FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Fairmont City Manager Jay Rogers says the city was ready for the influx of people for a Tuesday rally from the United Mine Workers of America.
The rally is part of the UMWA’s ongoing fight with Patriot Coal, Arch Coal, and Peabody Coal as union members plan to protest the fallout from the Patriot bankruptcy. Past rallies have drawn as many as 10,000 people.
“Our police force has worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to plan and make arrangements for everything from parking to getting individuals participating in the rally in and out of the area of the rally,” said Rogers.
The last rally the UMWA held in West Virginia was in Charleston back in April and it drew more than 7,000 people. Rogers said that’s why officers have been in contact with police in Charleston, to see how they handled the crowds.
“The best we can do is to take a page from those rallies in Charleston, St. Louis and other areas and prepare for it that way,” says Rogers.
Rogers said he is hoping the average Fairmont resident won’t notice much is happening except for an increase in traffic Tuesday morning. Rogers says most of the interruption in traffic will occur around the Fairmont State University campus.
“They’re not there to disrupt your community, they’re there just to support their cause,” Rogers said about the UMWA members.
The rally is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.