Judge Blocks Further Protests Against Massey Energy Mountaintop Mining
by Ken Ward Jr.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A federal judge has temporarily ordered a halt to mountaintop-removal protests that involve trespassing on Massey Energy property or interfering with any of Massey's operations.
U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger granted Massey subsidiary Marfork Coal Co.'s request for a temporary restraining order against non-violent civil disobedience actions aimed at stopping its mountaintop-removal mining operations.
The order prohibits "trespassing or otherwise congregating" on mining property as well as "interfering, obstructing, blocking, impeding or tampering with" any mining properties in Southern West Virginia.
It applies specifically to five protesters who took part in a more-than-eight-day tree-sitting action and also to "their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those other persons who are in active concert or participation" with the named protesters.
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