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Investigate police brutality toward mountaintop removal activists
  • Petitioned Senators Manchin & Rockefeller

This petition was delivered to:

Senators Manchin & Rockefeller

Investigate police brutality toward mountaintop removal activists

    1. Jamie Phillips
    2. Petition by

      Jamie Phillips

      Greenbelt, United States

This past weekend, activists from across Appalachia shut down the largest operating mountaintop removal mine in America. Such a historic act has caught media attention in connection with other climate activism, known together as the Summer of Solidarity. But such strong demands for climate justice have not gone without push-back.

The 20 arrestees who partook in the mountaintop action have had their bail set at $25,000 each -- or half a million dollars in total. This bail has since been lowered, but the initial price is still unconstitutional.

What's worse is West Virginia native and mountaintop removal activist Dustin Steele, the only native to be arrested in the action, was brutalized after arrest. Reports are coming out now that the abuse was more widespread than just toward Dustin.

Appalachian communities have fought oppression for over a hundred years, and Dustin Steele along with dozens of other activists are just the most recent wave of allies to stand up to Big Coal.

Dustin and company's maltreatment is the latest and most shameful instance of injustice within the West Virginian criminal justice system.

Police brutality cannot be accepted as a response to nonviolent protests, and it is time for West Virginian politicians to take responsibility and clean house in their executive branches.

Sign below to show your support for Dustin and other defenders of Appalachia, and demand that Senators Manchin and Rockefeller take a look into their offices and fix things up back home.

Recent signatures


    1. Plea deal for many arrestees; many still in prison. Read below for more.

      Jamie Phillips
      Petition Organizer

      BREAKING NEWS: Half the arrestees are being offered a plea deal for $500 fine and 1 year probation NOW. Some are accepting. They will be released this afternoon. More info as it becomes available.
      should probably still request a meeting; according to the ramps website, " The remaining 10 prisoners have a different magistrate and their hearing isn’t until Tuesday the 7th. There is no guarantee they will be offered the same deal or in fact any deal at all. We must keep the pressure on and continue to support our brothers and sisters in jail."

    2. Reached 500 signatures
    3. 100 people are on board - but that's only the beginning

      Jamie Phillips
      Petition Organizer

      I started this petition yesterday afternoon, and it's already got 100 signatures. This is a huge issue, whether or not CBS and Fox News care to cover it, so every time you share this story with someone is a small victory for the grassroots and for justice.

      Also here's another somewhat related petition (created by someone who found this one independent of me), so sign that one, too, if you haven't already.

      Keep spreading the word! And thank you!

    4. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Cristina Benavides CHAPEL HILL, NC
      • about 2 years ago

      Even though there is no mountaintop removal coal mining in my state, North Carolina still imports more MTR coal than any other state. My daily activities and energy consumption are indirectly contributing to the destruction of the Appalachian communities. These activists were non-violent. The police should have shown them the same courtesy.

    • Jocelyn Slater FALMOUTH, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      Not only are coal cos responsible for polluting the entire environment around the mines and any factories that still use coal in their smelting process, but police brutality in all forms anywhere is unacceptable.

      There are so many points of recourse for the activists, none of which would be good PR for the PD. I feel that they should use them. Police picking on those who are standing up for what matters SHOULD be punished. Cops forget that they are not above laws for the simple reason that they are responsible for enforcement. It needs to STOP!!!

    • Jeri Alley HURRICANE, WV
      • about 2 years ago

      It's time to take our state back from the coal companies that rape the land & pollute the waterways.

      Protect those that protect us & stand w/Dustin Steele.

    • Amanda Davis MOUNT CLEMENS, MI
      • about 2 years ago

      Police brutalizing protestors is equal to police taking a political stand while in the line of duty, which is against the law. Do your job, JUST YOUR JOB. The taxpayers that pay your salary do not pay for you to brutalize those whose opinions are different from yours. In fact, the reason we pay you at all is to ensure that opinion is out of the equation. Your job is to uphold law, that is it. If you must arrest someone in order to uphold law, then do so. If you must beat someone in order to make yourself feel good while doing your job, you are no longer upholding law, you are now a CRIMINAL.

    • Mark Connelly HUNTINGTON, WV
      • about 2 years ago

      This was violence on people that I support by law enforcement that my tax dollars support. This can't go on in a civilized society. Should have been a small fine for trespassing if anything.


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