JUDGE RULES AGAINST BLAIR MOUNTAIN HISTORICAL DESIGNATION - Door Open For Mountaintop Removal Of Coal

(10/03/2012)

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton has dismissed a lawsuit filed by environmental and historical groups trying to prevent mining on Blair Mountain.

The federal judge ruled that the Sierra Club and other groups had no standing to challenge the removal of the Blair Mountain Battlefield from the National Register of Historic Places.

They had hoped that its inclusion would protect it from being mined.

One hundred historians and labor professors have been pushing for a permanent park honoring a violent West Virginia chapter of the nation's labor movement at Blair Mountain.

A thousand person march recreated the march to Blair Mountain in 2011.

The battlefield was added to the Register and then removed when private property owners objected, after they were rallied by coal interests.

In 1921, some 10,000 coal miners trying to unionize marched to Blair and faced down police and hired guns who had homemade bombs and machine guns.

At least 16 men died before the miners surrendered to federal troops in what became the nation's largest armed uprising since the Civil War.

The state's governor had the US Army respond to the uprising, and bombs were used on the protesting miners.

See related story   90 YEARS LATER: BATTLE AT BLAIR MOUNTAIN CONTINUES - Crimes Against West Virginians And Nature


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