ROANOKE, Va. — Police arrested five people after they hung a large banner in downtown Roanoke to protest West Virginia coal billionaire Jim Justice’s mining operations.
The banner was strung between two buildings Thursday morning. Police Sgt. J.H. Bowdel told The Roanoke Times that officers removed the protesters from the rooftops of the buildings. They will be charged with trespassing.
Bowdel said the protesters had bookbags containing climbing equipment, including rope and safety vests.
The environmental groups Mountain Justice, Rising Tide North America and Radical Action for Mountain and People’s Survival said in a news release that they hung the banner to protest the practices of Justice’s mines.
Last month, Justice reached a $1.5 million settlement with Kentucky officials over dozens of violations at several of his coal mines in eastern Kentucky.
Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com
— the associated press