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Daryl Hannah Arrested After Mountaintop Removal Protest

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Daryl Hannah has been arrested. Again.

The actress was charged this afternoon with about 30 other people — including were NASA scientist James Hansen and former Rep. Ken Hechler — for blocking State Route 3 near a Massey Energy subsidiary’s coal processing plant in Raleigh County.

The peaceful protest on mountaintop removal coal mining, organized by local residents and the Rainforest Action Network, was met with strong opposition by a surprising crowd of Massey Energy workers and coal supporters. According to police, tensions ran high and one Massey supporter was arrested and charged with battery during a brief confrontation with protesters. From the Charleston Gazette,

Speeches at the rally were often difficult to hear, drowned out at times by a large crowd of miners and their families who gathered around the stage and frequently shouted at and tried to argue with the speakers. Other miners blew air horns, revved motorcycle engines and blasted car stereos, at one point cranking up the 1984 song, “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” by Twisted Sister.

You know the shit’s about to hit the fan when Twisted Sister starts blaring!

Apparently, Hannah and Co. were arrested only after they dropped their initial plan to trespass on the Massey operation and sat down in the middle of the road, blocking traffic.

We commend all those at the rally for protesting this awful practice and drawing attention to the cause. Mountaintop removal is an incredibly destructive and irreversible mining technique that should have no place in America’s energy future. Unfortunately, there are some that fail to see the big picture — and how we’re related to it. Take, for instance, this awesomely ignorant and unbelievably real comment over on The Charlotte Gazette:

“What is the value of the mountain other than what is in it? Actually it is a thing of beauty when foliated, but not all that pretty when leaves are gone. They make some people sick to drive in and always impede transportation. They present danger during snow and ice. How many people, who live in the areas affected, really give a hang about the mountains keeping their original contour?”

“Just thought I would ask an obvious question that I have not seen posed heretofore. Would the people living in the area prefer a peak on a mountain or have it flattened out for alternate use. Make a place for housing, industry, schools, recreation, etc. Actually, what is preferred if the coal profit were removed? It seems that it is OK to create jobs, but the fact that some entrepreneur makes a profit gives rise to a problem for some.”

And there you have it. For more information on mountaintop removal, check out ilovemountains.org.

Photo credit: Rainforest Action Network

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