14 Protestors Arrested At TVA Headquarters In "Die In"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dozens of activists from across the country on Saturday staged a demonstration at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s headquarters, which resulted in the arrest of 14 individuals.

The protestors were participating in a "die in" in front of the building.

They said the event was held "in solidarity with communities affected by the destructive impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining and the survivors of the recent coal ash disaster in Harriman."

“It is time for TVA to take full responsibility for its destructive behavior,” Eric Blevins, an organizer with Mountain Justice, said.

He said, “They need to support the recovery of the community that is still being hurt by the ash disaster, and take an active role in the transition away from dirty and dangerous practices towards renewable energy and healthier jobs.”

Saturday’s demonstration began with a rally in Market Square, where organizers from United Mountain Defense, and Mountain Justice "spoke about coal's impact from cradle to grave on communities in Appalachia and the surrounding area."

The crowd then marched through downtown Knoxville and ended at TVA’s headquarters. At the end of the march "people interested in participating in civil disobedience gave a statement as to why they wanted to take this action. With the support of a singing crowd each participant fell to the ground representing the deaths caused by the coal industry."

After a few minutes Knoxville law enforcement informed the participants that they were blocking the sidewalk, and that they needed to remove themselves from the area. That's when 14 people were arrested and cited.

TVA owns and operates the Kingston coal plant, where last December an impoundment failed, spilling 1.6 billion gallons of coal ash waste over an area of 400 acres.

Bonnie Swinford, full time volunteer for United Mountain Defense, said, “The massive toxic fly ash disaster is just one more reason that coal is filthy. Coal fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, is an end result of the dirty life-cycle of coal, which often begins with surface mining and mountaintop removal, followed by a washing process that produces coal toxin concentrate known as slurry. Mountaintop removal coal extraction has destroyed almost 500 mountains, and, in addition to coal slurry, continues to destroy water sources across Appalachia.”

The group said mountaintop removal "is the most destructive method of coal extraction, in which mountains are blown up to expose coal seams. This process destroys fragile mountain ecosystems, fills valleys and streams with waste, and leaves behind billions of gallons of toxic coal sludge that contaminates essential drinking water supplies for many cities surrounding Appalachia."

The demonstration was part of what the group called "an escalating series of protests across the country calling for immediate action on the coal industry’s destructive practices, including recent arrests in the Coal River Valley, West Va., on March 5 and the Capital Climate Action, where on March 2 nearly 3,000 protesters closed all entrances to the Capitol Coal Plant in Washington, D.C."


Additional County Schools Shifting To Remote Learning Due To High COVID Numbers

Hamilton County Reports 6 Previous Deaths From COVID And 745 New Cases

Georgia Reports 113 More Coronavirus Deaths And 16,707 New Cases


Additional county schools are shifting to remote learning due to high COVID numbers. Officials said on Thursday that 1,145 students and 300 staff had active COVID cases. School officials ... (click for more)

The Hamilton County Health Department on Thursday reported 745 new positive COVID-19 cases, up from 600 on Wednesday. The total number of cases in the county now stands at 81,825. There were ... (click for more)

Georgia state health officials reported on Thursday there have been 113 additional deaths due to the coronavirus. The current total is 26,967. There are 16,707 new cases reported on Thursday, ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Additional County Schools Shifting To Remote Learning Due To High COVID Numbers

Additional county schools are shifting to remote learning due to high COVID numbers. Officials said on Thursday that 1,145 students and 300 staff had active COVID cases. School officials said, "The health and well-being of all Hamilton County students and staff has and will always be our highest priority. We are monitoring the current wave of COVID-19 spreading across ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Reports 6 Previous Deaths From COVID And 745 New Cases

The Hamilton County Health Department on Thursday reported 745 new positive COVID-19 cases, up from 600 on Wednesday. The total number of cases in the county now stands at 81,825. There were six more deaths from the virus in Hamilton County reported on Thursday, for a total of 952. “Of the six deaths reported today by the Health Department, all are deaths added as part of ... (click for more)

Opinion

My Family Is Afraid And So Am I, A Tale Of American Healthcare

My father fears what I’m about to say will make me unable to find a job in the future. He may be right. My whole family worries about my health, as do I, and we have good reason to do so. I feel now more than ever that I must speak up regardless of consequence or retribution because to remain silent about this truly and uniquely American experience would be wrong. I did all the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Works

I was driving south on 153 back to East Brainerd and looking out at the mountains in the distance and the lake so calm now and thought to myself, Chattanooga is a good place to be and a good place to be in constant awe of the beauty that surrounds us. I am not native to Chattanooga, nor the south, but more and more I love it. There is another point that needs to be shared and ... (click for more)

Sports

Mocs Grind Out SoCon Win At UNCG, 72-64

With four players scoring in double digits and a stellar performance from the free-throw line, the Chattanooga Mocs men's basketball team grinded its way to its first win in Greensboro since 2016 and defeated UNCG 72-64 inside the Greensboro Coliseum in Southern Conference action on Thursday evening. Following the victory, Chattanooga improves to 15-4 overall and sits atop ... (click for more)

UTC Women Rally Past Western Carolina, 55-48

Chattanooga battled back from a nine-point halftime deficit for its third straight win, beating Western Carolina 55-48 at The McKenzie Arena Thursday night in Southern Conference women’s basketball action. The win was the 900 th in program history for the Mocs, 39 th best in NCAA Division I history. The Mocs improve to 5-14 overall and 3-1 in SoCon play while WCU falls to ... (click for more)