“March for Minden” Receives City Permit

MINDEN, WV (WOAY) – Members of the Minden community and their allies are thrilled to receive notice that the march they are planning for Saturday, June 8th has been permitted by the City of Oak Hill. This march is a planned reenactment of the march that took place thirty years ago in June of 1989 that was organized by Minden activists to bring attention to the PCB issue and show solidarity on the 1989 Toxics National Day of Action. Minden community members today are planning on walking the same exact 1989 route and keeping the 2019 march as historically accurate as possible.

Annetta Coffman, lifelong Minden resident explains why she will be marching,“Since almost every resident currently living in Minden has lost a loved one  and some have lost several loved ones due to cancers and other illnesses, i feel that any resident capable of participating in the March should do so. That gives their loved ones a continued voice in the the issues still plaguing Minden, decades after the original March. That’s why the March is important to me, to give my loved ones, such as my mom who died of cancer, a voice still and show that we intend on fighting until the PCB epidemic in Minden is completely resolved and no one else has to suffer at its hands.”

Minden WV has been faced with the threat of living amongst the toxic chemical, Poly-Chlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) for many decades.  In the 1980’s and 1990’s a group of dedicated activists started the Concerned Citizens to Save Fayette County to address the issues in Minden after learning of the toxic effects of PCB’s. “Being a part of CCSFC was, what I felt, my obligation to my family and friends.” said Sue Workman, an original member of the Concerned Citizens to Save Fayette County.  In the present day, concerned Minden residents are addressing these issues as the Minden Community Action Team.

Susie Worley- Jenkins of the Minden Community Action Team explains,“This march is to show people we are still trying to get help for the people of minden. We are also remembering and paying respect to people like Lucian Randall who helped with testing and even pushed  a drum to the city park in the 1989 march. He later passed away with cancer. Larry Rose chairman also walked the walk. Thirty five people of minden and many environmentalists from other states participated.”

The purpose of the march is to raise awareness about the issues facing Minden, remember the many lives that have been lost, show support for those that are currently suffering from PCB related illness, and show respect for the work done by the Concerned citizens to save fayette County in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The Minden Community Action Team is seeking support and participation from communities surrounding Minden, local churches, organizations, businesses, and the general public. Workman, who was consulted for historical correctness and direction in planning the event. “I think the more awareness an issue garners the better.” The Minden community Action Team has invited other groups that are living with the issues of toxic pollution in their communities as well.

The group wants to send the make sure the public knows that the concerned citizens to save Fayette County laid the groundwork for the current fight in Minden.”The EPA made many mistakes with this I hope they get it right after 4 attempts to fix it. The original group was right all along.” said worley-Jenkins

People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate in the “March for Minden”.  The Minden Community Action team is currently planning logistics to make the event as accommodating as possible with water, bathroom and shade stops along the route.  For those that cannot walk the 2.8 mile route, a motorcade has been permitted to follow right behind the march so that supporters can drive the route if needed.

Darrel Thomas, who has been working to raise awareness about the issues in Minden through photographs and videos said, “After 30 years, marching for justice is only reasonable.”

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