Mountain Justice Summer Action Camp 2008

June 3, 2008 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

Mountain Justice Activists Hold Fourth Annual Gathering


Action Camp equips Appalachian citizens to resist mountaintop removal

Blanton Forest, KENTUCKY – Last week, citizens young and old from coalfield communities across Appalachia flocked by the dozens to historic Harlan County, Kentucky, for the fourth annual Mountain Justice Summer Action Camp. Folks came together to prepare for action, share their stories, and teach each other important skills in the fight against mountaintop removal, all while camping out in Kentucky’s beautiful Blanton Forest. The Action Camp is a full week of events organized each year by a coalition of civil society groups that have been working together across state lines for over four years, each member passionately dedicated to social and environmental justice in the Appalachian region.

2008 marks the first year that coalfield communities in Kentucky played host to the Action Camp, which is held in a different part of Southern Appalachia every summer. This year’s camp clearly showed that the pan-Appalachian movement for Mountain Justice is growing in numbers, growing in support, and growing in vision. People are coming together for a long-term campaign to abolish mountaintop removal and the devastating consequences it has on the land and the people of Appalachia. The community of folks getting involved in Mountain Justice stretches from California to Maine, from Texas to Florida. The attendance at MJS Camp 2008 proved that this grassroots movement has taken root not only in the communities impacted by mountaintop removal but nationally.

Campers from outside Kentucky were made to feel right at home by the local folks. The banjos and ballads were in no short supply at the “No Talent” Show where campers discovered the cultural roots that connect everyone’s histories to the mountains of the region. According to one camper, “I really feel like this neighborhood protected us this week.” The families on the 840 loop in Wallins Creek, Kentucky, can now count themselves among the growing number of communities proud to be known as Mountain Justice folk.

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