Anti-mining activists in West Virginia have been told in no uncertain way that they can no longer go climbing trees and chaining themselves to mining equipment. The activities used to protest at coal mines formerly owned by Massey Energy will now be brought to an end. The permanent injunction issued by US District Judge Irene Berger will see to that.
Her order passed on Monday tells five defendants to stop protesting at former Massey mines in 23 counties, which are now owned by Alpha Natural Resources. David Aaron Smith, Amber Nitchman, Eric Blevins, Joshua Graupera and Isabelle Rozendaal along with fellow protestors have been barred from interfering with mines and equipment found there.
Massey Energy had sued the five people who were involved in a protest on January 21, 2010 in the Beetreaa surface mine. The protestors had sneaked in to the operational mine and spent as many as nine days sitting in the trees.
Judge Irene Berger wrote in her injunction that an operational surface mine was by no means the proper environment for untrained persons to wander freely and climb trees. She added that the public interest would be served, not disserved, by a permanent injunction. If they are found violating the order they will face a fine of $10,000 and other quantifiable damages.
Alpha Natural Resources had recently bought Massey Energy on June, 1, 2011. As per them, they were pleased that the matter had been amicably resolved.