CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police arrested five people after they hung a large banner in downtown Roanoke to protest West Virginia coal billionaire Jim Justice's mining operations.
The banner was strung between two buildings Thursday morning. Police Sgt. J.H. Bowdel tells The Roanoke Times that officers removed the protesters from the rooftops of the buildings. They will be charged with trespassing.
Bowdel says the protesters had book bags containing climbing equipment, including rope and safety vests.
The environmental groups Mountain Justice, Rising Tide North America and Radical Action for Mountain and People's Survival say in a news release that they hung the banner to protest the practices of Justice's mines.
Last month, Justice reached a $1.5 million settlement with Kentucky officials over dozens of violations at several of his coal mines in eastern Kentucky regarding how they were being reclaimed once the mining was finished.
Today WSAZ.com asked Justice about the settlements.
"There's misconceptions and really unusual views about what's going on and they're surely different than mine and I want to be respectful of them and I hope they're respectful of me," Justice explained Thursday.
Justice has until September of 2015 to complete reclamation work at those locations.