Dear Friends of the Appalachian Mountains,
Mountain Justice is now 10 years old.
For an all-volunteer, non-heirarchical organization with no paid staff that relies entirely on donations from our supporters, we think that 10 years is a pretty significant accomplishment. Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years!
If you have ever participated in a Mountain Justice Summer camp, an MJ Spring Break or Fall Summit, an MJ-organized march or a direct action to oppose mountaintop removal - we invite you to join us in two weeks in West Virginia to celebrate ten years of direct action in the Appalachian Mountains.
Thursday - Sunday Sept.25-28th
Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem, WV (southern West Virginia, near Beckley)
Please share the Facebook event!
Click here to RSVP
Not sure if you should come? Watch this video!
Mountain Justice has accomplished a lot over the last ten years. We have trained thousands of people in direct action techniques at our camps, and taught them about mountaintop removal, the fabulous biodiversity of the Appalachian mountains and its headwater streams, plus Appalachian culture, music, history and heritage. We've trained hundreds of young people in anti-oppression. We've done massive outreach and education on campuses, at community events, music festivals, classrooms and churches. We've distributed thousands of DVDs about mountaintop removal and our You Tube channel has over 600,000 hits. We've done community service projects from flood relief in Kentucky and West Virginia to tornado cleanup in Virginia, and we have helped to organize local communities in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. We were the first group to arrive to organize local residents at the 2008 TVA coal ash disaster and there is no longer a toxic lake of coal slurry threatening the safety of children at the Marsh Fork Elementary School.
We've opposed mountaintop removal, steep slope strip mining and valley fills for 10 years, and brought media attention and pressure onto coal barons from Don Blankenship to Jim Justice - such as last week's dramatic action in downtown Roanoke Virginia - and we have helped support our friends and allied organizations across America, from Black Mesa Arizona to the coal export terminals of Maryland and from New England to the Pacific Northwest. We have become a well-recognized and respected model for other organizations who want to fight fracking, climate change and other environmental abuses.
We are very proud of what we have accomplished and we invite you to join us for a weekend of fun and comaraderie.
This celebration will be a four-day event at the Appalachian South Folklife Center, the hallowed grounds of Don and Connie West where we had our first Mountain Justice Summer Camp in 2005. You can sleep in one of the dorms at the Folklife Center or you can tent camp. All meals will be provided. There are hot showers and the historic main lodge is comfortable and inspiring.
There will be good food, Appalachian music and some dancing, campfires, fun, and games. There will be storytelling and memory assembling, but no strategic planning. See old friends, and maybe their new babies! Bring your photos, clippings and memories of Mountain Justice in the early days.
We expect over 100 people to attend. There is no cost to attend but we will gladly accept any donations.
We hope that you can join us!
Please forward this far and wide, so we can find all of our long-lost friends from the past 10 years.
We look forward to seeing you!
Love, the Mountain Justice Reunion Planning Crew
While ISIS horrifically beheaded Steven Sotloff and James Foley, some Americans were being inconvenienced on airplanes. Most of us are spoiled and when we stop and think for a minute our inconveniences are small in comparison to so much else in the world.
I fly occasionally and know about being crowded. I'm 6'3 and have flown mostly coach throughout my life. Several years ago my wife and I flew back from England and the woman in front of me reclined her seat back into my knees for about four hours. I couldn't budge her. The flight attendants ignored me when I tried to complain. When I could get into the aisle I had to stand to keep my legs from going numb. The flight was miserable.
New regulations need to demand that airlines give passengers a couple of more inches of space.
Flying can be a pain today. We are searched, x-rayed, patted down, sometimes stripped before boarding. We are then tossed a bag of peanuts and a coke if we are lucky. This all happens to the tune of $400 to $600 plane tickets or more. Should we scowl or complain a bit we could face the security guards and arrest when the plane lands.
On the flip side I am grateful for opportunities to travel. I fully understand our situation. There are crazies in the world and crazies have no place on airplanes. Flying can make anyone irritated. However, 30,000 feet in the air is not a place to be mentally imbalanced. We have to work together whether it's in the air or on the ground.
In the bigger picture ISIS is beheading our journalists as well as Sunni Muslims. American soldiers again are being put at risk in Iraq. Our borders are not secure and we are vulnerable to attack. Millions of Americans are still unemployed and millions more are barely employed. Many have public assistance even with their jobs. Homelessness abounds in America. Racial tensions continue. Jobs continue to go elsewhere. Illegal aliens are all around us and we still cannot figure out a cure for cancer after all these years.
This is not the time in our history to be fighting in the aisles. Instead of being a part of America's problems, each of us must become a part of America's solution.
Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group, organization or this publication. Like his facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GlennMollette
by Glenn Mollette
The average American is happy to have a paying job with the opportunity to make a little more money. Most Americans would like to work a few extra hours when they could. However, many Americans dream of retiring to fish, golf, garden, or relax. Others enjoy working so much that they never quit.
It all depends on the kind of work you do. If you are a coal miner, then retirement at 55 looks great. If the daily manual labor is not too overtaxing then many enjoy staying on the job.
Some of my dearest friends are in their seventies and still work five days a week and sometimes more. A friend of mine who manages entertainers is 78 and has no current plans to retire. Another is 76 and is out every day working for a large corporation. Both agree that staying busy has been good for their mental and physical health.
On the flip side of this are people in their seventies who have to work. Often they have jobs they don't really enjoy but without working some they couldn't survive.
Life would be almost impossible without Social Security and Medicare for America's senior adults.
Most of our elderly would be starving or homeless without these two government programs. These programs along with people working whatever jobs they can find, keep most of America's seniors off the streets. I only wish that the money collected from people would stay in these programs.
Every American deserves a break on Labor Day weekend, Sunday or someday during the week. A rest from the daily grind helps us to reflect and appreciate life a little more.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans would love the opportunity to work through Labor Day and the rest of the holidays if they could find a paying job. Without an income it's almost impossible to relax and enjoy any day.
On Labor Day or any day, count your blessings if life is going well for you.
Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author. He is from Martin county, KY.
Contact him at GMollette@aol.com. Like his facebook page at www.facebook.com/glennmollette
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