Allison Blood, KMOX

CREVE COEUR, MO (KMOX) – About 50 protesters stood outside One City Place, the headquarters of Arch Coal, the company mining Blair Mountain in West Virginia. Students from Washington University’s Green Action called on Arch CEO Stephen Leer to stop the mountaintop mining at Blair Mountain. Leer sits on the Board of Trustees at Washington University, where students held a demonstration earlier in the day, asking their University to cut ties.

blair protest 1 Blair Mountain Protest Comes to Creve CoeurThe protest lasted about 30 minutes; police reportedly told students if it lasted longer than that, they would be arrested for trespassing. Protesters held signs, chanted “Leave Blair alone,” and other chants for the entire time. Police guarded the entrances. Stephen Lear didn’t make an appearance, though several employees came to the windows of the building to watch.

Brandon Nida, a West Virginia native, drove in for the protest with a message for Leer.

“Leave us alone,” he said.

He said Leer and Arch Coal devastated the area in their first mining project. He says the drinking water is not safe to drink anymore, and the population has decreased drastically. Nida has been protesting this for years.

Protesters say there will continue to be protests in St. Louis, and activists groups in Appalachia will attempt to get help from lawmakers.

KMOX © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Comments (3)
  1. Kim Link says:

    ARCH COAL OFFICIAL STATEMENT: Approximately 25 protestors asked Arch to stop mining Blair Mountain, when in fact we have no immediate plans to mine on leased reserves in the area. Our recent activity in the general vicinity centers on reclamation and excavation at two existing mine sites. Kim Link, spokeswoman

  2. Mark Connelly says:

    Thanks to all that protested! We must stop this horrible practice! Blair Mountain is the history of West Virginia and should be treated with respect!

  3. Mark Connelly says:

    Thanks to the students of Wasington University Green Action!

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