**Congratulations to the filmmakers for winning the Alabama Award in this year's Birmingham Sidewalk Film Festival**
Filmmakers N'Jeri Eaton & Matt Durning both graduates of UC Berkley's School of Journalism produced the following videos and brought attention to this ongoing TVA Kingston coal ash dumping issue in Perry County, Alabama.
In appreciation of their hard work we present it to you here and invite you to please visit their site linked through in this posting.
Mr. Turner steps away from his father's legacy in a shameful way by turning his back on his own people in favor of greed, influencing elections and a self absorbed penchant for personal profit which seems to have become standard practice among many of the Civil Rights groups in Alabama, including the self-declared "christian based" leadership coalitions such as the New South Coalition and Southern Christian Leadership Coalition.
They're often too intimate with big business and fail to serve as their brother's keepers by choosing the altar of the almighty dollar above solidarity with their own who suffer from the constant assaults of their toxic industry neighbors.
It's a downright dirty shame and a sin of egregious proportions.
PERRY COUNTY is a half-hour film documenting the controversial decision to dump millions of tons of coal ash waste from the 2008 spill in Kingston, Tennessee, at a landfill in this poor, disenfranchised, predominantly black county in central Alabama.
The short-term economic benefits of the coal ash are clear: more than $4 million dollars in dumping fees and 80 new temporary jobs in a region desperate for industry. But the long-term health and environmental risks, wholly dismissed by local politicians, have raised a chorus of concern among local residents who question the true cost of this so-called progress.
The man at the center of the coal ash dispute is Albert Turner Jr., a powerful Perry County commissioner and son of respected Civil Rights leader Albert Turner, a key figure in both the Selma to Montgomery march and the passage of the Voting Rights Act. The film reveals how Commissioner Turner exploits his father’s legacy for personal gain, ignoring the serious concerns of the poor, black residents living around the landfill, one of the same communities his father once fought to empower.
A 2005 incident that resulted in legal charges against Mr. Turner which occurred at the time the deal was being made for Perry County to receive the coal ash waste from the TVA Kingston spill.
Judge Lynn Bright found Albert Turner Jr. guilty of harassment in Perry County District Court
Wednesday March 30, 2005
Turner was originally charged with Assault III, but the lesser charge was applied after the probable cause hearing showed conflicting testimony as to what actually happened.According to the complaining witness, Ms.Vinnie Royster, Turner attacked her during a meeting with other Perry County Commissioners regarding comments made by Turner in a radio broadcast the previous Sunday.Turner, while promoting the proposed landfill in Uniontown, referred to those black citizens that opposed the landfill as "hanky-head n*****s."As Royster played a recording of the broadcast for Commissioner Johnny Flowers and others, Turner came into the room and started yelling at Royster; poking her in the chest. Royster poked Turner back, then according to Royster "the next thing I knew, he hit me with his fist".
Turner then reportedly grabbed Royster around the throat, and held her to the ground until other commissioners and two deputies pulled him off of her. Royster had to leave the meeting in an ambulance.It's hard to believe he actually got elected, but he always does through "controversial elections" and he seems hell bent on destroying the "hanky heads" who opposed his plans for his personal enrichment scheme, courtesy of the coal ash dump business he was responsible for, and by doing so, he brought great distress to Perry County, Alabama.
Turner was ordered to pay a fine of $400, court costs, and restitution to be worked out at a later date. He's stated he will appeal the case to Circuit Court, where he wants his case heard before a jury.
Turner is running for the Alabama House Seat in District 72, which includes most of Marengo County.