"Judge Orders Halt To Mining Protests"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Raleigh County judge has issued a preliminary injunction to block anti-mountaintop removal activists from further peaceful protests on certain Massey Energy mining sites.

Circuit Judge Robert Burnside issued the injunction after two days in Beckley, in response to a civil lawsuit filed by several Massey subsidiaries whose operations have been shut down several times by the protesters.

Burnside narrowed the scope of his ruling, compared to an earlier temporary restraining order. But the judge still extended the injunction to unnamed protesters who act in concert with or in association with previous protesters named in the injunction.

"We have very serious issues we are looking at for appeal," said Roger Forman, lawyer for the protesters.

Massey sued seeking a court injunction after a series of protests that began in late February, and involved activists going onto mine sites, chaining themselves to heavy equipment, blocking roads, and putting up large anti-mountaintop removal banners."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette June 3, 2009.

Thursday, June 4, 2009