Judy Bonds, the fearlessly outspoken activist and community organizer who devoted her life to saving her native Appalachian mountains from the ravages of mountaintop removal coal mining, passed away Monday.
The daughter of a coal miner, Julia Bonds was fiercely dedicated to the cause of ending dangerous coal practices and combatting the myth of ‘clean coal,’ which she could often be heard pointing out is a “dirty lie.”
She was an inspiration to me personally, and I’m fortunate to have met and talked with her often over the years. She will be dearly missed. But her legacy lives on in the thousands of lives she touched, and her memory will serve as a continuing inspiration to everyone who wants to see America and the rest of the world end our addiction to dirty coal.
Jeff Biggers has a wonderful tribute to Judy on the Huffington Post, and JW Randolph has another tribute at Appalachian Voices. WTRF in West Virginia reports that Coal River Mountain Watch, the group that Bonds led, is planning a memorial service but a date has not been set yet.
Watch a special tribute celebrating Judy Bonds’ life below:
Portrait of Judy Bonds by Robert Shetterly.