"Sit-in, then sleep-in at Capitol"
"Wendell Berry Won’t Quit Trying to Save the Mountains"

"Jeff Biggers | A just protest in a long struggle"

As author/farmer philosopher Wendell Berry settled his 76-year-old lanky frame onto the floor of Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's office this past weekend, he picked up a copy of “The Tempest.” But in joining other protesters in this extraordinary sit-in to halt reckless mountaintop removal mining — including a coal miner and inspector who dedicated 40 years of his life to the industry, a Harlan County activist whose brother was killed in a mine, a nurse who has served black lung-affected coal miners for decades and some of the country's top Appalachian labor and history scholars — Berry was not taking part in any Shakespeare spectacle.

When Prospero commands in the classic play, “We are such stuff, as dreams are made on,” Kentuckians, who have lived among the ravages of strip-mining for a century — and mountaintop removal operations since 1970 — were making it clear that they can no longer wait for the elusive dream of coalfield justice and democracy in their own homeland of central Appalachia.

via www.courier-journal.com


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