On Wednesday, January 20th, TVA police pulled over United Mountain Defense (UMD) volunteer Matt Landon Jones and two journalists from the North Carolina based newspaper “The Appalachian Voice” for no apparent reason. They were on their way to a previously scheduled appointment to interview a local resident of Roane County who had been devastated by the TVA coal ash disaster. After detaining them and taking away their video cameras, the TVA police searched them and their vehicle and then arrested them on charges that have not been made clear. While on the phone with Jones, UMD volunteer Bonnie Swinford heard Jones asking the officer if he was being arrested, to which the officer answered “yes.” When Jones then asked the officer what he was being arrested for, the officer replied, “I’ll get back to you.” At that point the phone connection was broken. They are now being processed at the Roane County jail and no information about charges is being shared with us at this time. This arrest follows a pattern of TVA police harassing UMD volunteers and members of the press who are trying to help victims of the TVA disaster and get their stories out. See videos of Police harassment below.
We need help with bail money. Please send checks marked “For January 20 arrest.”
United Mountain Defense
PO Box 20363
Knoxville, TN 37920
Or donate online at www.unitedmountaindefense.org by using the yellow paypal button on the right side of the home page.