Blog Watch: Reading "The Unsettling of America"
Live Video Stream from Kentucky Governor's Office Sit-in

Wendell Berry Joins Sit-in

Wendell Berry Joins Retired Coal Miners and Residents in Kentucky Rising Capitol Sit-in

by Jeff Biggers

Over six years after Kentucky became the first state in the nation to introduce a bill that would halt the dumping of toxic coal mining wastes into headwater streams and effectively reign in the devastating fall-out of mountaintop removal operations, a group of affected coalfield residents, retired coal miners and bestselling authors have launched a sit-in in the office of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear this morning.

 Joined by legendary author, farmer and philosopher Wendell Berry, retired coal miner Stanley Sturgill, and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth activists Teri Blanton and Mickey McCoy, among others, the Kentucky activists declared their intent “to remain in his office until the governor agrees to stop the poisoning of Kentucky’s land, water, and people by mountaintop removal; or until he chooses to have the citizens physically removed.”

Only days since the anniversary of the historic Greensboro sit-ins in North Carolina, which triggered the Civil Rights Movement in 1960, organizers are hailing this breakthrough event as the advent of the “Kentucky Rising.” Twitter updates will be posted @jasonkylehoward and @kftc

“This is not something we’re doing for pleasure,” said Wendell Berry, who has been active in the movement to abolish mountaintop removal mining for years. “We’re doing it because it’s the next thing to do after all our attempts to attract serious attention to these problems have failed. We’re doing this as a last resort. Our intention is to appeal first to our elected representatives and the governor, and failing that, to appeal over their heads to our fellow citizens.”



"Wendell Berry Risks Arrest in Sit-In" (Front Porch Republic)

"Twenty Occupy Gov's Office in Kentucky Coal-Mining Fight" (It's Getting Hot in Here)

"Wendell Berry among protestors staging sit-in at governor's office" (

Jeff Biggers (Huffington Post)

"Kentuckians Confront Governor Beshear" (Appalaichian Voices)


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.