Since Thursday morning, David Aaron Smith, 23, Amber Nitchman, 19 and Eric Blevins, 28, have interrupted strip mining operations in the Bee Tree Area of Coal River Mountain. Smith, after experiencing numbness in his legs, came down from his tree-sit yesterday and was arrested. As the protest continues today with two tree-sitters remaining, activists with Climate Ground Zero and Mountain Justice urge people to phone the office of WV Governor Joe Manchin at 1-888-438-2731. Calls can also be made to Massey Energy V.P. of Finance, Jeff Jerosinski, at 1- 804- 788- 1868; Massey Energy President Baxter Phillips at 1-804-788-1807 ; and the company’s main number 1-804-788-1800.

The security staff for Massey Energy has been using flood lights and air horns in an attempt to force down the tree sitters by depriving them of sleep, according to a statement by Climate Ground Zero. Massey officials have not returned phone calls from the Columbus Free Press.

Yesterday the Columbus Free Press spoke with Mike Roselle, a long-time environmentalist who helped found Earth First! in the 1980s and the Ruckus Society in the 1990s. Roselle moved to West Virginia in July of 2008 to help stop mountain top removal mining. He recently published, with Josh Mahan, "Tree Spiker: From Earth First! To Lowbagging, My Struggles in Radical Environmental Action."

Roselle said yesterday, “We’ve been calling various numbers over there (at Massey Energy) all day long. It sounds like it’s getting quite a bit of attention. But so far, it hasn’t resulted in them shutting down the air horns.”

Roselle said yesterday that phone calls to Massey Energy are important not only for getting them to stop blasting Coal River Mountain and getting them to stop blasting the tree-sitters’ ears with air-horns.

“We want to be on record about having contacted them (Massey) about this because we may file a civil action, especially if anybody has any damage to their ears. It’s a pretty dangerous thing to be putting horns that loud that close to people,” Roselle said. Today, Climate Ground zero is urging people to focus their phone calls on Governor Manchin.

Roselle said the site for the tree-sit was chosen because it is within the blasting zone of Massey’s mining operations on Coal River Mountain.

Roselle asks for support from people who want to help stop mountain top removal mining. “We’re having to bail people out (from jail) eventually, and it’s costing quite a bit to keep the compound running with food and stuff.” There are 3 small houses in Rock Creek, W VA where local and national activists live and plan some of their work.

“So, definitely one thing that people can do to help out would be to get on the Climate Ground Zero website and donate,” Roselle said.