National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Aug 30-Sept 12, 2013

Union father inspires priest's stand with miners

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Sitting on the pavement wearing a clear plastic poncho, Fr. Andy Switzer knew the drill.

The rain-soaked labor rally held July 9 at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, W.Va., had just concluded as police arrested him and 29 others sitting in the street adjacent to a football practice field that hosted more than 5,000 miners and supporters from eight states. Through a pre-arranged deal, police handcuffed the protesters and transported them to the station, where the union paid their bails.

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