Appalachian Mountain defense and anti-coal direct action is definitely on the rise in Appalachia and the southeast.
Today, four were arrested after crossing a line onto Zeb Mountain in east Tennessee where National Coal Company operates a strip mine. The civil disobedience was part of a larger march organized by United Mountain Defense, Mountain Justice and Three Rivers Earth First! which included “a diversity of coal-impacted citizens ranging from hunters fighting for the state’s wildlife to religious leaders promoting environmental stewardship.”
Eric Blevins, one of those arrested, and a multi-generational Appalachian, said “I crossed an artificial line today because Appalachia is my homeland, and its life is being destroyed far faster than it can regenerate. I wanted to open people’s minds to how insane it is that we allow corporations to own land without loving it and keeping life sustainable.”
Corporations using strip-mining and mountaintop removal and those building new coal fired power plants are being challenged again and again by mountain defenders and anti-coal direct action activists. Furthermore, the financiers of the coal companies are being called out as well.
Legal, regulatory and legislative channels of change are used as well, but more and more often direct action is becoming necessary as corporations hold great power and influence to sway those legal channels.
UPDATE Video from Zeb Mountain