Archive for 2017

2017 End of Year Update

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
posted by admin

 

              Happy New Year!                        

2017 has been a busy year for us. We’ve worked hard to cultivate resistance and community support in the face of growing threats like fascist, white supremacist organizations, increased repression of radical activism and all the other fucked up shit that has escalated this year.  Our work continues to change and expand with the shifting political landscape. Here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to this year and what we hope to do in 2018:

Here in Whitesville…
We’ve made significant progress turning a vacant lot into a community garden. With help from Whitesville residents, we’ve planted medicinal herbs, added raised beds, built a rain catchment system for watering, and started terracing the hillside.  When spring comes, we hope to fill the raised beds with vegetables, plant more flowers and herbs on the hill, and plant some fruit trees.  We also look forward to working with our friends Appalachian Herbal Medics again to bring another free herbal and alternative health clinic to Whitesville in 2018.
We are constantly engaged in mutual aid work with neighbors in Whitesville- from helping folks heat their homes, to giving people rides to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store. Our community house is a place where neighbors and visitors come to share a meal, get help with school work, or find emotional support. We feel it is an important space in this chaotic community where so many people face depression, drug addiction, violence, and physical ailments. In the past year, we’ve also provided medical support by hosting and caring for neighbors with serious medical conditions.

 

In “West Virginia”…
We’ve continued our involvement with communities beyond Whitesville as well. We have supported the Stanley Heirs families on Kayford mountain as they carry on the legacy of legendary land defender Larry Gibson. This year we set up and maintained a rain catchment system on Kayford for drinking water and hosted our annual Fall Summit in the park (thanks again to partners Seeds of Peace and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition!). We’ve also maintained our long standing relationship with Prenter, a nearby community severely impacted by mining. This year residents have been forced to run a diesel generator to power the pumping station providing their tap water, though this water is still not clean enough to drink- it is mainly used for washing. While they are hoping they will have access to city water some time in 2018, in the meantime, we will soon launch a fundraiser to help them pay for the diesel fuel. Stay tuned! In addition, we continue to write letters, keep up relationships and advocate for people who are incarcerated throughout the state.
Appalachia…
As fascism grew on a national level in 2017, the threat of fascist and racist organizations within our region specifically- including militias and white supremacist political parties- has risen dramatically. Some of these dangerous groups see Appalachia as an ideal place to establish a “white homeland” and have been working to organize and expand here. We’ve worked with local and regional allies to confront these enemies in the streets of Pikeville, KY; Charleston, WV; and Charlottesville, VA. As an outgrowth of those efforts, we’ve helped establish the “Holler Network”, an Appalachian antifascist network with members throughout the region. This network was instrumental this fall in providing community-based self-defense when black radical artist John Sims came to Athens, OH to lecture and exhibit his work. In the coming year, we will continue to confront the fascists wherever they appear in our region and build the Holler network through trainings, outreach, and direct action to destroy fascism in the streets and the hollers of Appalachia.
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Broader Movement Support…
Indigenous solidarity continues to be at the forefront of our work. We are on stolen land! Members of RAMPS spent several months in North Dakota this winter and spring providing legal support to water protectors fighting the Dakota Access pipeline. We also set up jail and legal support for actions throughout Appalachia and hope to continue this work in the coming year (and to provide trainings to folks who are interested!). This summer, RAMPS members supported the Pokanoket Nation’s occupation of part of their ancestral land in an attempt to force Brown University to return it to them. We will continue to support indigenous-led resistance!
 

To continue our efforts into 2018, we’re asking folks to consider donating here. Thanks to all those who donated their time or money (or anything else!) to support us in 2017!

Feel free to get in touch ([email protected]) or stop by if you find yourself in southern WV! We (almost) always need volunteers- please reach out if that’s something you might be interested in.

For the land and people,
RAMPS

This year’s Fall Summit schedule!

There must be resistance!

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
posted by admin

You Are Invited to Stand Up Against The Nazi Threat!

Thanks to artist Jimbo Valentine

Spring is here! As ramps pop up throughout the hollers, our work continues on multiple fronts. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

Solidarity with Standing Rock: The Legal Battle Continues

RAMPS members have been intimately involved in the resistance at Standing Rock for much of the last nine months. We have supported direct action, helped maintain the camps, and now we are working in solidarity with water protectors who were arrested while defending sacred water. The legal battle in North Dakota is only just beginning as the frontlines move to the courtroom. Only a fraction of nearly 800 cases have been tried before the courts and several cases have already been dismissed! Water protectors are increasingly facing trumped-up felony and federal charges. We are committed to supporting our comrades as they face the oppressive criminal justice system and we hope that such support becomes an integral part of all our movements in this era of increased repression of activists.

The Nazis Are Coming. For Real.

At the end of April, the Traditional Workers Party (TWP) and other neo-Nazi, white supremacist factions will be descending on Appalachia. They plan to hold an organizing conference on April 28 and a large public rally on April 29 in eastern Kentucky.  We fear this is a crucial moment for the white supremacist movement in this country and more specifically, central Appalachia.  They are converging in Appalachia to capitalize on fear, uncertainty, and economic deprivation and to recruit, train, organize and spread their hateful doctrine. There must be resistance!   We are part of building a larger Appalachian anti-fascist network for the long haul. You are invited to come show the Nazis that they are not welcome.

Community Engagement

As we fight the rise of fascism and white supremacy and face a swarm of Nazis coming to our region, building community power in Whitesville remains at the center of our work. At the RAMPS house we consistently discuss this dark political climate with folks.  We talk about indigenous solidarity, sovereignty and our work in Standing Rock; we talk about the role the criminal justice system plays in the lives of young people in this region; we talk about the racist, fascist policies of Trump; we talk about white supremacy and now we’re talking a lot about the Nazis coming to Appalachia.  It felt good to see one of our young friends write ‘Fuck Trump 2k16’ in the snow on car windows throughout Whitesville this winter and it always brings us a smile to see the ever-changing “Fuck Trump” art on the dry erase boards around the house.

In addition to these conversations, we work to provide alternatives to organizations like TWP that prey on youth in largely white, rural areas like ours.  Our young friends have been learning to read and learning to drive with us, and we’re all excited to be spending more time growing the community garden, foraging in the mountains and planning Whitesville’s second herbal health clinic, which will take place July 25-28.

Thanks for all the support!  It makes what we do possible!  Feel free to get in touch, drop by, or donate to support our work!

For the land and people, #PunchANazi,

RAMPS

Thanks to Jimbo Valentine for the amazing anti-Nazi poster!  We’ve been hanging it up around town, if you would like a digital copy, please get in touch.

Resist! All Day, Every Day!

Monday, February 13th, 2017
posted by admin

2016 was an eventful year for us– from setting down roots in the Coal River Valley to supporting the ongoing resistance at Standing Rock.  Here’s a quick update on where we’ve been in 2016 and where we hope to go this year:

The RAMPS Campaign House

Thanks to your generous support, last winter we purchased a large house in Whitesville and, after months of labor, we moved in this past spring. Now we are working to transform our home into a radical community space in the heart of coal country.  Come visit or (even better!) volunteer with us! Thanks to this investment in the future of the Coal River Valley, we have plenty of room to support short or long-term volunteers.

Building Power in the Coal River Valley and Southern WV

In addition to our new house, we strengthened our ties to the Coal River Valley through community projects. This past year, we started a community garden in Whitesville. We’ve started small but are planning to grow in the spring. We have hosted several community events- including a herbal health clinic in Whitesville  and our annual Fall Summit up on Kayford Mountain. We have also continued to address the ongoing water crisis in West Virginia by providing support to communities with no access to clean water in Prenter and on top of Kayford Mountain.

Through our work with the Kanawha Forest Coalition, our disaster relief work in the Elk River Valley and our prisoner support and advocacy work, we’ve supported grassroots work outside the Coal River Valley in southern WV as well.  A huge shout-out to friends and allies with the KFC, whose tireless efforts opposing the KD#2 mine led to the state withdrawing their mining permit. And another shout-out to the Roush family who worked so hard to support and help their neighbors rebuild their community in the wake of the devastating floods in southern WV this past summer!

Commitment to Indigenous Liberation Struggles

This past summer and through the fall and winter, RAMPS members supported direct action against the DAPL pipeline in support of the Indigenous resistance at Standing Rock.  Despite the bitter cold and the police brutality, warriors remain encamped at Standing Rock to oppose construction of the pipeline and reclaim treaty land.  RAMPS members continue to support this resistance as it evolves.

As we enter a new chapter in 2017, our commitment to building power in West Virginia and beyond feels more important than ever. Recent events (including the rise of Trump) have only confirmed our belief that resistance and liberation must be found in the streets, the hollows, and the prairies- a belief that increasingly means risking bogus felony charges, as RAMPS members are facing in DC and ND.

We cannot continue to do this work without your continued support!

Feel free to get in touch, come visit, or donate to support our work!

For the land and people, #PunchANazi,

RAMPS