Mtn-top Removal March in Tennessee, 4 Arrests

Charles, 21.07.2008

Four Appalachians were arrested upon crossing onto National Coal Corp.'s mountaintop removal mine on Zeb Mountain in Tennessee, 20 July 2008. The march, with about 80 in attendance, featured traditional Appalachian music, a sermon from a preacher of the movement and a re-worded version of Rocky Top.




4 Arrests in Civil Disobedience on Zeb Mountain

MARCH ON ZEB MOUNTAIN
Organizers Gather in East Tennessee to Protest
Mountaintop Removal

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Tenn., July 10 – Over seventy
residents of Appalachia took a stand for the mountains
this Sunday with an March on Zeb Mountain, a
strip-mining site owned by National Coal Corporation
in East Tennessee. The march included acts of civil
disobedience that resulted in four arrests.
Participants and organizers came from a spectrum of
groups, such as United Mountain Defense, a
Tennessee-based nonprofit organization dedicated to
protecting the state’s land, air, and water,
Christians for the Mountains, a religious organization
promoting environmental conservation, and the
pan-Appalachian environmental coalition known
as Mountain Justice. In the tradition of American civil
disobedience, the march featured a diversity of
lifelong activists and ordinary citizens. The march
of over seventy people began with a prayer led by
Christians for the Mountains and included political
theater, rousing speeches, and proud renditions of the
Tennessee state anthem, “Rocky Top.”

Four activists were arrested at the march, including
three Tennesseeans. “I’m doing this for my
future,” Chris Martin, student of journalism at the
University of Tennessee-Knoxville, said. “We were
very impressed with how professional the cops were,”
Nick Mann, Knoxville resident, said, referring to the
respectful demeanor of the Campbell County Sheriff’s
Office. The sponsors of the event are currently
accepting donations for the arrestee’s legal defense
fund.

The march comes as state legislators continue to
debate the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act, a
bill that would effectively ban mountaintop removal in
the state of Tennessee, and as National Coal threatens
to expand into the Sundquist Wildlife Management Area,
a public access game preserve with rivers flowing
directly into the water supply of state capitol
Nashville, Tennessee. Organizers argue that with coal
prices becoming less competitive than renewable energy
and in-state tourism growing in popularity due to the
rising cost of travel, the mountains of Tennessee are
far more valuable to the state and its citizens if
they are defended as they are, with clean air and
clean streams. More information on the march,
including how to make donations to the legal defense
fund, can be found at the United Mountain Defense
website,
.

PHOTOS:
 http://flickr.com/photos/27090716@N04/
 http://flickr.com/photos/tags/unitedmountaindefense/

Please support these individuals committed to
protecting the mountains of Appalachia by sending jail
support donations to the pay pal account at
.
You can also send checks to:
P.O. Box 20363
Knoxville, TN 37920
Please Mark Check: “For Jail Support”

[article.homepage.prefix]: http://unitedmountaindefense.org




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