Appalshop is now streaming Anne Lewis's 1986 full-length documentary Mine War on Blackberry Creek. Appalshop will be reissuing the film on DVD this August, bringing it back into print at a time of renewed public interest in the Massey Energy Company and its Chairman and CEO Don Blankenship.
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. In 2008 the US Supreme Court ruled that Blankenship's financial relationship with West Virginia Supreme 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; 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.
Blankenship 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.
To watch Mine War on Blackberry Creek or learn more about the film, please visit the stream page.