By Stephen Fisher
Stephen L. Fisher is Hawthorne Professor of Political technology at Emory and Henry university in Emory, Virginia.
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Additional resources for Fighting Back in Appalachia: Traditions of Resistance and Change
These experi ences led to a series of workshops at Highlander for community leaders and Appalachian Volunteers (AVs) , a federally funded group radicalized by their involvement in the War on Poverty. As the workshops grew in size and scope, participants thought they saw the beginnings of an Appalachia wide movement; some started their own educational programs in places like Wise County, Virginia, and Harlan County, Kentucky. 6 Staff members learned that the region's poor must first be activated to form their own organizations before there could be any serious steps toward a widespread social movement.
Activists in Appalachia prob ably still do not have the answer. There is still no model movement. But there is a lot going on, and much of the organizing is multi-issue, reflective, with a commitment to building broad-based democratic organizations. We keep on keeping on. Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. M. A. W. , "Feeling Strong Together," in Growin' Up Country, ed. : Council of the Southern Mountains, 1973) , 25 1-54. Harry M. Caudill , My Land Is Dying (New York: Dutton, 1973) .
Our action received national publicity, including articles in the Washington Post 12 and the New York Times 13 and was widely covered in Kentucky papers and by journals of the women's movement. It helped increase state and national awareness about strip mining and probably contributed to the passage of reform legislation. Our action, along with the many other early anti-strip mining pro tests, undoubtedly helped to lay the groundwork for later efforts . The movement continued through individual acts of resistance and through the work of organizations like Virginia Citizens for Better Reclamation (VCBR) , Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM) , and, more recently, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) .
Fighting Back in Appalachia: Traditions of Resistance and Change by Stephen Fisher