Archive for January, 2011

It is with a heavy heart that I return to this blog today.  I have been on break for a while and chose to not update this blog so that I would have time to collect myself after Cancun.  I know I promised you a post summing up my experience in Cancun at COP 16, and I think I have worked through what happened there enough to provide that, but that post will not be happening today (it will probably go up sometime next week).

Today I want to commemorate the life of Julia “Judy” Bonds.  For several months she had been battling cancer, and last night, at 58, Judy passed away.

For those in JMU’s EARTH club, and for many others, Judy was a hero; she fought tirelessly to see an end to mountaintop removal mining, and for justice in the Appalachian community.  I was blessed to have heard her speak, to have met her, and to have talked with her.  It is hard for me to believe that she has passed on from this life.  Her life force was, even the last time I saw her, fiery.  She filled a room wherever she spoke, but at the same time opened up space for others to speak, to grieve over environmental injustice, and to be empowered.

One of the last things that Judy said to me was, in a nutshell, that this generation has to, and will, see the end of MTR.  At the time I was stressed out and approaching burn-out mode, she reminded me that no fight worth winning is ever easy, and that in those fights we are never alone.

Judy was an inspiration to me, and her exhortation to “fight harder” is one which I have taken to heart.  We cannot stop this fight for justice until it is complete; it is our duty to create not only a future where our world exists, but a world where we may live with justice.

Judy, you will be missed, you will be remembered, and you will still be loved.  May your journey into the next life be blessed and filled with peace.

For the mountains, for Judy, and for the countless other victims of MTR and environmental injustice.

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