DRUNKEN COAL SUPPORTERS CRASH JULY 4 ENVIRONMENTAL PICNIC

(07/08/2009)

Tensions are increasing in West Virginia's coal fields between coal supporters and local residents who are opposed to mountaintop mining.

The latest incident took place at a Fourth of July celebration on Kayford Mountain at the home of Larry Gibson.

A video of the event posted on YouTube shows about 20 intoxicated mining supporters crashing the family-friendly Mountain Keepers Music Festival.

See   Mountain Madness   Warning: the video contains offensive language and content not suitable for children.

Most wore shirts with orange mining stripes, but the video’s star is a large shirtless man with beer in hand yelling expletives at festival attendees.

Gibson is a long-time activist fighting mountaintop removal.

Gibson says he received threats that the annual celebration would be disturbed, but he was unable to get protection from law enforcement.

In the YouTube video, mining supporters tried to goad people into fighting. At one point in the video he appears to yell expletives at a child as he draws a finger across his throat in a threatening gesture.

During the disturbance, the festivities and music continued.

Gibson says there was no violence from his side.


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