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Action Alerts

Dineh families requesting direct on-land support

For four decades, the Dineh communities of Black Mesa have fought to stop the U.S government and Peabody Energy Company's exploitation of their homelands and communities. Today, families remain, steadfastly resisting the mine, colonialism, and forced relocation. 

In the words of one resister, "WE NEED YOUR PHYSICAL PRESENCE OUT HERE, ASAP! WE don't ask for monies, just your good-spirited will to come out for a few days/weeks/months and immerse yourself into a cultural community under threat, and accept the daily challenges in supporting these native elders' existence. And yes, we are not asking for monies because we wish to maintain that human sovereignty, and not seek lawyers or travels to far off cities to protest."

You are being invited to the resistance communities' lands to support their resistance and deter governmental and corporate harassment.

Support the Unist'ot'en Encampment

Members of the Wet'suwet'en clan are re-occupying their land to stop an array of oil and gas pipelines planned for that area without their permission.

As political prisoner David Gilbert (among many others) has pointed out, it's important that our local struggles take inspiration from and lend our strength to global struggles, especially those struggles led by indigenous people and people of color.

RAMPS has supported the Unist'ot'en encampment financially and by volunteering, and we call on our friends and allies to do the same.

Drone Footage of Spruce #1 MTR site
"WE ARE THE STORM" CultureStrike and Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative: Art print portfolio highlights the resistance and resilience of communities under threat by climate change.
Youth Engagement Project
Kanawha Forest Coalition
Honoring the Waters ceremony and candlelight vigil in Charleston, WV.

2017 End of Year Update

posted by admin, Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
 

 

              Happy New Year!                        

2017 has been a busy year for us. We’ve worked hard to cultivate resistance and community support in the face of growing threats like fascist, white supremacist organizations, increased repression of radical activism and all the other fucked up shit that has escalated this year.  Our work continues to change and expand with the shifting political landscape. Here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to this year and what we hope to do in 2018:

Here in Whitesville…
We’ve made significant progress turning a vacant lot into a community garden. With help from Whitesville residents, we’ve planted medicinal herbs, added raised beds, built a rain catchment system for watering, and started terracing the hillside.  When spring comes, we hope to fill the raised beds with vegetables, plant more flowers and herbs on the hill, and plant some fruit trees.  We also look forward to working with our friends Aurora Lights  Herbal Medics again to bring another free herbal and alternative health clinic to Whitesville in 2018.
We are constantly engaged in mutual aid work with neighbors in Whitesville- from helping folks heat their homes, to giving people rides to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store. Our community house is a place where neighbors and visitors come to share a meal, get help with school work, or find emotional support. We feel it is an important space in this chaotic community where so many people face depression, drug addiction, violence, and physical ailments. In the past year, we’ve also provided medical support by hosting and caring for neighbors with serious medical conditions.

 

In “West Virginia”…
We’ve continued our involvement with communities beyond Whitesville as well. We have supported the Stanley Heirs families on Kayford mountain as they carry on the legacy of legendary land defender Larry Gibson. This year we set up and maintained a rain catchment system on Kayford for drinking water and hosted our annual Fall Summit in the park (thanks again to partners Seeds of Peace and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition!). We’ve also maintained our long standing relationship with Prenter, a nearby community severely impacted by mining. This year residents have been forced to run a diesel generator to power the pumping station providing their tap water, though this water is still not clean enough to drink- it is mainly used for washing. While they are hoping they will have access to city water some time in 2018, in the meantime, we will soon launch a fundraiser to help them pay for the diesel fuel. Stay tuned! In addition, we continue to write letters, keep up relationships and advocate for people who are incarcerated throughout the state.
Appalachia…
As fascism grew on a national level in 2017, the threat of fascist and racist organizations within our region specifically- including militias and white supremacist political parties- has risen dramatically. Some of these dangerous groups see Appalachia as an ideal place to establish a “white homeland” and have been working to organize and expand here. We’ve worked with local and regional allies to confront these enemies in the streets of Pikeville, KY; Charleston, WV; and Charlottesville, VA. As an outgrowth of those efforts, we’ve helped establish the “Holler Network”, an Appalachian antifascist network with members throughout the region. This network was instrumental this fall in providing community-based self-defense when black radical artist John Sims came to Athens, OH to lecture and exhibit his work. In the coming year, we will continue to confront the fascists wherever they appear in our region and build the Holler network through trainings, outreach, and direct action to destroy fascism in the streets and the hollers of Appalachia.
 –
Broader Movement Support…
Indigenous solidarity continues to be at the forefront of our work. We are on stolen land! Members of RAMPS spent several months in North Dakota this winter and spring providing legal support to water protectors fighting the Dakota Access pipeline. We also set up jail and legal support for actions throughout Appalachia and hope to continue this work in the coming year (and to provide trainings to folks who are interested!). This summer, RAMPS members supported the Pokanoket Nation’s occupation of part of their ancestral land in an attempt to force Brown University to return it to them. We will continue to support indigenous-led resistance!
 

To continue our efforts into 2018, we’re asking folks to consider donating here. Thanks to all those who donated their time or money (or anything else!) to support us in 2017!

Feel free to get in touch ([email protected]) or stop by if you find yourself in southern WV! We (almost) always need volunteers- please reach out if that’s something you might be interested in.

For the land and people,
RAMPS

This year’s Fall Summit schedule!

There must be resistance!

posted by admin, Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
 

You Are Invited to Stand Up Against The Nazi Threat!

Thanks to artist Jimbo Valentine

Spring is here! As ramps pop up throughout the hollers, our work continues on multiple fronts. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

Solidarity with Standing Rock: The Legal Battle Continues

RAMPS members have been intimately involved in the resistance at Standing Rock for much of the last nine months. We have supported direct action, helped maintain the camps, and now we are working in solidarity with water protectors who were arrested while defending sacred water. The legal battle in North Dakota is only just beginning as the frontlines move to the courtroom. Only a fraction of nearly 800 cases have been tried before the courts and several cases have already been dismissed! Water protectors are increasingly facing trumped-up felony and federal charges. We are committed to supporting our comrades as they face the oppressive criminal justice system and we hope that such support becomes an integral part of all our movements in this era of increased repression of activists.

The Nazis Are Coming. For Real.

At the end of April, the Traditional Workers Party (TWP) and other neo-Nazi, white supremacist factions will be descending on Appalachia. They plan to hold an organizing conference on April 28 and a large public rally on April 29 in eastern Kentucky.  We fear this is a crucial moment for the white supremacist movement in this country and more specifically, central Appalachia.  They are converging in Appalachia to capitalize on fear, uncertainty, and economic deprivation and to recruit, train, organize and spread their hateful doctrine. There must be resistance!   We are part of building a larger Appalachian anti-fascist network for the long haul. You are invited to come show the Nazis that they are not welcome.

Community Engagement

As we fight the rise of fascism and white supremacy and face a swarm of Nazis coming to our region, building community power in Whitesville remains at the center of our work. At the RAMPS house we consistently discuss this dark political climate with folks.  We talk about indigenous solidarity, sovereignty and our work in Standing Rock; we talk about the role the criminal justice system plays in the lives of young people in this region; we talk about the racist, fascist policies of Trump; we talk about white supremacy and now we’re talking a lot about the Nazis coming to Appalachia.  It felt good to see one of our young friends write ‘Fuck Trump 2k16’ in the snow on car windows throughout Whitesville this winter and it always brings us a smile to see the ever-changing “Fuck Trump” art on the dry erase boards around the house.

In addition to these conversations, we work to provide alternatives to organizations like TWP that prey on youth in largely white, rural areas like ours.  Our young friends have been learning to read and learning to drive with us, and we’re all excited to be spending more time growing the community garden, foraging in the mountains and planning Whitesville’s second herbal health clinic, which will take place July 25-28.

Thanks for all the support!  It makes what we do possible!  Feel free to get in touch, drop by, or donate to support our work!

For the land and people, #PunchANazi,

RAMPS

Thanks to Jimbo Valentine for the amazing anti-Nazi poster!  We’ve been hanging it up around town, if you would like a digital copy, please get in touch.

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Ramps Campaign shared Little Teel Crossing's post.
Ramps Campaign

ANOTHER tree sit in the path of the Mountain Valley pipeline.🌳🌳🌳 This makes three separate sits in solidarity to stop MVP!

Direct action gets the goods!In the farmlands of Franklin County, a new stand against the Mountain Valley Pipeline has begun. Three tree sits loom directly in the path of the pipeline’s destruction, making it impossible to clear the way without severely injuring the inhabitants of those trees. The sits tower over 75 feet off the ground of a small family farm’s livestock pasture, overlooking Little and Teel creeks, home to the endangered Roanoke Log Perch.

The tree sits build upon two other blockades to construction- a stand one hundred miles West, on Peters Mountain, and twenty miles West, in Bent Mountain, VA. One tree sitter stated, “The other tree sits show us that there are still effective ways to interrupt the violence of this proposed pipeline. We are celebrating their spirit of resistance in the mountains and bringing it down to the farmlands, where so much remains at stake. The fire truly is catching.” Local farmers Ian and Carolyn Reilly have been fighting the pipeline for their family’s future and to protect the soil and water. Using restorative practices, the Reilly’s are stewards of the earth. Ian Reilly said, “Launching Little Teel Crossing is an act of protection for our family’s home, land and water. This farm has been free from chemicals for decades. As farmers seeking to renew the land, we intend to keep it that way.”

MVP’s 125-foot limits of destruction cuts through several family farms in Franklin County—places where local beef, honey, poultry, and produce are cultivated. According to the Roanoke Times, Precision Pipeline, the company contracted to construct the MVP, has a history of environmental violations and lawsuits for construction of several other pipelines.

“There are too many ways this pipeline would destroy the ecosystem that preserves peoples’ livelihood here. The pipeline will not just jeopardize Virginia’s way of life, but also the food systems that so many lives depend on,” stated Carolyn Reilly. She continued, “For what? To fill the pockets of these fossil fuel fiends and corporate elites. We won’t let that happen here.” The first stage of construction began with tree clearing in Franklin County in late March. Today, MVP security personnel taped to the trees a notice of violation of Judge Dillon’s Federal Court Order stating tree sitters “should vacate the property immediately.” The occupants of the trees at Little Teel Crossing are self-described as “young Virginians,” and are prepared to remain as long as this pipeline threatens family farms, land, and water.

Ian Reilly shared, “This is about taking a stand. This is about choosing for ourselves when the fight is over. MVP thought we would just resign when pipeline tree clearing began. But the fight has just begun and we still believe we can stop this destructive project. We will win.”

Please consider donating to support the Reilly family and the pipeline fighters resisting the Mountain Valley Pipeline at bit.ly/Donate2LTC
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Ramps Campaign shared Appalachians Against Pipelines's post.
Ramps Campaign

Drink water! And protect it!
It’s day 52 of tree sits ... Still Here!It’s Day 52 of the tree sits, and things may be heating up on on the mountain ridge! MVP security personnel have arrived at the Peters Mountain Stand — and it looks like they’re intending to stay.

Around 5 pm on Wednesday evening, multiple MVP security personnel arrived at the two tree sits on the WV side of Peters Mountain. They were escorted by US Forest Service. The group rolled up with popup tents, sleeping bags, propane, coolers, etc, set up a couple tents (including one between the two tree sits) and settled in for the night — even digging a fire pit close to one of the sits. USFS did not stay on site overnight, but about 5 MVP security did.

Over the past 52 days, the Peters Mountain Stand has held strong. Visits from MVP and law enforcement have been common, but this is the first time any of them have stayed overnight. It remains clear to us that MVP is in close communication and coordination with the Forest Service.

We are of course anxious to see how this situation will develop. It is possible that MVP will attempt to cut the tree sitters off from resupplies, as USFS has done at the monopod, and as law enforcement has done on Bent Mountain.

We will update as we learn more.

Drink water! And protect it.

Also, donate: bit.ly/supportmvpresistance
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Check out this video from Badass independent media collective when they came and visited the hellbender autonomous zone. Still here! Monopod day 23!

Unicorn Riot
In Jefferson National Forest on the border between Virginia and West Virginia, two forest occupations block the proposed route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, or MVP, to drill through Peters Mountain. Activists erected a monopod in the middle of the road on April, which still stands and is the longest continuously-occupied monopod known. This road blockade has prevented access to the tree sits further up the mountain, which are located directly on where the MVP is planning for the hole they drill through the mountain to exit.

The Forest Service has enforced a closure of public lands on 125 feet on either side of the access road up to the monopod, to prevent the protester in the monopod from being re-supplied with food or water. These protests have been met with support from local Appalachian communities, who see the pipeline as encroaching on their land and their way of life.

Reporting, video production, & voiceover by Chris Schiano, Unicorn Riot
Reporting and video production contributed by Sammy DiDonato
Drone footage contributed by Bobcat

All Unicorn Riot media is provided free to the public without ads or paywalls. Please help us continue producing non-commercial independent media. Donations are tax-deductible: www.unicornriot.ninja/support-our-work/
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