BREAKING NEWS: Reformed State of West Virginia Declared, Elected Leaders Left Scrambling
What started as a major demonstration in Wheeling, West Virginia, has now spread throughout the Mountain State. Protesters are demanding the abolition of the "corporate owned state government."
The sun rose this morning on a crowd of 100,000 people demonstrating outside of West Virginia’s Independence Hall, filling the Downtown Wheeling area with protesters packed shoulder-to-shoulder. What began as months of simmering anger during another state Legislative session prioritizing culture wars and big businesses has now boiled over into an unprecedented, popular uprising.
Visible in the crowd are union members, coal miners, oil & gas workers, healthcare workers, food & retail workers, social service providers, firefighters, sanitation workers – practically every microcosm of the state’s workforce is here. Average West Virginians of every race, age, and creed took to the streets with hands holding signs, pictures, and ramps, causing some to call the movement the Ramp Revolution. Nothing in the history of West Virginia can compare to this moment, eclipsing even the Mine Wars of the early 1900s.
The mood was jubilant in spite of the windy morning. Music, dancing, and singing were witnessed as other groups attending began handing out water, coffee, and snacks. It is unclear at the moment who, if anyone, has organized this demonstration, but what is clear is the people here are serious. By dawn the City of Wheeling government building had already been peacefully occupied, while others symbolically occupied the First State Capitol and West Virginia Independence Hall.
Many held signs and banners. Among them read, “The people united will never be divided,” and “159 years of corporate control ends now.” As mentioned many demonstrators, especially younger folk, carried handfuls of ramps which they passed out to fellow protesters, who used them to decorate popular monuments and statues around the city.
A person who wished to remain anonymous told me the ramps were a symbol. “For too long the business owners and politicians and bankers have profited off us average folk,” they told me. “These people are like vampires, and these ramps are our garlic.” I spoke with other folks in attendance, as well.
Andrea Lovejoy (Mingo Co) told me the reign of corporations and their elected-accomplices must end. As a social worker, Lovejoy says the state should be prioritizing her work and her patients; instead, they attack transgender kids and raise PEIA premiums. “I’ve never been able to get caught up,” Lovejoy said of her bills. “For thirty years I’ve worked for this state and what do I get? A choice between food and my house.”
Bruce Johnson (Pendleton Co) says recent bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor weakening coal company’s responsibility for care related to injuries incurred on the job was the last straw. “I’ve given ten of my best years to so-called ‘king-coal.’ People like Big Jim [Justice] always bring guys like me up on the road, but chuck us under the bus at every chance.” Johnson said he was here fighting for his kid’s future.
Jimmy (Ohio Co) tells me he’s experienced homelessness on-and-off for three years now. “The services in Wheeling are great, but these people are struggling too. They’re a paycheck from being like me.” Reflecting on the lack of affordable housing, Jimmy told me, “Those people down in Charleston can find money for everything in the world but gettin’ people houses. Good, sturdy houses that don’t flood and don’t leak.” Jimmy says if the state focused on houses instead of hostile culture wars, people like himself wouldn’t struggle so much. “I’m a veteran. I joined the army cause you grow up in Pocahontas County there aren’t many options to pay for school or get a good job. I came home sick and they threw me aside. I’ve struggled ever since.”
Speakers outside the West Virginia Independence Hall called for the abolition of the entire state government and for a new, people led government to take its place. The crowd, three-times Wheeling’s native population, roared with applause and cheers. One woman representing West Virginia University’s Black Student Union said this movement was for all those forgotten and hurt by the State Legislature.
“This Ramp Revolution will stand for the poor; for the homeless; for the struggling workers; for the sick; for the people with disabilities; for the transgender and queer people; for the family living paycheck to paycheck; for everyone these so called ‘elected’ aggressors has targeted for decades. We the people declare a Reformed State of West Virginia. A state made by us; a state that serves us.” The woman ended her speech by singing Which Side Are You On?, the iconic 1931 protest song written by Florence Reece for the striking United Mine Workers in Harlan County, Kentucky.
Another speaker implored demonstrators to march throughout the state, county-by-county, to peacefully liberate the oppressed people of West Virginia and to establish true democracy. As if led by an invisible force the group headed the request, with a few thousand marching north on WV Route 2 to spread the word to Brooke and Hancock counties, while the majority began their long march south down US Route 250. Maps were quickly dispersed showing the ideal routes to cover the entire state. The groups planned to split ways near Parkersburg, some traveling further south along the Ohio River while others went East towards Clarksburg and the Eastern Panhandle. Each route eventually leads to Charleston.
A group of around 10,000 stayed in Wheeling and began organizing the Reformed State of West Virginia. News of the proclamation spread like wildfire throughout the state while most corporate news stations tried to downplay the size of the crowds. In an apparent effort to change the narrative Doug Skaff, Democratic Minority Leader in the House of Delegates and President of HD Media, has reportedly fired every employee at the Charleston Gazette, Herald-Dispatch, and other owned-papers, after reporters tried breaking the Ramp Revolution story. Skaff has been live-streaming a conversation with Don Blankenship, known terrible human being, about Blankenship’s upcoming book “Fuck You, I’m Rich” since 6:00 AM this morning.
Governor Jim Justice was seen with Babydog and his wife, Cathy Justice, on his golf cart speeding through White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Local journalists asked the Governor if he would accept the new Reformed State of West Virginia, to which he replied, “Now you know and I know and we know and you know that this is all just nonsense and what not.” When asked if he was going to The Greenbrier to hide in the bunker, Governor Justice suddenly launched Babydog at the reporters and made race car noises with his mouth. Two journalists sustained minor scrapes. Babydog was unharmed.
Senator Mike Stuart of Charleston put out a statement accusing the hundreds of thousands of West Virginians protesting of being “funded by Soros” and “out-of-state antifa leftist woke mob groomer RINOs.” He went on to post a video of himself praying to Donald Trump to “save our state and protect my wealth.” Stuart is shown tears and snot streaming down his face.
Unconfirmed reports from an anonymous staff member at the Attorney General’s office allege Patrick Morrisey began smashing computers and burning records upon hearing the news, apparently fearful the years of wrong-doings would be found out. Morrisey was seen boarding a private jet, potentially headed to his home state of New Jersey.
The offices of Rep Alex Mooney and Rep Carol Miller could not be reached for comment. Both office numbers returned an automated response, "We're sorry, you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service."
Sen Joe Manchin’s office answered with someone speaking in an obviously fake Russian accent alleging a wrong phone number. To our surprise, Sen Shelley Moore Capito answered her office phone, but when asked about the Ramp Revolution the Senator started whistling the theme of Jeopardy! before hanging up.
This is an ongoing, breaking news event. At the time of publication the crowd of protesters has reached Braxton County, with attendance now estimated at 500,000. This truly unprecedented, popular, peaceful uprising seems on pace to successfully topple the corporate funded State government. As we learn more we will update this story.
Happy April Fools Day!!
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