Monday, February 14, 2011

We Love Mountains Day!

It's been brought to my attention that I haven't posted in a good bit. I have been bored with my postings; bored and discouraged with the direction (or lack of direction) our days have taken. I am not complaining. Nothing to write about also means everything is running along smoothly. Besides a round of colds for us all, we have been pretty calm since the beginning of the year. But I have been wondering lately what I can do offer the kids more meaningful experiences in our studies.

Then one of my heroes, the esteemed Wendell Berry, and a dozen or so others went to see KY Governor Beshear on Friday. The group was made up of representatives from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. They went to meet with the Governor about the devastation caused to the Appalachians by the mining practice of mountaintop removal (MTR), to encourage him to drop a state lawsuit against the EPA for its enforcement of the Clean Water Act as it relates to MTR, and to support clean energy and the Stream Saver Bill.

After a brief, unsatisfactory conversation with the governor the group staged a sit-in in the Governors outer office which lasted three days. Governor Beshear allowed the group to remain in the capital all weekend. They did so until the scheduled I Love Mountains Day today. (Read more interviews with Mr. Berry and others on The Huffington Post).

That's when we joined in...what better way to teach about civil disobedience and peaceful activism than to take part in the march and rally for I Love Mountains Day? They kids have really connected to the activism we've discussed in our studies of the Civil Rights Movement. We've participated in mock marches on MLK  Day, but, really, they had no idea what a real protest or march was any of us unless we participate? So, that's what we did.

Here are some highlights from our day:
We all had to have photo id (in case we got separated or if I got arrested...yes arrested) and
we wrote my cell # in sharpie on everyone's arm

We gathered about 1/2 mile from the capital.

Everyone got a sign.

Everyone got a button.

We all wore red for Valentine's Day and the love of mountains.

Many were there for the mountains.

Some were there for the trees.

We marched, as a group, down to the capitol steps.

We gathered on the steps and the listened to speeches made by many of those who had been in the Governor's office since Friday, including Wendell Berry, Silas House, Congressman Yarmuth, and many others.

Embree, who wasn't so sure she wanted to be seen with a sign, chanted longer and louder than any of us once she understood what she was protesting. "Kentucky is more compromising." "Show me what democracy is....this is what democracy is." "MTR has got to go." "What do we want...clean water...when do we want"

We enjoyed the day with some friends from our homeschool group.

Finally, all participants left valentines for Gov. Beshear asking for consideration in this matter.

On this Valentine’s Day, Governor Beshear, I hope you
will share the love I feel for the mountains and people of
Kentucky by supporting The Stream-Saver bill.
Sincerely, The Gambills

I can't think of a better living history lesson.


rachel said...

Proud of you all!

Obaitori Spiritual Mothering said...

Good on you, it is fabulous what you did - for your environment & for your beautiful children, a perfect lesson in SO many subjects for them. Best wishes for a positive outcome. Love Katie x