"Everything this industry does is illegal, it's a criminal enterprise," - Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
On Saturday, a 50-mile march against mountantop removal mining ended at the summit of Blair Mountain. Kennedy joined the protestors, giving yet another powerful voice to the cause.
From The Charleston Gazette:
Hundreds of protesters reached the summit of Blair Mountain on Saturday, marking the end of a weeklong, 50-mile march to raise awareness of mountaintop-removal mining and labor rights in West Virginia.
The protesters came from far and wide to participate in the journey, hailing not only from West Virginia, but also Kentucky, Utah, North Carolina, Tennessee, Australia and Japan. The five-day march was an effort to preserve Blair Mountain as a historical site and to prevent coal companies from using it for mountaintop-removal mining.
Environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., country music singer and West Virginia native Kathy Mattea, former congressman Ken Hechler and West Virginia activist Larry Gibson joined the protesters Saturday. "This is the Gettysburg of the union movement," Kennedy said during a rally before the protesters reached the summit.
Kennedy, who just released the anti-mountaintop-removal mining documentary "The Last Mountain," said legislators and the state Department of Environmental Protection are too controlled by the interests of coal companies.
"Everything this industry does is illegal, it's a criminal enterprise," he said. "If you came to the Hudson River and you tried to fill 25 feet of a Hudson River tributary, we would put you in jail, I guarantee it. If you tried to blow up a mountain in the Berkshires, the Adirondacks, or a mountain in Colorado, California or Utah, you would go to jail."