Why Are We Here?
1. We are pressuring Wash U to cut ties with Peabody Energy because we believe that their actions are not in line with the mission of our University.
2. We are standing in solidarity with communities that have been marginalized by Peabody; in particular, we are advocating for the residents of Rocky Branch IL, Black Mesa AZ, and the City of St. Louis.
3. We are exercising our rights as students and taking responsibility for ending the relationship between WU and Peabody.
Why Sit In?
Read this article by senior Caroline Burney.
-Their coal mining operations in the Black Mesa Plateau in Arizona have led to the forced relocation of thousands of the local native Navajo and Hopi tribes, and the draining and polluting of the natural aquifer there.
-In Saline County, IL, Peabody’s mining operations are threatening the farming community of Rocky Branch by diverting important local roads, emitting hazardous coal dust into the air, and polluting nearby water sources.
-In 2014, Peabody cited equal protection to constitutional rights under Citizens United in order to block the Take Back St. Louis ballot initiative, which called for the city to end tax incentives to fossil-fuel extraction corporations and invest public money and land into renewable energy and sustainability initiatives.
-From union busting to consistently unsafe mining conditions, Peabody has a long history of mistreating its workers. In 2007, they offloaded thousands of retiree pension plans and healthcare benefits to a spin-off company, Patriot Coal, which filed for bankruptcy in 2012, defaulting on all of those monetary obligations. Peabody is a large supporting member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), having a representative on their Private Enterprise Advisory Council. ALEC is a strong advocate of various controversial pieces of legislation, including “Stand Your Ground” laws and strict immigration laws.
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