Appalachia Rising: A Mass Mobilization Is Coming to DC to Demand an End to Mountaintop Removal Mining
A different voice will be calling at the White House gate on September 27, 2010. No, it will not be the voice of foreign dignitaries discussing peace settlements or promises for powering war machines. It will not be the loud, boisterous voices of lobbyists emptying their small change into legislators' pockets, in exchange for policies to pour gold into the purses of stockholders of the corporations they represent. Nor will it be those one-liner lovin' folks in bad 18th century costumes and sporting dangling tea bag earrings expressing their right to act with ignorance and their love of Fox News.
It will be a voice calling for the right of people to live in their homes and have fresh water to drink, a voice who wants to tell the man who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that their land and neighbors are dying unnecessarily by the actions of an industry that is "bombing for greed."
Appalachia Rising is coming to Washington, D.C. and has the audacity to demand that the President of the United States halt Mountaintop Removal, a practice of extracting coal in Appalachia that takes few men, but plenty of explosives, and leaves waterways and public reservoirs contaminated with carcinogenic heavy metals that put the central Appalachians at the top of the list of cancer deaths per capita for the nation.
It is not "a voice crying in the wilderness" as much as it is "a voice crying for the wilderness." This mass mobilization is led by residents from the bombed-out states. These mountain people will be joined by health-concerned residents from around the eastern part of the United States who realize that the headwaters of Appalachia supply a much greater area. Other folk who want to express their horror and disgust with the environmental terrorism cover-up happening in the land of the free will join the Hillbilly Nation in denouncing Mountaintop Removal.
Will it make a difference? That depends. It depends on whether the President of the United States views Appalachia as a legitimate part of this Union with people worth saving and a land worth preserving. It depends on whether he believes the workforce in this mountainous area needs to move from a boom-and-bust, band-aid economy and establish a more sustainable job market, securing hope for a future for generations to come.
Yes, it all depends on whether the most powerful man in the free world is ready to stand like an oak and announce that Appalachia is not seen as a sacrificial, throw away culture, or if the President of the United States will be just another spineless elected official who bends like a willow with the political winds of Washington.