Appalshop is now streaming Mine War on Blackberry Creek in its entirety. A DVD of the film can be purchased here.
Self-described as the largest coal producer in Central Appalachia with a
total of 2.3 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves, Massey
Energy Company is a powerful economic and cultural force in the
coalfields. Blankenship has been both criticised and lauded for the
success of the company's "Position to Win" strategy, which is based on
"controlling a dominant share of the most valuable coal reserves in the
Blankenship has always been an outspoken advocate for the coal industry, arguing against increased environmental regulation of coal mining and against evidence of climate change, recently challenging NASA climtalogist Dr. James Hansen in June 2009 to a debate on that subject. Massey suffered a legal setback in 2008 when the US Supreme Court ruled that Blankenship's financial relationship with West Virginia Supereme Court Justice Benjamin "had a significant and disproportionate influence on the outcome" of a $50 million verdict against Massey Energy Company that the West Virginia court had thrown out.
Mine War on Blackberry Creek reports on the long and bitter United Mine Workers of America strike in 1984 against A.T. Massey, America's fourth largest coal company with corporate ties to apartheid South Africa. While strikebreakers work inside the mines and security men with guard dogs and cameras patrol the compound, miners on the picket lines detail the history of labor struggles in the region and their determination to hold out until victory.
A.T. Massey CEO Don Blankenship, listed on AlterNet in 2006 as one of "the 13 scariest Americans," addresses capitalism, social Darwinism, and the global economy, while Richard A. Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer and currently running for President of the AFL-CIO, expresses union values.
Appalshop recently transferred this film to a new digital master for a re-release in 2010. To purchase a DVD of the film please visit the Appalshop Web Store.