Over the weekend, a group of protestors affiliated with the group Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival (RAMPS) managed to shut down operations at Patriot Coal’s Hobet strip mine in Lincoln County, W.Va. Some 20 were arrested; most remain behind bars, facing high bail and likely the most severe charges West Virginia authorities think to throw at them.

During their protest, they faced threats and intimidation from locals and police alike. Here, one woman who attended the protests, Gail Zawacki, shares her personal experience and thoughts. I don’t agree with everything expressed, but I think it’s a valuable look into the mechanics and psychology of activism in coal country.