Mike Roselle is a Threat to the Powers That (shouldn’t) Be
Coal River Mountain is the only mountain left largely intact in South-Central West Virginia. It is the mountain in the background of the blog title and the subject of my post A Scenic Wonderland. It is also under attack.
Massey Energy, the worst of the worst extractive companies, has been given permission by the WV Department of Environmental “Protection” to begin destroying the mountain for its thin seams of coal, despite the fact that the ridge tops have been rated as excellent sites for permanent wind turbines.
As reported in the post Are you Listening, Mr. Obama? concerned citizens have resorted to civil disobedience as a last resort to stop Massey’s calamity. One of these citizens is none other than Mike Roselle, the co-founder of Earth First! and the Rainforest Action Network.
Since Roselle has been a thorn in the side of destructive industries for a long time, it is no surprise that the web is full of misinformation that discredits his work. When the pro-mountaintop removal forces realized Mike was helping coalfield residents, they were quick to propagate the most outlandish libels they could find on Google.
Sensing an opportunity to turn public opinion against mountain top removal opponents, several media outlets in West Virginia ran specials warning that an ecoterrorist had moved to the coalfields. The local Fox news outlet even ran a “Roselle Report” and explicitly stated that lives were in danger.
It is no secret that the coal magnates pull the strings of the most corporatized WV media outlets and that journalistic integrity is non-applicable. However, no one expected tactics this shameful.
The following article, describing the media’s attack on Roselle, was written by Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette. He is in a rare breed of West Virginia journalists who aren’t afraid to offend King Coal. http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo/2009/02/16/anti-coal-activist-drawing-some-heat/
Thirteen days after being arrested for chaining themselves to an excavator, Mike Roselle, along with James McGuinness, once again blocked work on Coal River Mountain. Visit www.climategroundzero.org to read the story and see the crazy pictures.
The back-to-back actions are remindful of the civil disobedience tactics used during the civil rights movement.
Civil disobedience can only work if it forces the public to confront an injustice. Infrequent minor violations such as tickets for trespassing are easy for people to ignore. Only continual sacrifice will grab society by the heart and compel change. To fight segregation in the 1960s, activists would be arrested only to commit the same “crime” again immediately upon release. Ernest Wright, a preacher from New Orleans, was arrested 63 times.
The fact that Mike Roselle understands the power of civil disobedience to induce change makes him a major threat. The last thing the elites in WV need is for the residents of Coal River Valley to grab America by the heart and not let go.
This entry was posted on February 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm and is filed under Save Appalachia, Social and Political Commentary with tags civil disobedience, Coal River Mountain, Coal River Wind, Fox News, Massey Energy, Mike Roselle, mountain top removal, WCHS tv, west virginia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.