Midwest Rising Protest Blocks Traffic to Protest Coal

Earlier this month, participants in the Midwest Rising conference in St. Luis followed up their gathering with a four day tour of direct action and civil disobedience, culminating in a 200-person protest outside of Peabody Coal’s headquarters that blocked traffic. Among other protest sites were Monsanto, Bank of America, Verizon and the school board.

The following is an excerpt from the report back, crossposted from Counterpunch.org

“The fourth action took place at Arch Coal, one of the largest coal companies in the country. Coal mining, processing and burning are the largest sources of CO2, the primary greenhouse gas responsible for global climate change.

The major direct action of the convergence took place on Monday afternoon. It began with a march from a park to an intersection in downtown St. Louis that has Bank of America and Peabody Coal’s headquarters located on opposite sides of the street. When the 200 convergence participants reached the intersection, 14 people sat down, linked arms and blocked traffic. One by one the police carried them off to jail as the crowd chanted “Shame! Shame!”

A small group of youths unveiled an ingenious cardboard model of a coal plant that they turned inside out to form a school to demonstrate that coal companies and other corporations are receiving tax breaks with money that could be used for public schools.

The convergence participants met for the last time at a Monday afternoon debriefing. Everyone was tired but stimulated as they left for home to share with their fellow activists the exciting story of what they learned and achieved at the Midwest Rising Convergence.”

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