Archive for February, 2011

In my last post I discussed my disappointment with Obama for continuing the myth of clean coal; but I also ended with a call to action.  Coal is one of the biggest problems facing the United States right now, and one of the ways that we can take action is through Mountain Justice’s spring break (this year in Alabama).  Below is the call to not only attend MJSB, but also a call for campus coordinators.  Please feel free to forward this as widely as you can!

Mountain Justice Spring Break 2011

This March 12 – 20, Mountain Justice Spring Break (MJSB) will bring together coalfield residents, college students, environmentalist and concerned citizens who are interested in learning more about mountaintop removal coal mining and cultivating the skills and visions needed to build a sustainable energy future in Appalachia. Through education, community service, speakers, hiking, music, poetry, direct action and more, you will learn from and stand with Appalachian communities in the struggle to maintain our land and culture.

This will be an amazing opportunity to meet and join the good people who make up Mountain Justice, and support the growing statewide anti-MTR movement in Alabama. Stand up, take action and stand in solidarity with the communities in Alabama facing the ongoing destruction of strip mining and threat of toxic coal ash dumps and learn what you can do to affect change both in Alabama an in your hometown to bring justice to the mountains.

WHAT? Mountain Justice Spring Break 2011

WHEN? March 12 – 20, 2010 (come for a few days, or the whole week)

WHERE? Hawkwind Earth Renewal Cooperative and Healing Arts Center, located in northeast Alabama

HOW? Visit www.mjsb.org for more information. Registration will be up soon and is based on a sliding scale donation of $50 – $500

WHO? Mountain Justice Spring Break participants come from diverse backgrounds such as coalfield residents, college students, environmentalists, and other concerned citizens that care about our mountains. Participants share a common goal to halt mountaintop removal (MTR) and destructive coal mining. Learn all about MTR and Mountain Justice at www.mountainjustice.org

Campus Coordinators needed for Mountain Justice Spring Break 2011

The only way to create a just society is to bring people together for that common cause.  We need people like YOU to help bring people to MJSB.  Ready to be a campus coordinator? Please sign up to organize students from your campus or community to attend MJSB 2011 by filling out the Campus Coordinator Interest form at https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dFhCSU5RUGFZUm5yMWZwZHVUOUlhVmc6MQ

RESPONSIBILITIES – As a Campus Coordinator, you’re responsible for creating a campus or community-wide effort for a great turnout. This doesn’t mean you have to do everything, you just need to make sure it happens!

  • Set a goal for your campus or community (5? 10?20?).
  • Build a team of other volunteers to help with recruitment, fundraising, transportation
  • Create a plan to hit your goal, including tabling, teach-ins, and other creative tactics like Facebook or media work.
  • Talk with the MJSB Outreach Intern and working group to give updates on progress, review your plans, and keep up the great work.

TACTICS – There are many great recruitment tactics, they are expanded in our MJSB Outreach Toolkit.

  • New Media – Facebook, Myspace, Blogs, etc.
  • Emails (listservs, professors, club leaders, etc).
  • Signs, posters, chalking, street theater – anything to increase visibility.
  • Tabling, Canvassing, and Class Raps – Build a list of interested people.
  • Phonebanking – the #1 way to get a YES.

TO SIGN UP: Fill out the Campus Coordinator Interest form at



Contact the MJSB Outreach Coordinator, Bonnie at bswinford1@yahoo.com 865 755-0095.

For more information on mjsb, please visit http://mjsb.org .

For more information on mountaintop removal, visit ilovemountains.org orwww.mountainjustice.org

To contact the MJSB planning team, email info@mjsb.org.



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One of the ways that a lot of people discounted my own, and others’, decision to vote for Obama in this past election was by asserting that: You liberals are just voting for him because you think he’ll be your messiah.

But Obama is not my messiah, nor do I think that he is going to save our country.  I voted for Obama for a lot of reasons, and I held out hope that he might, maybe, be able to end mountaintop removal.  But throughout his presidency he has asserted that our country needs clean coal.

In his State of the Union address, Obama said:

…I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all

When people assert that we need a transition period from coal I can accept it; but we realize that coal is not–will never be–clean.  To see this assertion when so many people are suffering because of the myth of clean coal is disheartening at best.  But, I feel we cannot let it cripple us: it can point to the corruptness of politicians, to the extent that coal has insulated itself in our national identity; but it has to serve as a battle cry and as a call to see the myth fully dismantled.

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