The Day | March numbers increase, organizers seek $30K for Saturday’s rally
BY M.L. RAMSBURG
March on Blair Mountain participants continued their journey toward Blair Mountain on Thursday. They began the day’s march five miles south of the town of Madison in Boone county, according to their official website. They were expected to walk 8.8 miles on Thursday.
March numbers at the beginning of the day had changed by lunchtime, according to March on Blair reports. In a morning post to the group’s website, March on Blair organizers said Thursday’s march began with an estimated 300 participants, up from 250 reported in previous days. By lunchtime, the group’s website said that the number of marchers had risen to 350.
As the number of marchers increase, Blair organizers are reworking their logistics to keep up with the large crowd expected for Saturday’s rally in Blair. In a statement posted on their website, March on Blair organizers said, “Hundreds have heard about the march since it began on Monday, and have decided to join Saturday’s rally. We are working to meet the logistical needs of this increased number.”
March on Blair estimates 1,500 people will attend Saturday’s rally. Organizers have begun an online campaign asking donors to provide $30,000 they say is needed for drinking water, toilet facilities, gas and buses for that number of participants.
“What we need are the nuts and bolts of making a rally effective and safe,” an online statement reads.
So far, the group said, they’ve raised $16,000 of their $30,000 goal.
Also on Thursday, March on Blair’s “virtual marchers” were asked to write a letter to their newspaper’s editor. A form letter was provided for virtual march participants, which in part read, “hundreds of people from all across the country are marching in West Virginia as a part of the March on Blair Mountain – a grassroots event to save the historic Blair Mountain, site of the momentous labor union uprising the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain, and all other mountains in Appalachia from destructive mountaintop removal mining.”
On Friday, Marchers are expected to finish their week long 50-mile march, which began on Monday with a press conference in Marmet. Reports say the day’s march will begin in Mifflin, Logan county and will end in Blair.
On Saturday, March on Blair organizers are scheduled to hold a rally in the town of Blair. According to the official website, the rally is set to begin at 10:00 a.m. Special guests scheduled to attend include Bobby Kennedy Jr., Kathy Mattea and EmmyLou Harris.
“The Day” brings you up-to-date on what has happened at the March on Blair Mountain within the past 24-hours.