On November 7, Mountain Justice hosted a talk by activist Larry Gibson, founder of Keeper of the Mountains Foundation. The talk was attended by a standing-room only crowd of approximately 60 people in Bond Hall! The weighty talk reminded us all why we struggle against mountaintop removal and all forms of fossil fuel extraction.
Larry is personally responsible for introducing many MJ members to the devastating effects of mountaintop removal in his home state of West Virginia. Larry spoke movingly for about 45 minutes on his decades experiences as a frontline activist and the absolute necessity for all of us to get involved with the fight against mountaintop removal. He also drew many connections between MTR and Fracking, noting that both extraction methods pollute vast quantities of fresh water. He spoke to the importance of a comprehensive analysis as we struggle for a better world without exploitative extraction, saying, “If we oppose mountaintop removal and ignore everything else, we’ll fight and fight and maybe we’ll even win, but then we’ll look around us and wonder what we were fighting for.”
Larry was joined by Swarthmore alumnus Ken Hechler, Class of 1935, who represented West Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 20 years, and has been campaigning against mountaintop removal full-time since 2004.
We hope this is only the first of several events in the “Frontline Series.” Keep your eyes peeled next Spring for more events with activists fighting extraction on the frontlines.