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Melissa Waage’s Blog

Chop Hair, Not Mountaintops

Melissa Waage

Posted June 6, 2012 in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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On Memorial Day, West Virginia women shaved their heads on the steps of the state capitol in a call to end mountaintop removal mining. Today, a crowd cheered as more women (and several men) joined the call and and sheared off their hair on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  

As Appalachia Rising explains, "In Appalachia, a woman's hair is her adornment, and in the native American community, women would sometimes shave their heads as a sign of mourning." The cultural significance of women's hair makes head-shaving a meaningful sacrifice. It was one that the participants were glad to make in exchange for some national attention to the ongoing destruction of mountains, streams, and communities through mountaintop removal. As one of the shorn activists said today,"My hair's gonna grow back, but the mountains won't."

You don't have to shave your head to take a stand against mountaintop removal. This week, hundreds of volunteers from across Appalachia are in Washington, DC asking Congress to pass the Clean Water Protection Act, which would effectively end mountaintop removal. Back them up by calling your U.S. Representative and urging him or her to support the bill. 

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Comments

Janine@Hair ExtensionsJun 13 2012 05:27 AM

I am with you guys, how tremendous. You chopped off your hair for a good cause. I once shaved my head when I got to college and that is also for a good cause,it's for the HOME FOR THE AGED and the Homeless Children of the Urban Poor Community .

claudia nesbitJun 13 2012 01:46 PM

I am heart broken, I have written letters, called Representatives and don't know what else I can do. I should've cut my hair on the Capital steps. I am a native born West Virginian living in Florida. I am so disgusted that no one seems to be big enough to stop the coal and oil interests from doing this appalling thing. Keep me informed, I will do all I can to help.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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