The folk/dream/pop band Trails and Ways is trying to raise awareness of some activists stuck in jail because they shut down a mine in West Virginia. Trails and Ways is from San Francisco but thought it a good idea to throw their support behind them. Mining in West Virginia is one of the top, if not the top, industries and it leaves the people and countryside sick. Because there is money to be made, however, nothing is really changing.
Trails and Ways is one of the many bands on the indie fringe that take advantage of having two singers, one male and one female. Think Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and Of Monsters and Men. They weave their sound beautifully with their vocals and don’t necessarily sound like everyone else.
During a protest that shut down the largest mountaintop removal site in Appalachia, at least 20 activists were arrested and still remain in jail on a $500,000 combined bail. Fortunately for them, they have friends in the Bay Area-based band Trails and Ways, who have been getting increasing attention for their particularly political folksy dream-pop…They’re using the song to call attention to a campaign to bail their radical buddies out of jailand bring attention to the struggles of Appalachian people, so make sure to check out the cause if you like what they have going on.
From the RAMPS website on July 28th:
More than 50 protesters affiliated with the R.A.M.P.S. Campaign have walked onto Patriot Coal’s Hobet mine and shut it down. Ten people locked to a rock truck, boarded it and dropped banners: ”Coal Leaves, Cancer Stays.” At least three have been arrested, with another in a tree being threatened by miners with a chain saw. Earlier in the day, two people were arrested at Kanawha State Forest before a group of protesters headed to the state capitol…
Mounting scientific evidence shows that strip mining negatively impacts community health and miner health. Recent studies have found a 42 percent increase in risk of birth defects around strip mines, and miners who spend at least 20 years as strip-mine drillers have a 61 percent chance of contracting silicosis, a virulent form of black lung. “The coal companies are poisoning our water and air, and they’re treating the workers no better than the land – fighting workplace health and safety protections to get the most out of labor as they can,” said Junior Walk of Whitesville, W.Va.