When permit opponents got up to speak, they were booed and shouted down; most were unable to say anything. Retired underground miner Joe Stanley was shouted down as he tried to speak against the permits. "I'm not against mining," Stanley said after the hearing. "We can do underground mining and do it safely."Stanley said the intimidation is the worst he's seen in a career that included rough-and-tumble efforts to organize miners into the UMW. "There were miners in the crowd who said they were getting paid to stomp our asses" he said. If not for two Charleston police officers who intervened, he noted, "death would have occurred to some in our group." (Some permit opponents' lives were threatened.)Several hundred miners and their families couldn't get inside the civic center. They were angry and targeted anyone they thought was an opponent of mountaintop removal. Deanna Goblirsch arrived with three fellow activists, and all were immediately surrounded. "We were screamed ai, and one of us had his shoes spit on," Goblirsch said. "Miners were getting shoulder to shoulder, screaming, 'We're not letting you out of here."'