I became more aware of the horrors of West Virginia coal country thanks to Nathan Grant and the RAMPS Campaign.
But before that, I got just a little education about these things from the likes of Kathy Mattea, song stylist and fierce advocate for the people of coal country.
What are we doing to the Earth? What are we doing to ourselves?
Please read the urgent message below from our friends with the West Virginia Clean Water Hub, a grassroots effort to get clean water to communities and help organize in the fight against Big Coal, Big Gas, Big Oil, and terrible government. These are radical folks, in it for the long haul, and they could really use some solidarity right now.
Can you answer their call?
- The Occupy Sandy Team
P.S. Read or listen to this NPR story about the scale of the crisis (WV Clean Water Hub is also featured).
Dispatch from West Virginia:
It's been a ridiculous few weeks in and around the coalfields of southern West Virginia. The water crisis has not abated, with hundreds of thousands of people still struggling to cope with toxic tap water. Babies, children, pregnant women, and all kinds of folks are getting sick and in many cases being hospitalized due to chemical exposure in their homes. The other day, a Charleston school had to shut down after teachers and students fainted from the fumes. And of course, the state and federal governments seem to be doing everything in their power to do absolutely nothing.
To cut to the chase: WE NEED YOU! We especially need longer-term volunteers who can commit to 3+ weeks to several months of organizing around the water crisis and other existential issues in this area. You will be providing water, making phone calls, coordinating with community members, working on sustainable water alternatives, and driving, driving, driving.
**WHAT WE CAN PROVIDE: Warm housing, internet connection, reimbursement for water & (some) gas purchases, and other excellent people.
**WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU: Your time & physical presence, a vehicle (important but not necessary), organizing skills, and the willingness & ability to work with residents under challenging, stressful circumstances.
Please call the WV Clean Water Hub at (304) 249-8115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.