Kentuckians arrested today now released

Staging a sit-in at Hal Rogers' DC office todayThe seven people who were arrested today to help expose the complicity of Rep. Hal Rogers with those who are pillaging Appalachia have now been released.

They are Carey Henson, Erika Skaggs, Stanley Sturgill, Mary Love, Kat Wallace, Tress La'Ree and Teri Blanton.

They and other members of the Kentucky delegation, along with more than 100 other residents of Central Appalachia participating in the Week in Washington to End Mountaintop Removal, are waiting for the release of others who were arrested for refusing to leave the offices of members of Congress from other states.

In total, 22 folks were arrested and charged with unlawful entry, a misdemeanor. They occupied the offices of Reps. Rogers (R-Ky), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Morgan Griffith (R-Va) and Jimmy Duncan (R-Tn). All four have been advocates for preventing the enforcement of water protection laws - at least as they apply to coal companies - and supporters of mountaintop removal mining.

"I love my home in eastern Kentucky. I should not have to lose the people and the land that I love in order to appease big coal and mountaintop removal," said Stanley Sturgill, a KFTC member from Harlan County who worked as an underground miner and mine inspector for 41 years. "I am so displeased with the horrific health conditions as a result of all the mountaintop removal coal mining that Hal Rogers is so supportive of."

Nearly 20 people visited the office of Rogers this morning, seeking a meeting in order to present a list of demands. After about three hours of peaceful presence without a meeting, the Capitol Police were called to remove the unwelcome visitors. Most left when asked to do so, with some deciding to stay to help put the spotlight on Rogers' dismal record.

""After seven years of going in circles, asking just for basic protections for our people and being blocked by our own representatives who are supposed to be passing legislation to protect our district, we don't see any other way. Appalachia deserves better," said Teri Blanton of Madison County.

The day's activities were coordinated by Appalachia Rising and included a rally near the Capitol.

Rally for Appalachia

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