People came to Helena from across Montana and from 15 other states. It was a very diverse group of interesting people. I arrived too late for the events of Day 1.

Day 2

Marching to Downtown.

We held a Die-in infront of the U.S. Bank in downtown Helena. U.S. Bank is providing some of the financing for the Mega Coal mines in the Powder River basin.

After marching back to the Capital Building, the Beehive artist collective form Colorado did a presentation of a large Art Project resembling a Bosh painting in its complexity, Based on input on the impact of Big Coal in series of narratives collected throughout Appalachia.

Each day protesters about to be arrested gave their reasons for resorting to civil disobedience. These were very moving statements.

Arch applies for permit to mine 1.5 BILLION TONS of Coal as more are arrested in Helena

Day 3

We set up an symbolic Occupy camp in front of the Capital.

We marched from the Capital Building to the headquarters of Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

Here a representative of Coal Export Action submits a 18 page counter-proposal to Arch Creek's mining permit proposal to Richard Opper the director of Montana's Department of Environmental Quality.

Capital officials let us leave our banners remain up all week.  

The Big Sky Unitarian Church generously lent us their basement as a base of operations for Coal Export Action.

Day 4

Some of us protesters took a tour of the Capital Building.

Painting glorifying Custer inside Montana Capital's Old Supreme Court Chamber.

The Rotunda.

Pioneer miner.

Biggest Russel painting in existence is in the Montana House Chamber.

Giving their reasons for resorting to civil disobedience.

Day 5

Me with my sign.

On Friday for the first time those arrested were released without having to spend night(s) in jail. Here's some of our jail birds of conscience celebrating later that evening. 23 people being arrested over the five day protest

Monday 8/20 Wrap Up

Outside Helena's Courthouse.

Montana's "Coal Cowboy" Gov. Schweitzer on huge new mine "The Land Board has made its decision."

The State of Montana  only gets  a paltry 15 cents per ton of coal and most of the mine jobs in the Powder River Basin have gone to residents of Wyoming. This is a bad deal for the people of Montana and people everywhere.

In front of Governor Schweitzer's office.

Practicing new lyrics about coal set to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues

"I hear that coal train a coming..."

Helena's Mosque style Civic Center.

This fight is far from over.

This is a very big protest for Montana. This week of protests and civil disobdience got Montanans talking about this issue.

From last Sunday's USA Today:

Montana coal mining plan draws opposition

By John S. Adams

Demonstrators from across the state occupied the state capitol last week to protest the proposals to mine state-owned Otter Creek and ship the coal to West Coast ports for export overseas. Two opposition groups — Montana Coal Export Action and the Blue Skies Campaign — are calling on state officials to deny Arch Coal's permit application and halt any proposals to ship Montana coal by rail across the state.

The State of Montana only gets a paltry 15 cents per ton of coal and most of the mine jobs in the Powder River Basin have gone to residents of Wyoming. This is a bad deal for the people of Montana and people everywhere.

Coal Export Action is a shoestring operation. We have a critical need money for legal defense.

Coal Export Action

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by PacNW Kossacks, DK GreenRoots, and Climate Hawks.

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