A group of miners display one of the bombs dropped on them
The Battle of Blair Mountain was one of the biggest civil uprisings in the United States history and the largest armed insurrection since the American Civil War. For five days in late August and early September 1921, in Logan County, West Virginia, between 10,000 and 15,000 coal miners confronted an army of police and strikebreakers backed by coal operators during a struggle by the miners to unionize the southwestern West Virginia coalfields. Their struggle ended only after approximately one million rounds were fired, and the United States Army intervened by presidential order.Now, mountain top removal mining is about to decimate the site of this historic battle. Hundreds of marchers -- including Pittsburgh Sierra Club's Randy Francisco -- are retracing the steps of the miners to stop Blair Mountain from "becoming just another barren, flat-topped strip mine." According to Friends of Blair Mountain, "The March on Blair Mountain is a unifying rally involving labor unions, environmental organizations, scholars, artists, and other citizens and groups."
In 1921, the miners were stopped by private planes that "were hired to drop homemade bombs on the miners" and by "Army bombers from Maryland were also used for aerial surveillance, a rare example of Air Power being used by the federal government against US citizens." In 2011, corporations and the government are still in cahoots, but their methods are more subtle (via Pink Coat Communications):
Local authorities, "encouraged" by mining companies, have routed the peaceful marchers out of their campgrounds. For their safety marchers now have to camp miles and miles away forcing organizers to shuttle folks back and forth. With gas at nearly $4 a gallon this could kill the march.The marchers are in urgent need of your help to continue their efforts:
YOU CAN HELP! Donate to the marchers at http://marchonblairmountain.org/ (click on the Appalachia rising paypal button) or at directly at Appalachia Rising's paypal site
They only need about $1500 to complete the march, but without it, their effort cannot continue safely! They are in and out of cell phone range and only sporadically able to post information so this has not hit the press yet. Its important that we help them now though as they are in imminent danger of being forced to quit.
UPDATE: Latest update @ The Pittsburgh Seam