[Strip Mining interviews]

Interviews with inhabitants of a rural mountain about the devastation caused by strip mining to their land and to their community.

00:01  Biff Patterson, a 59-year-old man, speaks from a mountain location. He talks about the damage caused by strip mining and the future damage that will be caused by it. He says that another heavy rain could cause the river to overflow. 

01:55Copy video clip URL Patterson standing in a strip pit. He points out other strip pits around the mountain. 

03:25Copy video clip URL Patterson shows the result of a landslide caused by strip mining.

04:36Copy video clip URL Ways to minimize the damage. “We are asking them to do something they can do. Don’t leave strip pits up where the water will drain out of them. We can’t even hold a bridge for our children to get to school in the creek. We can’t get one put in on account of the waters out of these strip mines that kept washing them out. About every year there’ll be one put one in somewhere, the water comes and takes them on out. The county won’t put in a bridge on account of that.” 

05:30Copy video clip URL “I was born and raised in this country, ginsenged all over it, and I’d rather not have to leave my home country on account of something like this happening. I may be drowned and I may be covered up with a strip pit, but I still think I’ll remain here til the Lord gets ready to call me away, regardless of what they think or what they may do.” 

06:08Copy video clip URL Series of images, including footage of the television and of Patterson and his grandson in a field. Camera set-up. 

07:15Copy video clip URL John Cheever, inside his home, discusses his efforts to get his representatives to take action against the incursions of the mining company into the lands of the inhabitants and the damage caused to the land and to their drinking water. 

10:21Copy video clip URL An elderly man describes the ways that strip pits fill up with water and then get washed away, leading to creeks overflowing and destroying farms. He thinks something should be done about the strip pits. 

12:21Copy video clip URL An elderly woman, joined by another woman and a man, shares that strip pit-caused floods destroyed her well, which means now that she, as a widow, has to carry her own water a mile to her house. 

13:17Copy video clip URL The blasting from the strip mining rattling the dishes, breaking windows. 

13:56Copy video clip URL The water in the well is black and red and they can’t use it, even for washing, the elderly woman says. This is caused by a strip pit. 

14:16Copy video clip URL The elderly man thinks there ought to be something done about the strip mining causing all their crops, their bridges, and more to be washed away. 

15:11Copy video clip URL A middle-aged man talks about the damage caused by the strip mud to his fields and crops. He had to hire a bulldozer to clean his creek out. He’s spent $200 or $300 dollars trying to repair the damage caused by the strip mining. Others nearby have spent similar amounts. He wants his tax money to go towards cleaning the creeks out. 

17:01Copy video clip URL The elderly widow says she can’t get in the woods or get over the high walls caused by strip mining. 

17:42Copy video clip URL A 63-year-old man in overalls talks about the 25-year history of strip mining in the mountains and the destruction that it’s caused to creeks and crops. He’s spent several thousand dollars fixing land and building bridges. Countering the buildup of the coal mud requires bulldozers, which are expensive. 

20:43Copy video clip URL His lawsuit agains a coal company, which he lost because the jury ruled that the strip mining had no impact on his land. He thinks that the coal companies should be responsible for the damage they’ve caused. 

22:59Copy video clip URL Local news broadcast. Discussion of higher education budget and other news. 

24:31Copy video clip URL A meeting of SOCM – Save Our Cumberland Mountains – in Lake City, Tennessee. 

25:28Copy video clip URL Discussion of a film about strip mining. The courage of the local inhabitants in standing up to the coal companies. The unconvincing rationales for strip mining. Intentions to use the film to educate people about strip mining. 

27:10Copy video clip URL Expression of support for the film and for the efforts to share it. 

27:49Copy video clip URL Marvin Billingsley, a resident of Lake City, talks about the right of people to live their lives on the mountain. It’s time, he says, for people to stand up for their rights. 

29:03Copy video clip URL Pride in everyone standing up for the ordinary people of the area against the coal companies, standing up for what they believe is right. 

30:15Copy video clip URL Strip mining not providing employment for many people as compared to deep mining. 

31:04Copy video clip URL More discussion of the film, from well-dressed men and women in a meeting room. The obvious destruction caused by strip mining and the callousness of the coal companies. They recognized people interviewed in the film and, at the prompting of the interviewer, give them a message: “You’ve got great courage. We’re with you all the way.” 




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