CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Protesters from around the country began a 50-mile march to Blair Mountain at a baseball field in Marmet on Monday morning.
Two coal companies, Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal, own much of the mountain. The companies plan to surface-mine the land, which was the site of a bloody union protest in 1921.
The modern marchers sang a few rally songs before leaving the ball field, including “This Little Light of Mine.” They waved signs, too: “Don’t Strip Our History, Save Blair Mountain,” “Abolish Mountaintop Removal,” “Mingo Mountain, Destroyed,” “Big Branch, Destroyed” and “Appalachia Deserves A Clean Local Economy.”
The throng received honks from some passing motorists and jeers from others. The march slowed southbound traffic to a crawl through the town.