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In a Democracy Now! special interview, legendary independent filmmaker John Sayles discusses his film “Matewan,” which chronicles an efforts of Appalachia coal miners to organize a union. He talks about the Battle of Blair Mountain, which more than 10,000 coal miners confronted an army of police and strikebreakers, backed by the coal companies, who were attempting to disrupt efforts to unionize the West Virginia coal fields. Saylor also talked about the “second battle for Blair Mountain,” which is the effort to stop mountaintop-removal coal mining from destroying the mountain range. Saylor also talks about the ongoing efforts by the Republicans to dismantle unions across the United States.

This is an excerpt of an 45-minute interview with John Sayles. To watch the uninterrupted interview, download the podcast, read the transcript, and for more information about Democracy Now!, visit

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