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.