Above photo: Roselle at a rally in 2009.
Mike Roselle is Campaign Director of www.climategroundzero.org He is longtime mountain top removal activist who has taken a firm stand to END the practice blowing up mountains for coal. Mike resides in Rock Creek, WV on the Coal River where the air is laced with toxins. There are now 24 peer reviewed research reports that show that these toxins are killing the people. Mike has dedicated his life to working on environmental issues and protecting the people and the places that he loves. He is an author, speaker, organizer and direct action leader. He is also the founder of numerous environmental organizations. Mike has spent the last several years fighting against the destruction of the mountains, communities and people of WV by mountaintop removal coal mining. Mike Roselle has been a champion to the people who suffer the impacts of this horrendous practice of blowing up mountains for coal.
Mike Roselle and Guinn McGuiness were attempting to deliver toxic dust from Kayford Mountain to WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin at his residence.
Mike was in his 6th day of a hunger strike and vigil at the WV State Capitol. After repeated attempts to deliver these jars of dust at the Capitol, Mike hand delivered it to the Governors’ residence on Thanksgiving Day. Studies have shown that this dust is toxic and it blankets nearby homes. These toxins are causing very serious health implications and ultimately an early death for us all. Every day more than 5 million pounds of explosives are detonated in WV and KY. There is currently a bill, HR526, the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act (ACHE Act), that can end mountaintop removal. When this bill is passed it will save countless lives. This house bill currently has 45 co-sponsors. Mike Roselle and Climate Ground Zero is helping to support the work of numerous local community members and local organizations to pass HR526 and END these very real caused health problems we are seeing. Sitting idly by as communities and people die is not something anyone should be willing to do.
At 4:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day, Mike and Guinn, accompanied by a videographer, Mike Cherin , climbed the steps to the front door of the mansion. Mike Roselle spoke by intercom and explained why he was there. He was told “Someone will be there soon”. 5 minutes later the Capitol Police Seargent, who refused to give his name, approached the activists and asked what they were doing. Mike Roselle presented a jar of the toxic dust and placed it on the doorstep of the mansion. Mike Roselle asked if we were being detained and was told “yes”. The activists were led to the sidewalk where State Police were waiting. After further questioning, Mike Roselle asked if he or the other two would be detained. The answer was no. At this point, the Capitol Sergeant told Mike Roselle to “go get the jar of dust off the steps”. Mike Roselle refused. He only ask that the Governor himself take this dust and have it tested himself. Mike was immediately arrested by the WV State Police. When asked what the charges were, the police refused this to give this information. After the arrest the jail’s website had Mike Roselle being charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. The other activists were allowed to go.
Mike Roselle did what anyone should do when he sees another’s life being threatened or harmed. He was arrested for asking our Governor to stop allowing people to be killed by the toxic dust in the air we breathe. The crimes that are being committed by the companies that are racticing MTR and the politicians that allowing it are the real crimes here not someone taking a container of toxic dust to our governor to be analyzed. The silence of the sick and dying people is over and the silence of our state politicians must soon follow. Why won’t our politicians at least acknowledge the science? Is it because they know it’s true?
For more information and to find out how to support Mike, visit ClimateGroundZero.org