I’m getting a little ill reading all this about the Hobet mine ‘action’. Actually in general about this whole idea of “radical” action against the coal industry. First, it’s divisive. Second, it’s against the law. Third, it’s not constructive, and Fourth, it’s not doing much of anything but causing violence, hatred, and keeping the whole idea of MTR alive.
How, might you ask? Well, I think if people would put their energy into solving their energy problems by themselves, and make West Virginia THE place in the world where radical self-sustaining communities spring up that are based in wind, thermal, solar power, etc., maybe then no one would need the crime against nature of MTR. If these action groups, other multi-million dollar whiners would raise money for that instead of bail, it would say a great deal more than a bunch of kids waving sheets with slogans on them, and wasting the resources of the cops that have enough on their hands with drunks and crime. I’m sure some of those cops are good people, just sick of having to deal with this crapola all the time. Though I want to make it clear that some are corrupt, and we need to weed that out, too. But you can’t if you’re breaking the law right along with them- then your argument just doesn’t hold water.
How about poor little Dustin the ‘occupier’. He trespassed on a mine site, endangered himself and others when they illegally mounted a dynamite truck. Then the police came, and made arrests. Of course, I don’t condone some of their behavior, but what do you expect when people are breaking the law and endangering themselves and others? What did this action foster? Harmony? Healing? Dialogue? No. It inspired hatred, beatings, and deepened the chasm between the very people that should be brothers. The miners and the locals. Exactly the opposite of what should be the goal.
Was the 911 dispatcher ignorant when she said, “Are the tree huggers bothering you?” Or is she a product of the very flag the tree huggers wave?
So when poor little Dustin was arrested he said:”I will not comply”, made his legs go limp, and they had to drag him into jail. Then according to him, they beat him. Again, I don’t condone that, but if they had wanted to hurt him really, he’d have broken bones, no teeth and a concussion. And believe me, they could have made it look like it was his fault: “He tried to escape the van and fell out on the highway at 60 miles an hour”, said the officer… When he was being roughed up, Dustin said, “I will comply! I will comply!”… That’s when they had him where they wanted him. He flip flopped. He’s no hero. He didn’t stick to his guns. Real hero’s don’t compromise their position. Soldiers in Japanese or North Vietnamese prison camps only gave their name, rank and serial number. Why? Because they didn’t want to compromise the cause, endanger their brothers, and disrespect those who had died. They went in to the situation with their eyes open, and accepted the consequences of their actions. That’s being a hero. So even on that level, he represented the protesters as being weak, not fully committed, and only concerned with their own welfare.
I don’t want to pick on Dustin, but represents to me the whole problem. The ‘us against them’ mentality is the reason for the problem. That we are not living sustainably, is why there is a coal company to begin with. We are the coal bosses when we disregard law, and become criminals to complain about things instead of use that same energy to focus on the real problem. The average US citizen. Overuse of energy that can’t be sustained. These kids jumped back in their SUV’s and went back to their air conditioned apartments. That’s the problem.
I understand that some people are poor and in peril living next to the coal mines. I hate the destruction. It has to stop. But we have to re-evaluate how we fight it. It’s too easy to trespass and wave flags and signs. It’s much more difficult to publicize sustainable communities that don’t rely on the grid anymore.
I suggest that these groups start thinking in terms of actually making a difference. You can still protest and ask for a stop to the madness of polluting industries, MTR, and such, but let’s do it in a way that is sane. Let’s go on hunger strikes in public parks and protest within the law. We can still have signs, but let’s be considerate of others livelihoods, and property. We don’t need to become criminals to get this point across. We should become innovators, and examples of how it can be done right in the midst of all this stupid destruction. We shouldn’t add to it.
I am the first to say that the industry is corrupt, and uses people, and the environment to profit. Their motivation is not to bring energy to America. It’s to bring money and power to their pockets. But this unlawful trespassing and highlighting hippie chicks waving flags with peace signs on them isn’t going to do a damn thing about stopping MTR, or change the opinions of most Americans who could give a shit where their energy comes from.
I think real “Radical Action” would be to put funds, energy, elbow grease, and time into something more productive, like creating sustainable communities that won’t have starving kids, no water, and no food once the grid comes down in the next storm. No one even has a hand pump on their well anymore. They rely on the very coal bosses that they hate so much when they turn on their electric pump. When they have no water then after a storm and when the grid comes down, they blame the coal bosses. Let’s get real here.
We are the problem. We the over-consumers of America. We waste, we are selfish, and we don’t care where our energy comes from. WE are the problem. The corrupt politicians and corporations are just a reflection of something far more sinister. Our own delusions that we somehow can keep this up forever, and worse, that we somehow deserve it because we’re so great. Our country is founded on slaves, genocide, stealing land, forcing others to be like we are, and all in the name of “Freedom”. America has had some great people, and the ideas of freedom and liberty are real and true. But we have still not really built a country that is based on that. It’s just a big slogan to hide our real agenda- being the richest, most powerful self indulgent people on the planet. I hate to tell you, but that’s not freedom. It comes with a big price, and MTR is just a scab on the armpit of a much bigger problem. Family values are not built on having more than the Jones’s, or judging the morality of someone’s gene pool or sexuality.
Let’s take radical action, and take a look at our own energy usage, and do something positive about choking MTR from the end that really hurts, the need for antiquated, dirty power because we over use and abuse it like it grows on trees. Let’s work within the last semblance of law and freedom we have left. And show our disdain for MTR by building an alternative, not sheets with slogans on them.
WE ARE THE COAL BOSSES.