4 Arrests in Civil Disobedience on Zeb Mountain

July 20, 2008 at 11:49 pm Leave a comment

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 historic 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 activists 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, <unitedmountaindefense.org>.


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PHOTOS:
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 <www.unitedmountaindefense.org>.

You can also send checks to:
P.O. Box 20363
Knoxville, TN 37920
Please Mark Check: “For Jail Support”

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Entry filed under: southern energy network.

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