Coal / Environmental Justice / Ohio Citizen Action

Ohio Citizen Action offers tribute to mountain justice warrior on his birthday

Credit: Earth Justice

Let us now praise a coal miner: Chuck Nelson is an American Hero

CINCINNATI — “Among the hundreds of coal miners I have interviewed over the years, retired coal miner Chuck Nelson has always been among the most fearless truth-tellers in the coal country of West Virginia.

An indefatigable presence at hearings, meetings, media briefings, and in his beloved mountains, Nelson’s powerful voice and witness have never been needed more than now—during this unending ‘war’ on Appalachia by the coal industry and its sycophants in state halls and Washington, DC.

‘Chuck Nelson is an invaluable member of our community,’ said Maria Gunnoe, the Goldman Prize Award recipient with Coal River Mountain Watch in West Virginia. ‘The coal industry may have broken his health down, but they sure didn’t break his Appalachian spirit to always fight for something better.’

…’Chuck’s experience as a miner provides a broader view of the conflict between sides in the battle over the future of coal in Appalachia,’ said Melissa English, with Ohio Citizen Action. ‘Talking with him, one can see how if he and others had been treated better by the mine operators, there would have been no need for sides at all. Chuck wanted what we all want – a decent living, respect and to be left alone to pursue his definition of happiness. But the operators’ decision to value profits over people changed all that. He became a reluctant activist, fighting for economic and environmental justice and a chance at a better life for those who will come after him. He could have been just another worker, putting in his time and retiring to go fish and hunt, but King Coal radicalized him. He is an extremely credible and formidable foe.'”

— Jeff Biggers, The Huffington Post

link to full article

Tags: , ,