Protests begin on blocking of rural, public highways throughout West Virginia

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Citizens protesting for their country roads…

Raleigh County residents are losing access to public highways used for over 10 years.

“Land companies have leased out all of the property around where we live,” said Protestor William Ellison. “They’re blocking all of our roads that we’ve been riding for years.”

The public pays taxes on these highways in Raleigh County. A New Jersey consulting company places gates blocking these roads that were previously open to all residents

“They’re building hunting groups,” said Protestor Lucy Lester. “These hunting groups, they’re telling them ‘hey, put the gates up.’ These gates are obstruction of the roadways that we ride every day.

The goal of this protest, and others to follow, is freedom. Freedom from a company based in a different state. Freedom to use public roads. Freedom to continue traditions in place long before the gates blocking these highways.

“I feel like I’m blocked in my own community,” said Protestor Rita Price. “I’m not free to do the things I’ve always done for years and years.

“It’s not just here. It’s other counties.”

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