Acknowledging Ludlow, Colorado
Come brothers and sisters to the ghost town of Ludlow, Colorado.
Here I am on the D&RG Railroad south out of Walsenburg, the remains of a small coal-mining community—three abandoned shacks and a granite monument put up by the United Mine Workers that reads;
Of the Men, Women and Children Who Lost Their Lives in Freedom’s Cause at Ludlow, Colorado
April 20, 1914
For we believed in working wages and humane living conditions when Rockefeller said, “Get me our tin-horn Colorado Governor. Put an end to the miners.”
$1.68 a day
Paid in scrip
Instead, we got lead;
Louis Tikas, age: 30 years
James Fyler, age: 43 years
John Bartolotti, age: 45 years
Charlie Costa, age: 31 years
Fedelina Costas, age: 27 years
Onafrio Costa, age: 4 years
Frank Rubino, age: 23 years
Patria Valdez, age: 37 years
Eulala Valdez, age: 8 years
Mary Valdez, age: 7 years
Elvira Valdez, age: 3 months
Joe Petrucci, age: 4 ½ years
Lucy Petrucci, age: 2 ½ years
Frank Petrucci, age: 4 months
William Snyder Jr, age: 11 years
Rodgerlo Pedregone, age: 6 years
Cloriva Pedregone, age: 4 year
Come brothers and sisters, learn about the coal that powers Las Vegas, LA and Phoenix.
I am here on The Black Mesa region of Arizona, indigenous home of the Diné (Navajo) and HOPI peoples, and I am the location of the largest coal deposit in the United States, with approximately 21 billion tons of coal.
Peabody Western Coal Company (if you don’t know, private bankers, big gov and front-end operators) begins to strip mine Black Mesa in 1968, North America’s largest strip mining operation and site of the only operating long-distance coal slurry pipeline (owned by Southern Pacific).
Black Mesa Coal Slurry Pipeline
Peabody pumps over a billion gallons of water from the Black Mesa aquifer each year to make the coal slurry. My groundwater evaporates.
Here at the Kayenta Mine, they take the coal that powers Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix. For more than three decades, they carry away my coal on the long freight trains.
My water depleted, my air spoiled, my people die.
John McCain they call and he does their work, authoring the relocation of twelve thousand Navajos, the largest removal of Native Americans since the 1880s, in the 1974 Navajo-Hopi Settlement Act.
Now McCain comes again with John Kyl and the 2012 Little Colorado Water Rights Settlement to take from the HOPI and Navajo, to take the water I’ve given them, to take “in perpetuity”.
~ Stephen J. Bergstrom