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Four Anti-Mountaintop Removal Activists Arrested at Home

by Scott Parkin

Iran is not the only place where government agencies are trying to (marginally) disrupt people advocating for change.

Today, the West Virginia State Police picked up four Climate Ground Zero activists at home in Rock Creek on some old charges from October.  Back during a peaceful march organized by seniors against mountaintop removal led by 81 year old Roland Micklem, two young activists -Gabe Schwartzman, 19, and David German, 18- were arrested for unfurling a banner on top of Walker CAT's headquarters.  The charges are related to that banner drop.  Last month, the state police arrested Micklem over the same incident.

As a result of the Oct. banner hang, Walker CAT president Steve Walker equated the anti-MTR activists holding a banner on his propert with terrorist suicide bombers, that's right, suicide bombers.  Beyond the insult to real victims of actual suicide bombers, Walker's comment had only the intention of creating more tension in a West Virginia already marred by violence and intimidation.

Next month, Climate Ground Zero will have a three week winter action camp which will prepare 30-50 anti-MTR for actions in the Coal River Valley to carry out civil disobedience actions.

Could these arrests be a pre-emptive arrest to disrupt Climate Ground Zero's activities?

We've spent 2009 escalating the fight to end mountaintop removal.  The coal industry spent 2009 escalating their rhetoric (example above) to cast us as "extremists" and "terrorists," and encouraging intimidation and violence in the coalfields.  Now West Virginia law enforcement is arresting activists and lead organizers in Rock Creek on "old" charges.

Four Climate Ground Zero activists arrested today in Rock Creek, West Virginia.

Rock Creek, WV - At 3:47 pm, Tuesday, four Climate Ground Zero activists were arrested for trespass at their homes in Rock Creek, West Virginia. Matt Louis-Rosenberg, Jacqueline Quimby, Kimberly Ellis and James McGuiness were taken to the Kanawha County Courthouse by State Police. State Trooper Lt. Bowers. The charges stem from an October 10 demonstration at Walker CAT's headquarters, which challenged Walker's misleading pro-coal advertising campaign at which Gabe Schwartzman, 19, and David German, 18, were arrested by City of Belle Police and cited for trespassing on a structure or conveyance. The two had unfurled a banner which read, "Yes, Coal is Killing West Virginia's Communities" .

More information as the situation develops. For more information, call Mike Roselle, Climate Ground Zero 304 854 7372.

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