This week I am in New York for the Citi shareholder’s meeting. Mostly because Citi is the biggest funder of coal from the cradle to the grave. They fund mountaintop removal throughout Appalachia. Companies like Arch Coal, Massey Energy and Alpha Natural Resources are clients of Citi.
These companies, and Citi by proxy, are destroying communities throughout the region. They explode to tops off of mountains to get at seams of coal. They bury rivers, streams and creeks with the waste and debris from the blasting. They pollute local communities with coal processing plants. They poison the groundwater with the waste from the coal processing. It’s a pretty ugly situation in places like West Virginia and Kentucky. A spiriting growing resistance to mountaintop removal and the coal industry is sprouting up all over the country. In Appalachia, the industry is pretty indignant that people are actually complaining about their bombing campaign.
I didn’t come alone to NYC. Maria Gunnoe, a Boone County WV resident, joined me to go inside the Citi shareholder’s meeting and speak a little truth to power. She’s fought the coal industry’s attempts to destroy mountains, streams and forests in her families traditional land. They haven’t like that too much and initiated a backlash against her.
Ed Wiley is here as well. Ed is a former miner that has started a campaign to move his granddaughter’s school, which sits 200 feet from a coal processing plant and 400 feet from a sludge dam, to another location.
Besides folks from West Virginia, I am here with a growing group of New Yorkers that want to hold banks like Citi and Bank of America responsible for their investments of mass destruction.
Last night, we had a meeting and discussion with Maria, Ed and Kerry Chad Albright, the “miracle baby” of the Buffalo Creek disaster, about mountaintop removal and the impact that the coal industry has had on West Virginia and Appalachia.
Today, we had a large protest outside of Citi’s AGM (more on that in the next post).
Industry and government has deemed Appalachia as an environmental sacrifice zone. The rest of us have decided that we disagree and are going to be resisting by any means necessary.