Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

23 Arrested in Fight to Stop Coal Exports

Energy

Coal Export Action

By Nick E.

Over the course of a week, 23 activists were arrested, in a sustained act of nonviolent civil disobedience aimed at drawing attention to the deadly impacts of coal exports, and raising the stakes in the fight for a clean energy future.

Last week, the Coal Export Action made history in Montana with 23 activists arrested in a sustained act of nonviolent civil disobedience aimed at drawing attention to the deadly impacts of coal exports and raising the stakes in the fight for a clean energy future.

Getting arrested is never a goal in itself—in fact, it’s something most people would rather avoid. But with climate change crisis worsening, and coal mining and transport threatening Montana’s agriculture and the health of communities across the greater Northwest, we simply have to raise the bar in the struggle to stop coal exports. We’ve tried lobbying, petitioning, and turning out to public hearings, and decision makers like the Montana Land Board have continued to side with Big Coal over communities.

When a government fails to respond to the people, we have no choice but to take matters into our own hands, and peacefully break laws enacted by that government. That’s what 23 people did last week in Montana. We raised the bar for climate activism in this state, and showed we’re willing to put our bodies on the line if that’s what it takes to stop a disaster.

Boy, did that feel good.

But the 23 arrests are only part of the story. Hundreds of people participated in the Coal Export Action in some way over the course of a week. We marched to the offices of the state Department of Environmental Quality, and spoke with the DEQ director. We delivered thank you letters to the two members of Montana’s Land Board who bravely voted against leasing Otter Creek to Arch Coal in 2010. And we protested outside the Montana Coal Council office in Helena…needless to say, they weren’t happy to see us.

Now the action is drawing to a close: the last major piece will be today, Aug. 20, when we’re asking people to show up at the Helena Court House at 9 a.m., to support the last group of arrestees being arraigned.

But in so many ways, this is just the beginning. Arch Coal has submitted their official application to mine the Otter Creek coal tracts, and we have from now until the land board makes a final decision on the permit, to stop that project moving forward. Last week’s action made sure we started this phase of the fight against coal exports with a bang, and in months ahead we’ll finish the job.

Expect to hear from the Coal Export Action organizing team and our partner organizations about how you can keep the pressure up in the coming months. We’ll be organizing actions and events throughout Montana and the Northwest, putting pressure on the government bodies and individuals who make the coal industry’s reign possible.

Stay tuned. We’ll see you in the streets and in the halls of government.

 Visit EcoWatch’s COAL page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The first peer-reviewed research into a promising coronavirus vaccine was published Thursday. Javier Zayas Photography / Moment / Getty Images

The world has reached a grim milestone with the number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported by the Johns Hopkins University tracker passing one million.

Read More Show Less
Deserted view of NH24 near Akshardham Temple on day nine of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus on April 2, 2020 in New Delhi, India. Raj K Raj / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India is home to 21 of the world's 30 most polluted cities, but recently air pollution levels have started to drop dramatically as the second-most populated nation endures the second week of a 21-day lockdown amidst coronavirus fears, according to The Weather Channel.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A Unicef social mobilizer uses a speaker as she carries out public health awareness to prevent the spread and detect the symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus by UNICEF at Mangateen IDP camp in Juba, South Sudan on April 2. ALEX MCBRIDE / AFP / Getty Images

By Eddie Ndopu

  • South Africa is ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic in Africa.
  • Its townships are typical of high-density neighbourhoods across the continent where self-isolation will be extremely challenging.
  • The failure to eradicate extreme poverty is a threat beyond the countries in question.
Read More Show Less
The outside of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Md. on Nov. 9, 2015. Al Drago / CQ Roll Call

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of two malarial drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19, the respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, despite only anecdotal evidence that either is proven effective in treating or slowing the progression of the disease in seriously ill patients.

Read More Show Less
Some speculate that the dissemination of the Antarctic beeches or Nothofagus moorei (seen above in Australia) dates to the time when Antarctica, Australia and South America were connected. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

A team of scientists drilled into the ground near the South Pole to discover forest and fossils from the Cretaceous nearly 90 million years ago, which is the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, as the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less