 PM
ChanteyLass 09 Dec 12 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,TIA 09 Dec 12 - 05:42 PM
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Subject: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Alice
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 07:40 PM

This is a link to a petition online by Friends of Blair Mountain West Virginia.

The petition is explained at this link:
petitions/stop-coal-companies-from-erasing-labor-union-history

"The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest armed conflict on American soil since the Civil War and the largest labor confrontation ever. It erupted when more than 10,000 West Virginia coal miners confronted an industry-backed army for a week in 1921. The miners were fighting to gain collective bargaining rights, to escape the domination of coal operators, and for the basic right to live and work in decent, safe conditions."


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 08:03 PM

I think it's worthwhile to post the entire text, since it has folkloric and historical value:

    The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest armed conflict on American soil since the Civil War and the largest labor confrontation ever. It erupted when more than 10,000 West Virginia coal miners confronted an industry-backed army for a week in 1921. The miners were fighting to gain collective bargaining rights, to escape the domination of coal operators, and for the basic right to live and work in decent, safe conditions.

    The history of Blair Mountain is that of all Americans.

    The coal miners who worked and struggled during the West Virginia Mine Wars formed a rock-hard union solidarity that diffused to the rest of the nation through the Appalachian outmigration that has occurred from the 1930s until today. They went to steel foundries in Pittsburgh, the car factories in Detroit, and the mills in Ohio. They carried with them the memory and heritage of the labor struggles in central Appalachia, and they were a major force in building the labor unions that in themselves helped build the prosperous middle class of the 20th century.

    Blair Mountain stands at the heart of American prosperity, and the coal miners who fought and died there did so for the basic freedom of living and working in decent, safe conditions.

    But most people have never heard of Blair Mountain. That's because West Virginia has, for years, resisted preserving or commemorating the site. Nowadays, major coal companies Arch Coal and Massey Energy (the one responsible for the deadly explosion last April) own a lot of the land and hold permits to blast away the landscape for the most devastating of all coal mining practices: Mountaintop removal mining. They literally want to erase history here.

    This can be stopped. If only the National Register of Historic Places would list the site, then its preservation would be required. Except that federal official ultimately turned down a listing this year -- amid objections of 57 "landowners" filed by the state. According to activists, however, this list is flawed and some of these people are even dead. And, already, Friends of Blair Mountain has documented the disturbance of five locations on the 1,700 acre site.

    Tell Interior Department officials and the state of West Virginia to save the site of the Battle of Blair Mountain without delay. It's time to stop the destruction of West Virginia and preserve this one small example of rebellion from the grip of Big Coal.

    P.S.  From June 4th-11th, supporters will unite for a weeklong solidarity march on Blair Mountain.The March on Blair Mountain is a peaceful, unifying rally involving environmental justice organizations, workers, scholars, artists, and other citizens and groups. The march commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain. It will start in Charleston, West Virginia and end 50 miles later with a rally at Blair Mountain. Please consider attending if you can


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Alice
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 08:19 PM

A more detailed history of the Battle of Blair Mountain can be found here on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blair_Mountain

That entry also describes songs recently written about the Battle of Blair Mountain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: gnu
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 08:42 PM

Such history needs to be taught in all the schools of the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 09:11 PM

Thanks for posting this, Alice.

In my early 20's I dated a fellow who lived with his grandfather. I would sit for hours and listen to Mr. Bryant's recollections of working in the mines and fighting to unionize. He fought in the Battle of Blair Mountain.   Was tired of having to sneak down the dark alleys and into back doors in Logan to pay his union dues, dodging Pinkerton thugs hired to intercept and beat anyone headed for a union meeting.

The last surviving dirt track from NASCAR's inaugural season was registered as a National Historical site just a few years ago, here in Orange Co., NC. (lots of pressure to make it happen, mostly to preserve even older historic trails, the Eno River, and to stop one favored route for a proposed bypass around Hillsborough.) Lots of local savy, well educated people with no interest in NASCAR but lots of interest in stopping the bypass going through that route made it happen.)

How can it be that the history of Blair Mountain is less significant than the oldest remaining NASCAR dirt track?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Alice
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 09:22 PM

I emailed the petition info to Rachel Maddow. Maybe she can give it more news coverage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: gnu
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 09:44 PM

Janie... sad indeed. Again, history must be told.

Maybe there is a website for this history? Spaw??? You know as much about this as anyone, I would think, besides Jean and... who else at Mudcat???


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: katlaughing
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 10:04 PM

I signed it. Thanks for letting us know about it, Alice and it's good to see you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 10:16 PM

Oh, daddy, won't ya' take me back to Mulenburg County
By the Green River where Paradise lay
I'm sorry, my son, but you're too late in askin'
Mr. Peabody's coal train has hauled it away...

Seems that our entire nation owes a debt of gratitude to the men who have done the dirty work... Gone into mine shafts that are but 36 friggin' inches high... Coal miners are the hardest working, shortest living men on the planet... What's 20 years of life worth??? Maybe we need to ask...

...Mr. Peabody...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Alice
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 10:27 PM

My father was born in 1902. When he was a boy, he had to work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. His older brothers had worked down below, but as a boy, he worked at the crushing machinery. He saw a little boy he worked with fall into the machinery and be killed. Two of his brothers were in a mine fire. One brother was overcome and could not walk, so the other brother put his hands under his brother's armpits and dragged him out. He had the imprint of his brother's hands in the scars on his skin for the rest of his life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Alice
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 10:30 PM

http://www.friendsofblairmountain.org/

There is the current link for news about the work to preserve the Blair Mountain battlefield.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 09:57 AM

I highly recommend Lon Savage's Thunder In The Mountains: The West Virginia Mine War 1920-21 Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1990.
(actually cited in the Blog-O-Paedia article! Amazing!)

NO labor history of any sort is taught in U.S. primary & secondary schools. Could have something to do with the current Federal and State Wars on Unions & Public Employees.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 10:27 AM

Living on the other side of the Atlantic, there's not much else I can do but sign the petition. But sign it I have. The way the poor have been written out of history is a source of constant anger to me.

Everybody ought to know about the struggles of those miners and about all the other workers who battled to secure decent standards of living, not just for themselves and their families, but for all the generations of workers who came after them.

Wrong state I know but:

"The bosses drive in big cars while we walk in the mud.
Their banner is a dollar sign while ours is scribed with blood."


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Alice
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 06:14 PM

The wiki article is actually well detailed, describing how Mother Jones was involved.

On the group site that is heading up the petition, this page explains how there was fraud in de-listing the battlefield area from the National Register of Historic Places.

Read entire page here to understand this issue:
http://www.friendsofblairmountain.org/about/national-register-campaign/

I will quote from that page:
"After extensive review of the tax, deed, and death records at the Logan County, West Virginia, courthouse, Ayers and Bailey concluded that five of the objectors of record submitted by Mr. Reid-Smith were not legitimate owners. Two were dead, two were Life Estates, and one had sold their property. Of the 10 of 57 properties that he researched in depth, he also discovered 13 additional owners not found by the cursory search of the West Virginia Attorney General's office. The upshot of this research was that the count shifted to 25 objectors and 37 non-objectors, which would overturn any attempt to de-list the battlesite."

The coal companies worked to de-list the area and are blocking the re-listing of this area because they want to remove it as mountaintop mining.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 06:56 PM

Typical USA, land's infinite, you can trash it all you like and there's always plenty more. Thank God you won't be around for the next dustbowl,


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: saulgoldie
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 07:13 PM

Curious timing, this. I am working with a performance partner. And the first song we decided to do was "Coal Tatoo,' owing to his roots in West Virginia and his desire to do coal-related songs. Then, the other night, I saw the piece with Robert Kennedy, Jr. on Colbert about how wide-spread was mountaintop removal in WVa, and I decided to add "Paradise," as Bobert has already reminded us of. Things are moving fast, indeed. And not all in a good direction.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 10:41 PM

There is a memorial concert for Hazel Dickens thread up top which is for support of the Blair Mountain project: HERE.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 03 Jun 11 - 11:56 PM

Have "visited" a couple of mountain top removal sites, and the valleys and hollers below. Words are not enough. Makes the old strip mines seem very benign in comparison.

Acid run-off from both deep mines and strip mines kill life in streams, but over time streams can at least partially recover. That time may be one or two life-spans of a man if mitigation has occurred.    Mountaintop removal buries the hollers and streams. (holler=hollow, but hollow doesn't roll off my tongue or my fingertips, nor does it in any of the coal mining regions of the central Appalachians.) Never can put it back. But mountain-top removal is exponentially more destructive than any other method of mining coal that has yet been devised.    Nothing remains after mountain top removal that holds the possibility of healing short of eons of geographical time. Literally, the world turned upside down.

Understand, there is little support within the State of WV for halting or restraining Mountaintop removal. Too many livelihoods depend on coal. There are few alternatives for an economic engine. Clean coal is a myth. But it is a myth on which the survival of many families depend, and on which the entire economy of a State depends.

Those of you who don't live in West Virginia, southwest Pennsylvania, or eastern Kentucky - what, if anything, are you willing to sacrifice? How truly willing are you to pay your fair share of the costs of not mining coal and the effects that will have on the immediate lives of all those who currently depend on coal?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 04:08 AM

I signed the petition and posted the link on Facebook.

Janie, I have no easy answer for your question. However, without a labor union the lives of miners and their families would be much harder, and we must remember and honor what people did to establish and support the union.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 08:15 AM

I agree, ChanteyLass, and I also signed the petition. I'm just saying....

The resistance of the coal companies to preserving the site, however, is not so much about trying to obliterate Union history as it is about not wanting to give up access to the coal in Blair Mountain.

The current renewed efforts to get Blair Mountain on the National Register of Historic Places is as much about an effort to block more Mountaintop removal as it is about preserving and commemorating the Battle of Blair Mountain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 12:30 PM

Janie my dear friend.......I love how you ask and then answer your own question. It can be because this is coal and until the rest of the country says, "Yes, we will pay the dues to stop the use of coal," then we will see these atrocities over and over. You have done a wonderful job of directing the point of this thread while also maintaining your temper.

I wish I had lived your life and yet be still able to gently explain to others that this is about coal....not about history, not about a battlefield.......its about coal in a land where coal is King. You can tell I'm about to get real raw here cause I just can't take it anymore and yet the options are none......Take it.....no Vaseline............................

So..................

How many of you have been to the mining regions of the Appalachians? Once upon a time this was one of the most beautiful places in the world. Sadly though it was also one of the richest in coal and as the technology of the Industrial Revolution began to take over, the need for coal skyrocketed. The people of the region had been happily self-sufficient for many years but along came a few guys who offered them money for the coal underneath their land. All too soon they learned that they had given up their land altogether because any way that coal could be mined, it soon was.

Having very little else to fall back on, they went to work for the coal companies which once again took advantage of them by paying jackshit nothing for wages in dangerous working conditions. Did I mention that the jackasses who owned the mines and destroyed the land didn't have to live there? Also did I mention that these guys also sat on the boards of the industries which used the coal, like steel?   By the way, since steel went down the tubes they now also are invested in your local electric companies. Well I guess that's okay cause a guy should keep busy...............

But everyone got together and with the Union and passionate people and no small amount of violence, they got better working conditions (still pretty damn bad) and better wages. But then Old King Coal got to noticing that this was pretty damn expensive! So why not just rip off hillsides wherever it was possible to reach the coal that was closer to the surface? Now that worked well and there was some new and fun machines, costly but effective, to do the job........Here's Big Muskie, the world's largest walking dragline which was eventually scrapped. I mean why bother with the expense of all that if you can just blow the living shit out of the hills and mountains? So what if each method pollutes more than the last? Fuck a bunch of fish! Also, if you read the article, they allude to "reclamation" and that's about all a coal company ever did......allude to it.

I call it the "Dichotomy of Coal" but its easier to say "you can't live with it and you can't live without it." In a poor region, made much poorer by coal company thievery, coal mining is one of the the highest paying jobs. But the higher pay made the jobs fewer because the companies found other ways to get the coal. None of this mentions all the politics of coal which makes the case for the trade in the region that has one very valuable resource to trade! At every turn where we have tried to make it better, King Coal has found a way to make it worse.

So we destroy the land, pollute the water, endanger the populace and the wildlife..............and the coal is still there and mining still provides the best jobs in a job poor state and the best trade material in a place where there isn't anything else of the same monetary value.   Now do you think anyone in power gives a shit about a battlefield or history?


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 12:34 PM

Well, Spaw, perhaps folks who haven't been there (I have)would also benefit from reading Caudill's "Night Comes To The Cumberlands" (1962) and reflecting what has happened - or rather, NOT happened, in the intervening half century.

Reality is a bitch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 12:39 PM

25 years after the book came out, Caudill himself said he had seen almost no progress even though that book was a stimulus to the "War on Poverty." Caudill noted that less than 2/5 of the wealth of coal had been taken out when he wrote the book in the early 60's. THAT also provided political impetus to mine it no matter what and so..........


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 12:44 PM

"WAR ON POVERTY"? That Communist propaganda? Besides, Ed Meese stated categorically that there's no poor people in America.

Look how far we've come with the current crop of TeaBagger Repulican arseholes.

Makes me so proud to be an Amerikun I could just shit.

How bout you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 01:01 PM

In 1940 the coal mines in West Virginia employed 130,457 miners.

In 2011 the coal mines in West Virginia employ about 16,000 miners, while producing much more coal.

West Virginia, despite it's high poverty rate, is one of the few States that is doing OK in terms of revenue right now, largely because the price of coal is up, and coal brings in tax revenue, even if not from payroll taxes.

It's a good thing, because it takes a lot of tax dollars to keep poor people from starving.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 02:02 PM

And they need more money because not only do they need food, they need bottled water...............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 06:34 PM

Thank you, Janie and Pat/Spaw.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: gnu
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 07:45 PM

NYC needs power to light all those signs. Sigh.

Coal and lumberin and frackin... no fish. Oh, we got farmed fish but what happens if they get messed up for good with all this crap gowan on with the nukes? That is gonna take a shit when the radiation is dumped into the Pacific Ocean from Fuckyousurely in less than a week. Reactor #1 just went 4000 milifuckyouse per hour today and the trenches (ya gotta read the thread) are filled with megafuckyouse per fuck you and estimated to overflow into YOUR oceans in a week and ocean currents don't give a fuck about who gets fucked.

Now, that's a lot of fuckin, but the fact is, it ain't the brass at Tepco or or any other big corp or government that's gonna get fucked... it's you.

Lumberin and coal messed up the spawnin grounds. Now nukes are messin up the feedin grounds... the oceans that feed us! Godzilla ain't sci-fi... Godzilla is real... and it's minin coal, deforestin the woods, and nukin the entire world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Alice
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 11:32 PM

Yes, this about coal. If you read the first page I linked to in the first message you will see that it is about coal mining. A subject heading is limited, so I tried to condense what the petition title is for the thread.

This is from the page of the petition that I linked in the first message:

"...major coal companies Arch Coal and Massey Energy (the one responsible for the deadly explosion last April) own a lot of the land and hold permits to blast away the landscape for the most devastating of all coal mining practices: Mountaintop removal mining."

If anyone has a better thread title, they can change it, but I didn't mean to imply this wasn't about coal mining.




Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Alice
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 11:35 PM

When I was on a governor's task force in Montana back in the 70's, for energy problems of fixed and low income consumers, I was working as a community organizer for the Alternative Energy Resources Org.

When I questioned why we were strip mining eastern Montana in order to run neon lights in Seattle, people in the room bristled. How dare I question such a sacred cow as coal mining.


Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 02:54 PM

I am sad to learn this about the USA.

I hope people of conscience there and here in the UK note the attacks by capital on workers and if necessary rise at last.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 10:49 PM

done


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 11:20 PM

I wish the problems of the world could be solved by one liners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 12:46 AM

Not a thing wrong with your thread title, Alice. Some of us are simply expounding a bit on the topic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 08:35 PM

Read an interesting article in today's Charleston Gazette/Mail before I left my mother's home this morning. The article does not appear to be available in the on-line addition. Had I known that, I'd have at least recalled the full name of the author, who was the grandson of Bill Blizzard, the president of UMW District 17 (most of WV) and who led the Battle of Blair Mountain.

The grandson himself has never, apparently, been much of an activist about anything, but decided to participate in the recent march. There were several things that really struck him about his experience.

1. Initially, he was somewhat off-put by the large number of young, tatooed and pierced young people, but by the end of the march, felt a strong solidarity.
2. He was struck by the dedication and courageous peacefulness of the participants, young and old, from in-state and from out-of-state.
3. He was struck by how many more out-of-state marchers there were than West Virginians
4. He was particularly struck by both the absence and the silence of Cecil Roberts, current president of the UMW, and former president of District 17 (Most of WV) of the UMW
5. He was struck by both the opposition and the support they encountered by residents and churches along the way as they made the 5 day, 50 mile march.

One thing that has really struck me, as I have followed this in the news, and that jarred anew today as I did google searches for news reporting on the March, is that the vast majority of news articles and op-ed pieces that turn up on my web searches are either from the marchonblairmountain.org website or from out-of-state newspapers.

I don't know if there is strong opposition to Mountain Top Removal (MTR) among the citizens of the coal fields of Kentucky, Pennsylvania, southwest Virginia or northeastern Tennessee - the states where MTR is either occurring or most likely to occur. There is clearly not strong opposition among the general population in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. What I do know is that efforts to stop MTR in these regions are likely to be unsuccessful unless the people who are most immediately and directly affected (the miners and those who work in related industries and the people who live near MTR sites or proposed sites,) can be brought into the fold of opposition. Human nature being what it is, that will happen only if positive viable alternatives are available.

No one has yet to find a viable economic alternative for West Virginia that does not include raping or destroying the land and the waterways - it is ever so for places rich in natural resources the rest of the world wants or needs.   The devastation and the environmental battles occurring in the Amazon basin, in Southeast Asia and in the South Pacific, are no different, and the outcomes are very likely to be the same.

In a world where hardscrabble but sustainable life is not recognized as a virtue to be shared equally by all, it is inevitable that this be so.

Hardscrabble lives have always been the reality for many, if not most people in the world. What is different now is the necessity that it be understood as a virtue.

We are out of resources, folks. There is no where to move on to when we use up the resources of one geographic area, hence, no ability for places to recover once we move on.

Not only is clean coal a myth, sustainable growth is a myth, economic or otherwise. What creates the crisis for our species is the combination of population growth and destroyed earth with too much pressure or too much destruction to recover within a lifetime or three, such that there are not enough resources left for the current population to make a go at subsistence and be able to maintain itself.

To put it very simply, Natural Law will prevail, and a severe culling of the numbers of humans is inevitable through natural processes, (or possibly extinction of the species.) What we humans have done through overpopulation and mindless exploitation of resources is no better or worse than what any other species does. We are adept at recognizing and accepting the effects on other species, but somehow think we are immune to the laws of nature.

Who gets to survive? Who decides? Which tribes? And how do those decisions get made?


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 09:23 PM

Here's an idea...

Seein' as Wes Ginny has a fuel source and a labor source why not retrain miners to build environmentally sensitive stuff for a Green America???

Yeah, okay, they may have to extract coal to get *US* up and running but, hey, once it's up and running then there will be no reason to extract more coal...

I mean, I see Wes Ginny as the Green Center of America's future...

Just gotta think bigger than the same old same old...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: GUEST,marks (on the road)
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 10:24 PM

Hey..............Everybody

Just be quiet and take your Soma.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: DebC
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 09:10 AM

I and a whole bunch of other musicians contributed to "Still Moving Mountains: The Long Journey Home". The proceeds from this CD and the first one "Moving Mountains" goes towards funding Mountaintop Removal Awareness.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 09:25 AM

Sad to read this, and as USA is still the nation that sets itself up as the moral example in so many ways, what does this say to China, India and other countries that can and will exploit land for short term gain?

The dilemma of job creation versus long term stupidity is a difficult one, and when big businesses are on one side of the argument, it gets a skewed hearing. The coal mine I used to work in here in The UK is now a set of warehouse distribution centres with few skilled jobs and many part time ones... Not the best tombstone for a whole community heritage but sentiment and business aren't very good bedfellows.

As nobody with an ounce of sanity is suggesting "rising up" or whatever term armchair activists use to promote law breaking, I hope the legal system can be used appropriately.

Mind you, for that you need competent lawyers......


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 08:14 AM

Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America

The above will be shown on CNN this Sunday, 8/14.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 09:59 AM

From the looks of the preview, I believe CNN may well have captured the essence of the "Dichotomy of Coal." ........or at least "Part One" of a series.   

Part 2 might be a special on coal fired power plants on the Ohio River where cancer is high, towns have died, but the jobs are badly needed. Part 3 is the fat and happy end users bitching about their electric bill while every kilowatt of usage costs a cancer diagnosis and provides a job..............dichotomy of coal.

Thanks for the heads up Janie.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 10:28 AM

BTW Janie........I didn't comment on your June 26 post as I was completely awed by its intelligence, passion, and beauty. It takes a very real person to make a difficult point so well. I am so proud to know you.........even in this cyber village. If CNN does half the job you did in that post, their special will be great.

And Alice.....Thanks so much for this thread. IF it seemed I was upset it was only with my own inability to do much of anything about any of it.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 13 Aug 11 - 11:27 PM

Thanks, Spaw, but actions speak louder than words, and my actions and choices don't match my words to the extent they could, and I do not deserve your praise. Regarding that June 26 post, it is the questions at the end that I most ponder, and about which I am ever most ambivalent in terms of making personal choices.

That "Part 2" you proposed needs to be put out there. I'm 99.9% certain the power plant shown in the trailer is the John Amos plant on the Kanawha River, near Winfield, and only a few miles from my mother's house. The building of that plant, and during the time of it's early operations after the first unit went into operation in 1971 was a major economic engine of our area during most of my adolescence and early adulthood. I can not count the number of friends, boyfriends, and fathers of friends who worked at John Amos during that long process. Even my ex-husband, before I knew him. My ex's father had a mechanical engineering company that made him a moderately wealthy man, not directly working at John Amos or for the coal mines, but from construction and maintenance of banks, hospitals, government buildings and other businesses made possible by the economic engine of the John Amos plant. Good paying union jobs - electricians, boilermakers, iron workers, etc. The construction and early operation of the John Amos plant not only created new jobs, it offered replacement jobs for many of the trade union positions that were being lost as EPA regulations led to Union Carbide, FMC, Westvaco, I.E. Dupont and DOW chemical scaling back their presence in the Kanawha Valley - moving many of their plants to Asia where there were no unions and little environmental regulation.

Today, John Amos directly employs 320 workers, but provides jobs for many more who work for contractors. It is the largest power plant in the American Electric system, and in spite of spending billions of dollars for pollution control, ranks anywhere from the top 10 to the top 50 of power plants in the world in terms of emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfer dioxide and nitrogen oxide, or combustion residue (fly ash.)

The John Amos plant current burns 7 million tons of coal per year.

Except for Jay Rockerfeller (and before his demise, Robert Byrd-who finally "saw the light,") all of West Virginia's Washington politicians and the acting Governor since Manchin went to Washington, have raised the hue and cry against recent EPA regulations on CO2 emissions that will result in a few aged and small power plants being shut down 4 years earlier than American Electric had planned. Even American Electric is saying it is not such a big deal as the plants were slated for closure anyway. They are being driven by the coal lobby, and the very effective propaganda campaign of "Friends of Coal" throughout West Virginia.

Currently there is a big propaganda battle being waged in WV over a proposal by American Electric to build huge transmission lines to send power New Jersey. New Jersey is willing to pay a higher rate for power than are West Virginians. But most of the true costs of providing that additional power will be shouldered by West Virginia. The legal fight, because that is where the laws and legal grounds are more clearly defined, will focus on the right-of-way issues and private land ownership. West Virginians, however, will as always, shoulder most of the long-term costs when the effects of MTR and increased pollution by coal-fired power plants is factored in.

I fully understand why so many West Virginians see environmental protection as the enemy even though I disagree. We all want to be able to support our families, to offer financial stability to our children and grandchildren.

Those billboards put up by "Friends of Coal" that I have been seeing for a number of years are pure propaganda. I have never seen billboards with opposing messages or propaganda along the West Virginia Turnpike. Fact is, environmental and socially responsible lobbies also produce and rely on propaganda, but they can offer nothing to counter the propaganda put out by the coal lobby because they offer no alternatives for the region. The rest of the country is not willing to share in any sacrifice.


A new anti-Obama billboard has recently gone up along the turnpike-my son spotted and pointed it out to me with outrage (I must be doing something right:>). I can't remember exactly what it says, but the gist is Obama is with malice destroying coal industry jobs in West Virginia - includes a map of West Virginia with the southern coalfields in red. It is propaganda to the extent it implies ill-intent or lack of concern for the implications of government policies. It is also an accurate geographical representation of sacrifices that will be made by the people of the coalfields that will neither be shared nor willingly mitigated by the country at large.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 14 Aug 11 - 12:26 AM

The real battle in WV was for "hearts and minds."
I use the past tense because I think it has already been lost.
It was lost a long time ago.

When victims fight for their right to be abused, the game's over.

No matter what, the issue is moot for my county.
It's going, going, gone.

When the entire state has been stripped to the bare bone, perhaps it will be left in peace.

I apoligize for the negativity.

I had a great week at Clifftop by studiously avoiding thinking about WV's problems.

Russ (Permanent GUEST and expat West Virginian)


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: Janie
Date: 14 Aug 11 - 12:55 AM

Maybe so, Russ.


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 04:22 PM

Still a live issue; I received the following email message today re a petition:

forwarded message:

Subject: Save Blair Mountain from dirty coal companies
Dear Friend,


Historic Blair Mountain, the site of one of the largest labor uprisings in U.S. history, in 1921, is under assault by the coal industry.

Coal companies want to use explosives to destroy Blair Mountain through a process called mountaintop removal mining -- the most destructive form of coal mining there is.

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has the power to save Blair Mountain, but so far has refused to use it.

Tell West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin: Save Blair Mountain from dirty coal companies.

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/save_blair_mtn/?r_by=51716-3290185-JlIqTOx&rc=paste1


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Subject: RE: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 04:26 PM

a folksinging link to Blair Mountain

'When asked by an interviewer how he made up songs, Nimrod Workman replied, "I make up songs to fit my own category." Born in 1895 in the hills of eastern Kentucky, he entered the mines at age 14 and in the early 1920s he worked alongside Mother Jones in West Virginia, and participated in the Battle of Blair Mountain uprising. Forced to retire decades later due to black lung disease, he continued to sing at folk festivals and made appearances in the films Coal Miner's Daughter and Harlan County U.S.A. In 1986 he received the National Endowment for the Art's National Heritage Award in recognition of his ballad singing and musical repertoire.'

http://mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=2099226


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 03:54 PM

Signed!


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Subject: RE: BS: Stop Coal Co. from Erasing Union History
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 09 Dec 12 - 05:42 PM

Here is something everyone should know about coal:

Nearly all of it (93%) goes to electricity generation...and 68% of the energy from that coal is lost...wasted...rejected.

See this graph from Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

http://grist.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/llnl-energy-flow-2009.jpg

click

So, we are tearing up habitat, poisoning streams, and making people injured and ill to get at the resource...and then pissing most of it away.

Someone is getting rich, but it is hard to even call it an energy resource.


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