The folks down at Climate Ground Zero put out this news release today, harshly criticizing Massey Energy for the company’s lawsuits against anti-mountaintop removal protesters:
Massey Energy has filed a politically motivated civil suit, also known as a Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation (SLAPP) suit, against fourteen activists arrested last year in relation to a protest on a mountaintop removal mining site. The suit seems to be part of a larger strategy on the part of the mining company to intimidate and silence critics of the company’s safety record and controversial mining practices, particularly mountaintop removal coal mining.
Climate Ground Zero says Massey has already filed four such suits against activists who have taken part in peaceful civil disobedience protests against the company’s mountaintop removal mining operations in Southern West Virginia. I’m aware of several court orders meant to block these protests, including this one in state court and this one by U.S. District Judge Irene Berger. The latest of the suits targets those who took part in this protest shutting down a dragline mining machine.