Photo by Earth Quake Action Team
On Monday, February 9, Earth Quaker Action Team demonstrated their love of the mountains and the earth with a Valentine’s Day themed protest at PNC Regional Headquarters, 1600 Market St, Philadelphia. The group called on PNC Bank to stop financing companies engaged in mountaintop removal coal mining, a horrific practice that poisons Appalachian communities and contributes to climate change. The protest, which prompted the bank to lock down for several hours, was in conjunction with the 10th annual I Love Mountains Day(1).
The forty-two people present ranged in age from 8 to 86. Some had traveled from Miami, Pittsburgh, and New York for a weekend training, intending to prepare for further action back home. Today’s participants carried Valentines and a quilt made from another hundred people, including Philadelphia school children and supporters from as far as California, Utah, and Georgia. A small group tried to deliver the quilt to PNC regional president, Paula Fryland. When they were told that she was unwilling to meet with them or accept the gift, that group stayed in the lobby in Quaker-style silent worship, while the larger group outside sang songs rewritten for the occasion, including: “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”
“We wanted to deliver this quilt to Ms. Fryland as further evidence of how many people around the country want this egregious practice to stop. We hoped she would take just a few minutes from her day to accept this token of love for the mountains from people young and old. Instead we were told by a PNC security official that the bank is in negotiations about their mountaintop removal policy. I promised that until that policy changes, we will keep coming back.”
— Ingrid Lakey, founder and board member, EQAT.