Sunday, February 13, 2011

UPDATE 150 Gather at Capitol Vigil in Support of Kentucky Rising Governor's Office Sit-In

FRANKFORT-About 150 people have gathered outside the Kentucky State Capitol in an impromptu rally to show their support for a group of 14 Kentuckians who have been staging a sit-in in the Governor's Office since Friday morning in an effort to bring attention to the issue of mountaintop removal coal-mining.  

The concerned citizens decided they wanted to show the group inside their support after hearing of the protest Friday evening.  Although they couldn't join the vigil of solidarity taking place outside of the Capitol building, the protesters remained inside and managed to show their appreciation by holding up handwritten signs and fashioning their hands into heart-shapes.  Some of the protesters, known as Kentucky Rising, stood on chairs so they could see outside.  

Some who attended the vigil are supporters of the Kentucky Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and say they wanted to show their solidarity with "folks from the mountains."  They brought a home-cooked Mexican meal and led the crowd in chanting "Si Se Puede" ("Yes We Can"). There were also several Buddhist monks present in the crowd.  

Another rally, called I Love Mountains Day, is planned for Monday, February 14 and will begin shortly after noon on the front steps of the Capitol.  The event has been planned for over a year and is not involved with the Kentucky Rising event, but is in full support of the protesters.  The rally will feature such speakers as Congressman John Yarmuth (D) and coalfield residents giving their testimonies about their experiences with mountaintop removal.  

Photo attached. Caption:  Rick Handshoe of Floyd County, Kentucky stands on a chair inside the State Capitol to display his love for the supporters who have gathered outside to offer support for the protesters involved in the sit-in. Credit: Colette Henderson.

Jason Howard (media liaison) 606.224.1208
Lisa Abbott (inside the Capitol) 859.200.5159
Silas House (media liaison) 606.344.0662
Lora Smith (media liaison) 606.524.4074
Chad Berry (inside the Capitol) 859.779.1594

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