Help the Blackjewel Miners!

We are a group of trans anarchists from Appalachia who answered the call for help from miners who decided to block the tracks, and thus the transport of over 1 million dollars worth of coal, in protest over wage theft. Blackjewel, the 6th largest coal operator in the US, stiffed the miners their pay when they declared bankruptcy. Checks from their employer bounced when they tried to buy food and pay utility bills.

Click through to these articles for a more detailed account of events:

> The Past and Future of Harlan County  by
> "Ain’t No Neutral Here"  by Gwen Frisbie-Fulton

Appalachia, and Eastern Kentucky in particular, is an area of resource extraction, economic exploitation, disenfranchisement, and thus poverty... so the miners families were deeply impacted financially by this move. Many of the families are living or spending most of their time at camp, alongside their miner providers blocking the tracks 24/7, living off of donated food and childcare supplies, as their meager savings plummet to try to keep out of the red with bills.

Stiffed miners in Eastern Kentucky who are blocking a coal train from leaving until they get their owed pay... and transgender left organizers, working to keep their camp running and their families fed and children clothed. Does that seem like an unlikely pairing? Maybe to some, but the unity of LGBT people and the labor movement moving together in support has a historical precedent beyond trans people statistically making low wages.

During the UK miners' strike of 1984-1985, local LGBT people united under the name Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. You may recognize them from the movie "Pride"! LGBT people in the UK united to support striking miners and raised £22,500 for their families.

So in this spirit, we trans Appalachians, not coal miners ourselves, are acting in solidarity for our home and the people its exploitation, are acting as support workers for the families. We have established a camp kitchen, a camp shower, a childcare tent, and recreational areas. We have organized fundraisers to help pay back-bills and buy food, clothes, and camp gear for the families. We have helped organize and direct media. We've babysat, cooked meals, kept the site clean-- and we are still doing these things daily. We are doing the work to amplify the voices of our brothers and sisters in struggle, to allow them to focus on the work of opposing unfair labor practices.

Contrary to popular belief, there are many LGBT people in Appalachia. Also contrary to popular belief, the people of Appalachia are not the brewing anti-LGBT cesspit many people might believe. The laws may not be always in our favor, but we are Appalachian and that is a deep, deep bond.

This blockade support is a testament to the love those united in struggle have for each other, and the actions that can be achieved when we move in step.

Let's keep the momentum going :)

Money raised by us here, and on other fundraising platforms, goes straight to helping the families of the miners by maintaining the blockade, feeding and clothing families, helping pay for bills, and getting kids their school supplies!

(Yes, we DO have venmo/cashapp etc, but we have received requests for an international fundraising platform, so here we are!)

Follow us on:

> Instagram at blackjewelminersblockade 

> Twitter at @minerblockade

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Blackjewel Blockade
Cumberland, KY

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