Bell County Joining Hands For Coal Rally

Aug 9, 2012

PINEVILLE, Ky. - A southeastern Kentucky man is working to organize a coal rally that would line 17 miles of highway from the Knox-Bell county line to the Cumberland Gap Tunnel.

Joe Harris is the brainchild of Hands of Coal Across Bell County – an event he hopes will attract close to 20-thousand participants.

"It could be one of the largest coal rallies ever assembled in the United States," says Harris, a Pikeville resident.

Sections of the highway have been "adopted" by businesses. Church buses will also carry miners in from Pike, Knox, Letcher, and several other counties to help build the chain. Harris maintains the rally isn’t political but instead a show of support for workers in the industry.

"Our communities here totally thrive off of coal," he adds.

Still, Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock has used the event to call for changes at the EPA. Harris says the plan is for people to line U.S. 25 E on August 11th, then join hands at 2:30 PM, when a prayer will be said for coal miners.