New Clash Over Old Battlefield in West Virginia Coal Country
Companies aim to strip-mine historic Blair
Mountain, where an army of 10,000 striking miners
fought police and guards in 1921.
Los Angeles Times
August 09, 2010
Reporting from Sunbeam, W.Va. - Those who have sought
to keep West Virginia's Blair Mountain open for strip
mining despite its storied past did not reckon with
It was on Blair Mountain in 1921 that an army of coal
miners clashed with an armed force representing the
authorities in league with coal companies - the largest
battle on American soil since the Civil War and a
watershed in labor's struggle for recognition.
The state kept the Battle of Blair Mountain out of its
history books for half a century and for decades has
resisted appeals to commemorate the conflict,
presumably because the insurrection was a black eye for
the state and the coal industry.
King has long been in the forefront of efforts to honor
and save the battlefield. Since 1994, he has been
combing the mountain and unearthing evidence of the
fighting, documenting it and pressing officials to
safeguard the battlefield from coal companies eyeing it
for the most draconian form of strip mining, known as
"Without Kenny King's efforts . much of the battlefield
may well have been obliterated by this time,"
archaeologist Harvard Ayers said.
[Continue reading this article at:
[Note: The UAW/PUSH 'Peace, Jobs and
Justice' Caravan that starts in Detroit will end with a
big rally on Labor day in Charleston, W VA, near this
area. Willie Nelson will be on the stand:
Make it if you can, use its inspiration elsewhere if you can't.
Carl Davidson ]
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