Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Mostly youthful"?

The Associated Press coverage of an anti-mountaintop removal coal-mining protest in DC yesterday seemed a bit dismissive, characterizing the protesters as "mostly youthful" and having a "hippie, counterculture vibe." The AP's story on the "Appalachia Rising" protest was posted online by The Washington Post, which evidently didn't send any of its own reporters.

Looking through my photos today, I'm not sure the implication that this was a bunch of college-age kids out on a field day really sticks. There were indeed a lot of youthful folks, but there were also old, even wrinkly people — many of them from Appalachian communities. I didn't hear a single speaker talk about carbon emissions, but I heard a lot of people complaining about what has happened to their well-pumped drinking water and their communities.

That last not-so-youthful protester above, the guy wearing a hat while being arrested, is government climate scientist James Hansen. He was among the 115 people arrested outside the White House at the end of the protest.

Whatever their ages (and maybe we should start carding protesters), the demonstration and arrests got a lot of attention. You can see more of my own photos on Grist, and on Sierra Club blogs. And, there was a page 1 photo, but no story, in The Washington Post. Of course, it featured a youthful protester.


Anonymous Vickie said...

Most of the people arrested on our bus were coal field residents & most of us were old-er. A dear friend of mine, in her seventies, refused help (she has had a stroke & half her body is mostly paralized & then she was walking along the rails near her home & was hit by a train )& she literally walked the entire mile & half!!! I'm amazed & SO proud!!!

September 29, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

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