Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: Why Is Tim DeChristopher Going to Jail While Massey Energy’s CEO Walks Free?

Originally posted at The Nation on July 1, 2011:

Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher is going to jail, but Don Blankenship isn’t—despite the fact that he illegally destroyed an entire mountain range. Why? Because he’s the CEO of Massey Energy Company—and has completely bought off the judicial system in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.

In this conversation with The Nation and On the Earth Productions recorded at Chicago’s Orrington Hotel, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says that we are once again on the verge of losing our democracy to corporate power. Yet instead of surrendering the achievements of the New Deal and Progressive Era, activists need to fight for the middle class and prepare the way for social change. Kennedy has long been active in the environmental justice movement, and his latest efforts to stop mountaintop removal mining are featured in the new documentary, The Last Mountain.