The mining industry in the U.S. may not have a well established sense of history but the people still do. When a mining company proposed blowing up the historic site of the worker’s uprising at Blair Mountain to gain access to the coal lying below it faced major opposition to its plans.
About 250 marchers have decided to trek 50 miles over the weekend to protest the mountain top removal mining that is planned in the town near the Boone Logan county border. The march to the town of Blair will follow the same route that about 10,000 coal miners took between August 24th, and September 4th, 1921 when trying to organize non-union miners in Logan County.
The March on Blair Mountain in 1921 is the largest armed conflict in American labor history. The battle between the miners who defended their position on Blair mountain top and the civil militia cost a number of lives before federal army soldiers reached the site and stopped the conflict.
Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources, which bought Massey Energy last week, now own much of Blair Mountain but if the environmentalists have anything to say they will not be conducting any mountain top removal coal mining on the site.
The protest has some celebrity leaders such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr, the environmental activist son of the late Bobby Kennedy and Chuck Keeney, great-grandson of Frank Keeney who was the president of the United Mine Workers District 17 during the 1921 March on Blair Mountain. The companies have not responded to the weekend march as yet.