A group of Quaker activists protesting mountaintop-removal mining has achieved its goal of walking from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.
The group made the walk to call attention to the fact PNC Bank is the country’s leading financier of mountaintop-removal mining, a practice where extractors literally blow off the tops of mountains, in order to access coal seems.
The Post-Gazette reports on the end of the activists’ journey:
Along highways, back roads, and through peaceful battles with PNC branches at every stop, the Philadelphia-based group’s message to the bank remained: Agree to stop financing companies that conduct mountaintop removal coal mining by May 31 or more than $2 million will be removed from supporter accounts.
When the journey finally ended, it was no surprise to EQAT that an invitation to James Rohr, chairman and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group, and William Demchak, president of PNC, to meet with the group and speak with residents affected by mountaintop removal wasn’t accepted.
Nor was PNC’s decision to continue to decline to address the issue publicly.
“There’s nothing they can say, because they know they’re wrong,” said Amy Ward Brimmer, executive director-elect of EQAT. “My sense of it is that until we become such a risk that they have to respond, they are probably going to try to keep burying their heads in the sand. They are going to have to respond, eventually.”
PNC has not commented on the protest: neither to the Post-Gazette nor to the Patriot-News, which covered the protests when they reached Harrisburg.