Appalachia Mountaintop Removal Protest

Appalachians are struggling to defend their mountains in Canada too...

Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2006 23:12:40 -0000
From: Timothy Schwinghamer
Subject: Urgent appeal for messages of solidarity

Please pass on our message to other environmentalists and activists.

The tiny rural community of Upper Leitches Creek, on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, is being made uninhabitable by the Alva Construction Company's mining operation.

Please send a message of solidarity.

I am sending out this email because Alva Construction has been disrupting the quiet rural life of my home community, Upper Leitches Creek, Cape Breton Island. Their open-pit surface mining operation has made my community dangerous. The noise of their crusher corrupts the air. Their mining operation is defaces the earth obscenely. They have hollowed out a vast pit on the side of the Hill of Boisdale. The runoff is poisoning ancient mountain streams where fish and wild herbs grow. Their operation encroaches, on the habitat of endangered lynx, and wetlands where endangered white orchids grow. Alva Construction is mining gravel.

Their enormous trucks travel too frequently and too fast on the Upper Leitches Creek Road. These trucks are often too heavy to be able to stay on the right side of our winding rural route. The weight of the trucks has torn up the ashphalt, and has turned the road into a death trap. This is a road where little children would usually play, and where older people enjoyed long quiet walks in the Appalachian forest. The people of Upper Leitches Creek respect the forest and have a deep connection to the land where we live. Many creatures (lynxes, bald eagles, partridges, deer, wolves, etc.) share this space and depend on the forest and the creeks. Many people in this area depend on a healthy forest for their continued livelihood and subsistence.

Alva Construction placed a notice in the Cape Breton Post (newspaper) regarding their quarry expansion. Copies of Alva Construction's environmental assessment registration information may be examined at http://www.gov.ns.ca/enla/ea/leitchesquarry.asp , where I invite you to also leave your comments!

You can also submit comments to:

Environmental Assessment Branch, Nova Scotia Environment & Labour, PO Box 697 Halifax NS B3J2T8 You can also call (902) 424-3230 FAX (902) 424-0503 e-mail at EA@gov.ns.ca

Please do so before April 18.

My family looked over the rather massive Environmental Assessment this morning. We hope that, now that you are aware of the concerns of our tiny home community, that you will be able to send a message of solidarity on the behalf of Upper Leitches Creek. (My family is doing everything we can. We have had numerous phone contacts with supporters. Although I have hope, the other members of my family are particularly afraid that with the twinning of the provincial highway, municipal work on water supply services, the Sydney Tar Ponds clean up project, and now possibly the opening of closed mines, that the disturbance may be unendurable.) The newspaper estimated a project lifespan of 20 years.

Please help us fight. The interests of a private company, whose owners live on the mainland, ought not outweigh the interests of a whole rural community. No profit from Alva's operation is seen by the people in our community. The earth is being despoiled by natural resource profiteers, in collusion with the economic elite and regional politicians. Our community is united, we are organizing non- hierarchically, and our dissent is unanimous.

Your support would be helpful!

With Love and Hope for the Endurance Earth,

Sandra and Timothy Schwinghamer and David Brown Upper Leitches Creek, Nova Scotia, Canada

And email Timothy your questions, umschwin@cc.umanitoba.ca


please forward far and wide.

For Immediate Release
24 September 2004
For more information contact:

Pete Ramey – (276) 523-2772
Abigail Singer – (224) 558-9208

Appalachian Citizens Take to the Streets to Protest Mountaintop Removal: “March for Change” in honor of the families and children of Appalachian coalfields

Appalachia, VA – Saturday, September 25th, 2004, citizens of Appalachia will take to the streets to protest mountaintop removal at 12 noon in the park. The march will leave the park at 12 noon and travel through town to a mountaintop removal site in Inman where, on August 20th, a boulder from a mountaintop removal mine killed a 3-year-old boy in his bed. Citizens are demanding that this dangerous method of coal extraction be outlawed in their communities, and demanding A&G Coal Company to take responsibility for the boy’s death.

"God and the Constitution gave us the right to live in our homes without anybody destroying us," Pete Ramey, local coal field resident, said. “If we stand together as a group of people, I'm confident they'll have to do something.”

The August 20th death of 3-year-old Jeremy Davidson has the group determined to fight harder. "It would be a shame if that little boy lost his life in vain," Ramey said.

Members of Katuah Earth First! will be joining Appalachia residents for the march.

“Mountaintop removal destroys the ecology and culture of the Appalachian Mountains,” said john johnson, a resident of the southeast Tennessee coal fields with Katuah Earth First!. “The corporations who engage in mountaintop removal are morally bankrupt and put the almighty dollar ahead of human life and nature.”

“The forests, rivers, and cultural heritage are what make life possible and desirable in the Appalachian Mountains,” said Amanda Womac, a student activist with Katuah Earth First!. “As citizens of this region, it is our duty to take a stand against the corporations out to destroy our livelihoods.”

Location: Meeting at the park in Appalachia VA and marching to Inman, site of mountaintop removal operation that claimed the life of Jeremy Davidson.

Directions: From US 23 N take first Big Stone Gap exit....go LEFT at stop sign. Go through next two lights and to bottom of hill to intersection. Turn RIGHT and continue through the next four lights, past car dealership, gas station, and pizza delivery place. Follow this road for approximately three miles to Appalachia VA. Go through the first traffic light and through town. At the second light near town hall, bear right across creek toward grocery store. At intersection, turn RIGHT...go across railroad tracks and across river. Go STRAIGHT through stop sign and park will be ahead on your right. Park wherever available.

For more information:
Marlene and Larry Bush – (276) 565-0344
Steven Swiney – (276) 565-2323
Ronnie Willis – (276) 565-3421
Amanda Womac – (865) 522-6527
Chris Irwin – (865) 633-8483



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September 2004

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