Zeb Mountain Destruction Halted by Escalating Anti Mountain Top Mining Campaign in Tennessee
Knoxville, TN - As dawn approached this morning, activists stood on an ancient Appalachian mountain in a dramatic protest against mountain top mining. This is the first time a mountain has been taken over in the struggle to protect the Appalachian Mountains from the devastating practices of mountain top mining. Dedicated citizens are blockading National Coal's strip mine in scenic Campbell County, Tennessee to halt the destruction of Zeb Mountain. Activists affiliated with MountainJusticeSummer.org and Katuah Earth First! are using creative non violent tactics to bring attention to the modern atrocity of mountain top mining.
In an unprecedentated non violent intervention, individuals are blockading the entrance to the mine by locking themselves to a car on the haul road and sitting in a tripod to prevent access to the mine. Other activists have locked themselves to drilling equipment. Citizens are using their bodies to create a giant "no blast" zone across the mountain. These drastic tactics are being used because strip mining companies are not allowed to use explosives when unauthorized people are nearby. "Coal companies bend and break laws in order to blow apart Tennessee's mountain headwaters. Since regulatory agencies refuse to protect our mountains, non violent citizen intervention has become necessary. We stand for the preservation of the mountains, water, forests, and communities of Appalachia" said Maria Johnson of Kingsport, TN. "These mountains are our homes, and they are being stolen and destroyed by companies like National Coal and this must be stopped. To put my body between the mountain and the companies' machines may be the only way to stop them" said Nable Wallin of Asheville, NC.
Zeb Mountain is located above beautiful Elk Valley in Campbell County, just 40 miles north of Knoxville, TN.
(Directions Below) Mountain top mining practices involve removing the tops and sides off mountains with explosives and heavy equipment to access thin seams of coal.
"We are reclaiming Appalachia. We are calling on Governor Bredesen to do the same by enforcing Tennessee's water quality laws and baning mountain top mining" said Mere Burton, perched upon a tripod in the middle of the road on Zeb Mountain.
(Directions: From I-75, North of Knoxville, take exit
141 to Hwy 63W. Follow 63W for 4.3 miles and turn right at the Pioneer Post Office on to 297E. Follow the road 5 miles down, passing a cabinet shop and a church on left. About 1/2 mile after that, turn left onto Lick Fork Rd the mine site is about an eighth of a mile down on right.)
Hourly updates, including photos and quotes available at //www.MountainJusticeSummer.org