Through the power of Facebook and other social media (another blog post for another time), I have met alot of people from all over the place doing activism and revolutionary work. One of my friends a few weeks ago hit me up about doing some solidarity protests/ marches with the people he’s working with in West Virginia against mountain top removal mining. It’s terrible stuff to say the least. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any people together for lack of time and other preoccupations with other events but we did get to talking. He talked alot about what he is doing down there as a socialist organizer and I found it intriguing (partly due to my wrong assumption that people in Appalachia wouldn’t be hearing it) that he was doing organizing down there.
One of the things that stood out about him and his comrades is their manifesto, A Mountain Peoples’ Manifesto. The document is a manifesto describing Appalachians and Appalachia as colonized territory, not unlike Africa or other 3rd world nations. They talk about how the experience of living there creates social and cultural bonds that are unique to the area and are not necessarily analogous to relations elsewhere in America. They describe the fact that they are a one resource economy (coal mining) and while they do the work (not even really true anymore), the capital and profits of their work goes back out to corporations and people not in their areas. They deal with ghettoization and other aliments that are reminiscent of Africans in the hoods of America.
The reason why I post this is because as an African organizer in Buffalo, NY the struggles of Appalachia are admittedly very far from me, but it’s really not. My friend even made mention about how they are organizing survival programs (breakfast programs, clothing drives, and medical aid) to the people there, not unlike the Black Panthers which was part of their inspiration for doing it. To see people so far from the city and the struggles of the hood doing something like that shows me how close people can be in thought and ideology without even knowing it. With that said, I have attached a copy of their manifesto for our readers. I ask all of you to check it out and check out their website and support this needed movement as much as you can.