(UMD PRESS RELEASE – 12-26-2008) Members of United Mountain Defense take boat ride along TVA ash pond failure

For Immediate Release: December 26, 2008

United Mountain Defense
Matt Landon
(865) 689-2778
[email protected]

www.unitedmountaindefense.org

Thursday, December 25, 2008

United Mountain Defense and Independent Media volunteers have been on the ground since December 22, 2008 gathering water samples of the coal sludge, learning all we could from local residents, handing out free education materials, and documenting TVA’s coal ash pond spill. On Christmas Day two United Mountain Defense volunteers got in a boat and paddled out into the Emory River to gather water samples and an hour of video footage from the point where the ash spill meets the river. TVA has stated that the Coast Guard is on site, there are silt fences on site, and they were constructing a gravel levy around the spill.

United Mountain Defense volunteer staff person Matt Landon stated, “We launched a boat after witnessing three kayakers paddle unhindered yesterday. To our surprise there was no Coast Guard onsite. We did not have to paddle over any TVA installed silt fences. We did not have to portage over any TVA built gravel levy. We did not see any fish. There was a large number of seagulls hanging out on the newly formed ash islands and the water was very shallow in some parts.”

The coal ash, slurry or sludge is a byproduct left over after TVA burns their coal. It contains
mercury and dangerous heavy metals like lead and arsenic, among many other potentially toxic and
radioactive contaminates. Materials found naturally in coal are concentrated in the ash and become more toxic when burned and released from the coal carbon base. “As we floated along we were trying to figure out where TVA would store all of this toxic waste,” said Matt Landon United Mountain Defense volunteer staff person.

A tragedy 40 times bigger than the Exxon Valdez Oil spill occurred outside of Kingston, TN.
Residents living near the Tennessee Valley Authority(TVA) Kingston coal power plant were flooded with
approximately 500 million gallons of nasty black coal waste. “Many of the ash piles looked like a twisted grey version of the Bad Lands in South Dakota. While being surrounded by the oldest mountain range in the world, the Appalachians, we were floating amongst the youngest mountain range in the world. We named the highest peak Mt. Ash,” said Matt Landon UMD volunteer staff person. The coal ash covered more than 200 acres of land and flooded into tributaries of the Tennessee River which is the water
supply for Chattanooga TN and millions of people living downstream in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

TVA now admits that the ash does have heavy metals but that it is not toxic and that
preliminary water tests show that the drinking water at the nearby water treatment facility meets standards. “There was a cream colored film floating on the water. At some times it looked like chocolate milk and may have been almost that thick. This ash was floating downstream unhindered as the current was strong enough to push our boat through the muck with some force at points. The flow was directed at the intake valves of the Kingston Water Utility,” said Matt Landon United Mountain Defense volunteer staff person. The problem is that many of the families in the impacted area do not have access to safe drinking water because their water is being piped through the spill area from a nearby spring or they depend on well water.

TVA is advising some families to boil water however they are not informing anyone about the reasons for needing to boil the water or sharing any chemicals that may be present in their water. On Christmas Eve members of the nonprofit United Mountain Defense were going door to door delivering bottled water and passing out information about the chemicals that may be present in the impacted drinking water. We also gathered parallel samples of the tainted tap water in glass and plastic bottles. United Mountain Defense volunteers met one man who had been vomiting for 12 hours after drinking coffee made from his un-boiled tap water. We also met a lady whose dogs had vomited after drinking the un-boiled tap water. Many people living in the coal ash spill area have not received any warnings to boil their water or notices that their water is safe. A woman’s cat threw up after drinking this supposedly safe tap water.

Many people in the area are frustrated they had not received detailed information from TVA. Everyone’s power has been restored but many people still don’t have clean water. Some people were given motel rooms by TVA while others living on the same street have still not been contacted by TVA. It appears that TVA officials have chosen who to contact based on other issues including the resident’s income level, whether the TVA representatives know the local resident, or the local resident’s political stance on TVA’s activities. Many local residents reported feeling like prisoners while trying to pass through police roadblocks to their homes within the disaster area.

Many residences say that they are not surprised by the flood because TVA has been fixing leaks in the
retention wall for years and one person said this wall had been leaking for months before it broke.

For more information please visit www.unitedmountaindefense.org or call 865-689-2778 or 865-257-4029.


12-25-2008: Update from UMD

(Please post to any and all websites, blogs, and online news sources.)

Dear folks,

For most of my life Christmas morning was a time of hanging out in my pajamas, opening presents, eating really good food, and spending time with my family. This year was a little different. I spent Christmas in the man-made disaster that used to surround TVA’s Kingston Coal Burning Power Plant. Due to TVA’s negligence a HUGE coal ash pond exploded into the surrounding countryside dumping HUGE amounts of toxins into the local environment. I awoke around 9am to begin the day’s work. I was greeted by an online edition of a front page article in the New York Times which ran today covering this breaking news story. I was happy to see the article listed on the front page but I was dismayed to see that the writer had missed some of the most important information that we had offered. United Mountain Defense’s Volunteer Co-ordinator had spent nearly an hour on the phone yesterday getting the NYT up to speed on the issue and when I read the article there was no mention of United Mountain Defense or our Volunteer Co-ordinator.

The NYT got it wrong when they said, ” On Swan Pond Road, home to the residences nearest the plant, a group of environmental advocates went door to door telling residents that boiling their water, as officials had suggested, would not remove heavy metals.” At no time did we tell people that their water had heavy metals in it as we have not done any laboratory testing and have not seen any test results that claim otherwise. We merely suggested that other coal impacted citizens have had problems with their water and that heavy metals were found in other people’s water. The info that we have been passing out to the people is pasted below and is found in the above attachments.

Please we want national, international, and intergalactic media coverage on this issue, but we want to keep the facts straight.

So once I was able to lasso United Mountain Defense’s volunteer force away from their families during this holiday season we headed down to ground zero, Harriman TN. The time was nearly 1pm. TVA had promised everyone that they were so on top of it that they would continue to work through this holiday in order to fix the problem. The work that we observed TVA doing today was continuing to work to clear the railroad track. This is a necessity to TVA because if they can’t get more coal to the Kingston Coal Plant then they can’t produce more coal ash to dump on people’s front lawns. We also observed a trench being dug to place water pipes for a large water pump that was being brought in pump the Frost Hollow Spring water out of a local farmer’s backyard before it floods any more of his barn and threatens to flood his house. This farmer wanted to plant a garden in the fertile ground of the flood plain near the fresh water spring in about 4 months. After we gave him info about what may be in the coal waste he asked me if I would plant a garden on that coal waste floodplain. It was like a knife in my gut when I said I would not. He thanked me for my honesty.

After the work of the past three days delivering info, water, friendly smiles, and handshakes we began receiving phone calls from local residents who were confused, had questions, concerns, and were very mad about the destruction and disruption of their lives. We had an hour long meeting with a resident who feared the impacts to the property value of her house and property. She was concerned about the fact that selling her house would become practically impossible because who wanted to buy a house next to an industrial superfund site. I think this was a valid concern. She also understood that this was not going to be a problem that would be over in 4-6 weeks as TVA had originally told the media. As we chatted, the bigger picture began to unfold before her eyes that this problem would most likely persist for a decade or longer. She also informed us that her cat had vomited after drinking the tap water. No one in her neighborhood had received any notices that their drinking water was impacted by the spill. They had not received any notices to boil their water. She and her cats were now drinking bottled water. She also informed us that TVA had lied when they stated,” Every one of the affected residents has been contacted.” She had not been contacted by anyone from TVA, the water department, or the sheriff’s department. She lives within a mile radius of the disaster zone. As we continue to learn more we are seeing that this story is not an isolated one. TVA is a liar, liar with pants on fire!

As we have been traveling within the disaster zone we have encountered some residents who are very mad about the continued police presence at the entrances to their homes. These residents are shocked to see Independent Media making it through the check points when locals can’t make it through without showing identification and being interrogated. At the same time some of these residents want the media to be allowed through to help get the story out. The media just hasn’t been there for them. I assured them that Independent Media was on their side and was sharing their stories without divulging their identities unless they gave permission. This is what media solidarity looks like!

After our chat we set out to find the silt screens, Coast Guard, gravel berm, and live fish that TVA has been advertising as truths in the Emory River adjacent to the spill site. We launched a boat after witnessing three kayakers yesterday. To our surprise we were not chased down by the Coast Guard. We did not have to paddle over any silt fences. We did not have to portage over any gravel berms. We did not have to look hard to miss the fisherman or fish. Fortunately we took the digital video camera and captured almost an hour of spill footage from the river. The number of seagulls hanging out on the newly formed islands was incredible. Hopefully they were not scavenging any dead fish floating in the ash laden water. The water was very shallow in some parts. There was cream colored film floating on the water. At some times it looked like chocolate milk and may have been almost that thick. This ash was floating downstream unhindered as the current was strong enough to push our boat through the muck with some force at points. The flow was directed at the intake valves of the Kingston Water Utility. As we floated along we were trying to figure out where TVA would store all of this toxic waste. We figured out they were probably planning on storing a good portion of it in the bodies of Kingston residents. A few times while using the camera and framing the ash piles correctly it appeared as though we were looking at a twisted version grey version of the Bad Lands in South Dakota. While being surrounded by the oldest mountain range in the world we were floating amongst the youngest mountain range in the world. We named the highest peak Mt. Ash. We also gathered a sample of the ash using a paddle. As the sun set behind the Kingston Coal Plant Smoke Stacks we cleared the channel, packed up and headed home for the night.

Today has been a Christmas that I am not likely to ever forget. I didn’t get to stay in my pajamas but I got to help sharpen the stake that will non violently be driven through the heart of TVA. East Tennessee and Appalachia has always been a stronghold of revolutionary movements and I am proud to continue in that long history!!!!

Hey want to help???

  1. You need to begin sending requests to the Environmental Protection Agency, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, TVA, State of TN, Congressional Hearings, and anyone else you can think of to request public hearings. United Mountain Defense is mobilizing people here and they are plenty mad. We are ground truthing to provide accurate info to inform you, the public. We need your help in bringing the TVA criminals and their crimes into the light.
  2. United Mountain Defense needs money to purchase water for these coal impacted residents. On Dec 24, 2008 United Mountain Defense Volunteers passed out over 50 gallons of water to 30 households. We are going to deliver more water tomorrow. We are buying water at $1.39 a gallon at the local Krogers.
  3. United Mountain Defense needs general support funds as we are an all volunteer run organization. We mainly get funds from bake sales, spaghetti dinners, and dance/ house parties. Any funds you could send would be used for our valuable work only. United Mountain Defense is a 501c3 non-profit. You can read what we spend money on and we keep all receipts.

Alright, Thank you for your time.

Till then, Matt Landon Full time volunteer staff person United Mountain Defense

Contact 865 689 2778 or 865 257 4029


(UMD PRESS RELEASE) Huge environmental disaster of epic proportions in TN

Monday December 22, a tragedy 40 times bigger than the
Valdez Oil spill occurred outside of Kingston, TN.
Residences living near the Tennessee Valley Authority
(TVA) Kingston coal plant were flooded with
approximately 500 million gallons of nasty black coal
waste. It covered 400 acres of land and flooded into
tributaries of the Tennessee River which is the water
supply for Chattanooga TN and millions of people
living downstream in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The coal ash, slurry or sludge is a byproduct left
over after TVA burns their coal and it contains
mercury and dangerous heavy metals like lead and
arsenic, among many other potentially toxic and
radioactive contaminates. Materials found naturally in
coal are concentrated in the ash and more toxic than
they start.

TVA says that the area is not toxic and that
preliminary water test show that the drinking water at
the nearby water treatment facility meets standards.
The problem is that many of the families in the
impacted area do not have access to this safe drinking
water because their water is being pumped from a
spring located in the flooded area or they depend on
well water.

TVA is advising families to boil water however they
are not informing anyone about the reasons for needing
to boil the water or sharing any chemicals that may be
present in their water. Member of a the nonprofit
United Mountain Defense have been going door to door
delivering bottled water and passing out information
about the chemicals that may be present in impacted
drinking water and we met one man who had been
vomiting for 12 hours after drinking coffee made from
his well water.

Many people in the area are frustrated they had not
received detailed information from TVA and have gone
days without electricity, gas heat, or clean water.
Some people were given motel rooms by TVA while others
living on the same street have been without heat for
several days in 27° weather.

Many residences say that they are not surprised by the
flood because TVA has been fixing leaks in the
retention wall for years and one person said this wall
had been leaking for months before it broke.
For more information please visit
www.unitedmountaindefense.org or call 865-689-2778.

### END###


Update from Harriman, TN TVA coal ash pond failure

Dear folks,

Members of United Mountain Defense traveled today down to Harriman, TN to learn more first hand about the impacts of the coal ash pond failure. We traveled on Swan Pond Rd visiting local residents and passing out information about the chemicals that may be present in the drinking water. Beginning at 3pm Dec 23, 2008 TVA officials began to visit all of the houses just prior to our visit advising residents to boil their drinking water before consuming it for the next 5 days. Unfortunately TVA did not inform anyone about the reasons for needing to boil the water and any chemicals that may be present in their water. The city of Harriman was working 24 hours a day to install a new water pipe in order to provide these residents with cleaner water. Their current water source was a large spring which may have been contaminated by the spill.

We also met a man who had been vomitting for the past 12 hours after drinking a couple of pots of coffee made from the tainted water. We advised him to go to the hospital.
The corporate media has been reporting that affected citizens were being housed in a local motel, but we met many citizens who had spent the last two nights without electricity or gas heat in 27 F weather. A source shared information that TVA knew that the coal ash dam had been leaking for months now. We visited approximately 40 households many of which had not received any information other than what they could figure out from the minute long television segments or an isolated phone call from the water or gas utility. TVA police were limiting access to Swan Pond Rd as utility crews were actively working on the roadway.

United Mountain Defense is actively creating a plan of action to deal with this issue. We plan to go back down to Harriman tomorrow. The work is seeming to fall into a few catagories at this point.

We want to get more video, get more water samples from wells, springs, faucets, and sludge puddles. We are going to get more familiar with the local area and resources. We want to meet more locals, pass out info, and set up protests. Any suggestions that you have would be greatly appreciated. If you are able to test water samples for heavy metals or other specilized water testing please let us know. We also have an updated list of demands below for TVA since they have been so naughty. (Check out the TVA Santa protest videos)

Feel free to send checks for copies, paper, gas and general support funds to:

United Mountain Defense
P.O. Box 20363
Knoxville, TN 37920

Or go to www.UnitedMountainDefense.org to donate using Paypal.

Thank you so much,

Matt Landon
Full time volunteer staff person, United Mountain Defense.


Santa is sorry to learn of your loss and hopes to help out. Santa learned about TVA’s naughty ways from United Mountain Defense. Santa stands in solidarity with the residents of Appalachia and United Mountain Defense.

Santa also came up with a list of demands on the sleigh ride to Harriman.

  1. TVA provides clean drinking water to all residents with water affected by the coal ash spill, indefinitely.
  2. TVA and the State of Tennessee holds multiple public hearings and investigates the bursting coal ash dam.
  3. TVA and the State of Tennessee identifies the locations of all the coal ash, what toxins exist in the coal ash, and how it will be cleaned up and safely disposed of in landfills with liners.
  4. TVA provides public disclosure of all existing coal ash ponds and makes sure each pond receives a current inspection by the state of Tennessee. TVA upgrades all coal ash ponds to include safety liners.
  5. TVA installs a warning system and provides education for all residents likely to be impacted by any problems with other ash ponds.
  6. TVA completely cleans up and restores the affected properties and water ways.
  7. TVA pays restitution for human suffering involved in the ash pond failure.
  8. TVA establishes a citizen advisory board with voting power for all of its operations.
  9. TVA stops burning any coal from surface mines and Mountain Top Removal coal mines.
  10. TVA cuts their emissions of mercury, heavy metals, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid to zero pounds per year.
  11. TVA agrees to not mine for coal in Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area.

Feel free to contact TVA and forward Santa’s list of demands. Make sure to be polite.

Tennessee Valley Authority
400 W. Summit Hill Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37902-1499
865-632-2101
800-882-5263
[email protected]


TVA Coal Ash Pond Bursts In TN

Dear folks,

I could have expected more from the corporate media but that would have been wishful thinking. I saw a 1.5 minute piece on this coal ash spill on the three local news stations. 2.6 billion gallons of coal sludge spilled into the surrounding area. The pond was 40 acres large. They were telling people to boil their water if they have wells in the area. Supposedly it had been leaking since 11pm last night according to the news. This is ridiculous. This is a crime.
We have a model for the media coverage of coal slurry spills in the US with the spill in KY in 2001. Please help us make this the media story that it needs to be. I am going back down there tomorrow to do some more video taping, distribution of information, and protesting. I really want to get to all the people living along the Swan Pond Rd with info about what is in the coal ash so that they don’t boil the coal slurry and drink it. This is insanity. Please help us!

If you have any spare funds for gas, copies, paper please send money to:

P.O. Box 20363
Knoxville, TN 37920

Make sure to write for TVA Coal Ash Pond Disaster.

If you can come down for a protest please let me know. If you can post info on the internet please do it. I will be providing up to the minute updates from the frontlines and hope to get the video up and running soon.
Till then,

Matt Landon – full time volunteer staff person for United Mountain Defense


December 19-21, 2008: Mountain Justice Winter Campout

Mountain Justice is hosting a Winter Campout at Frog Level Tennessee. If
you love mountains, camping, hiking, the forest and all that is wild
you’re invited to the Winter Solstice camp on Dec 19, 20th and 21st.

WHY: To reinvigorate, enthuse, inspire mountain
activist in the Appalachians; to bring passion, humor, joy, and fervency
of purpose back into the
cause; to forge friendships, cooperation, and alliances throughout
Appalachia.

Mountain Justice Winter Camp exist to
explore having at least one meeting a year that is mostly social. Folks
will meet and naturally form discussion groups and form plans.

BRING: Camping equipment, food, booze (lots),
weird wilderness outfits, musical instruments, bizarre toys, imagination,
a good and gonzo attitude.

Matt is going to help build some sweat lodges euro style. There are
large open fields that are perfect for frisbee, poi, and winter games.

Come dressed to stay warm and dry. A warm sleeping bag is a must.
You cannot expect to sleep where you pass out during a winter camp.
Please come prepared and ask if your not sure what prepared is.

We will be bringing at least one full keg of Stout beer to sell so
y’all don’t have to buy corporate swill. If you homebrew bring a sample.

We want to strongly encourage folks to come self sufficient. Individual
campfires are unnecessary and wasteful.

We can’t stress enough the virtue of self sufficiency (aka “takin’
care of yourself”). This means personal gear, sleeping gear, eating
gear, your *own* food and a way to cook it. There will be a regional
field kitchen set up, please let us know if you’re bringing one. You
won’t be near any stores so pick up what you need
along the way.

Think rain, sun, cool, and cooler weather patterns. Here’s a little
bit more specific list::

  • a good attitude (let’s make it FUN)
  • tent
    and/or tarp
  • sleeping bag
  • clothes: layers, layers, layers. It can
    get windy and chill in the winter and decently cold at
    night. It’s the mountains, y’all.
  • Rain gear
  • boots and creek-crossin’ sandals
  • water filtration system
  • food enough for the weekend
  • kitchen setup: campstove, pots/pans,
    utensils, plates/bowls/cutlery, etc.
  • mug for HOMEBREW (yes,
    that’s homebrew for sale…yummy )
  • sunscreen
  • toilet paper (if you use it, you need to bring
    some)
  • musical instruments

Frog Level is accessible by road and by the
Appalachian Trail (AT). As the AT crosses White Rock Mountain it connects
to Frog Level via the Lacy Trap Trail (#36). Its about 3 miles from
the AT to Frog Level and the trail is rated as moderate.

On Dogs: We love dogs, but we must ask that you do not bring them.
A great deal of biodiversity exists at Frog level. There is a beaver
dam at the end of the far meadow and turkeys, coyotes, wildflowers,
and bear live in the hills and valleys. Us humans will create enough
disturbance as is and we must ask for your assistance in avoiding further
impact. We have also had altercations between dogs and children and
there are folks who feel a kids-safe space must be dog-free. Please
help us create a Winter Camp that is fun and safe for everyone – including
wildlife and children.

Directions: (Follow the Frog!!!) First, get yourself a map of Tennessee
and find Johnson City . The mountains east of Johnson City is where
we will be (south of Watauga Reservoir).

From the North, West and South (except
the extreme southeast )

  • Take Interstate 81
    to upper east Tennessee.
  • When you see signs for Johnson City ,
    get on I-181 and travel about 14 miles to Johnson City .
  • Get off
    at Exit
    31 (Hwy 321, Elizabethton) and take Hwy 321 (and Hwy 67)
    East for approximately 9 miles to Elizabethton.
  • Go thru Elizabethton and
    follow 321 as it joins 19E south (you will be turning right
    onto 19E)
    towards
    Hampton (approx 5 miles).
  • Look for signs to the USFS Dennis Cove campground and follow them.
  • At Hampton , 321 will split from 19E so turn left at the Texaco
    and follow Hwy 321 (also 67E) east a little over half a mile.
  • Look
    for “Citizens
    Bank” and turn Right onto Dennis Cove Road .
  • Travel up this
    steep and very windy paved road (with at least two hairpin
    curves) and enter the Cherokee National Forest (about 5 miles).
  • Follow
    Dennis
    Cove Road past the Laurel Creek Lodge (last spot for
    gas, firewood and ice), and pass the Appalachian Trail Crossing and
    the
    Dennis
    Cove Campground.
  • About another mile and the pavement ends
    at the top of Dennis Cove.
  • THE ROAD BECOMES GRAVEL AT THIS POINT! Slow down and follow this
    road which is also known as Forest Service Road #50 for 3/4ths of
    a mile
    to a 3 prong split in the road.
  • Take the far right split (onto FS
    #50F) and travel along this unpaved mountain road for another
    2 miles and you will arrive at Frog Level!
  • Please look for a good place along the road to park out of the
    way of incoming and outgoing vehicles.
  • Welcome to Frog Level, y’all.

Now, seein’ that the road in is pretty rough, and if you have
a very low riding passenger car, you may want to consider the
very long
way in. Instead of turning at 321, you would continue south on
19E and travel up the Doe River to Roan Mountain . Pass Hwy
143 on your
right and turn left onto Forest Service Road #50 and follow it
way up into the mountains.

This road is in
better
condition
than the portion from Dennis Cove. Follow this until you see
the Frog at the split and turn left and follow that road
down into
Frog Level.

From the southeast

  • Find sunny Asheville ,
    NC on your maps.
    Head towards Erwin, TN on Hwy19/23.
  • Stay on Hwy 23 going
    northish.
  • Pass Erwin , TN. The main road will become 19W/23 and
    I-181 — this is okay.
  • Take Exit 31 to 321N/67E (Elizabethton).
  • From
    here, follow
    the directions above.

Frog Level is drained by the Laurel Fork, which
flows into the Doe River . The Doe joins the Watauga River and it flows
into the South
Fork of the Holston . The Holston joins the French Broad River near
Knoxville to form the awesome Tennessee River . The Tennessee flows
south through the Tennessee Valley and west into Alabama before turning
north and hooking up with the Ohio River . Just downstream, the Ohio
joins the mighty Mississippi, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico.


November 21-23, 2008: Student / Youth Anti-MTR Summit

Everyone is invited to the 2008 Fall Student Summit in the Coal River Valley.
Coal River Mountain Watch, along with the Student Environmental Action
Center and Southern Energy Network are hosting the 4th Annual Fall
Summit on November 21-23.
Join us to learn about the past, present and future of the fight
against Mountaintop Removal and other abuses of the coal industry.

We will be talking with local residents who have been fighting mountaintop
removal, taking a trip to Kayford Mountain to see MTR first hand, and
meeting and networking with students from across Appalachia and the Southeast. There will be talks on all our current projects,
from the Coal River Wind Project to Sludge Safety and our joint
campaign to get national legislation passed. The Campaign is in full
swing and the youth are a huge part of it.

Past summits have been amazing events by all accounts and they only look to be getting better.

More information available at the
Coal River Mountain Watch
web site.


November 14-16, 2008: First Annual Mountain Justice Meeting

Come to the First Annual Mountain Justice Meeting

November 14-16th at the Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem,
West Virginia

As Mountain Justice begins its 5th year as a movement for social and
environmental justice in the coalfields, we’re heading to the ASFC
to plan out the next steps in the fight for a sustainable future in
Appalachia. Over the course of a weekend we will get to know each other,
eat great food, share our perspectives and sit down to the important
work of deciding what needs to happen next in the movement to stop
mountaintop removal and grow a strong, diverse and healthy Appalachian
future.

Who should come to the annual meeting? Anyone outraged by the atrocity
of mountaintop removal who is somewhat familiar with Mountain Justice
as a group and as a movement. Especially welcome is anyone who
has been involved with Mountain Justice in the past and anyone with
ideas
on how Mountain Justice can move forward most effectively. The
annual meeting will be our chance to hear from people who can’t make
it
to our monthly meetings, but who want to have input on the overall
strategy of a movement that strives to help create a viable future
for Appalachia.

What will happen at the annual meeting? Fun games and great food,
of course! But also hatching the strategy to accomplish the larger
goals of the Mountain Justice movement to end MTR and support
a diverse and sustainable Appalachian future will be the topics of
conversation.
Local residents and MJ activists of the past, present, and future
will be encouraged to weigh-in about our greater goals, and the
specific objectives and tasks that flow from these goals. Questions
will be
answered, suggestions will be heard, and last but not least,
plenty of chances will arise for anyone to become an active participant
in the Mountain Justice movement.

All opinions are extremely valuable – Let’s work together to
end MTR and create an awesome future for Appalachia by talking
and
sharing with each other our grievances, ideas, and strategies
to and make
sure we are doing this in the best and most effective way possible.
See you there! Please RSVP if you are planning to come.

Contact: green.marley [at] gmail.com,
703 409 6993.

Directions:

From the south:

  • From I 77– Take Exit 14 to Route 20 North. Towards
    Athens.
  • Continue straight on Route 20 at the stoplight in Athens
    and travel toward Pipestem State Park.
  • Continue 1/4 of a mile and
    take Indian Ridge Road on the right.
  • Go 1/2 mile and take sharp left
    onto
    Rocky Mount Road.
  • The Appalachian
    South Folklife Center
    drive is marked by a sign 3/4 of
    a mile on the
    right.

From the north:

  • From I 64 take the Sandstone/Hinton exit.
  • Take Route
    20 South 10 miles to Hinton.
  • Continue on Route 20 through town
    and towards Pipestem State Park.
  • At 1/4 mile before the park entrance
    make
    a left onto Indian Ridge Road.
  • Go 1/2 mile and take sharp left
    onto Rocky Mount Road.
  • Appalachian
    South Folklife Center
    drive is marked by a sign
    3/4 of a mile on the
    right.

Food & Lodging: Camping and cabins will
be available at $12 a night for a bed, $5 for camping. Food will be
provided, though any
and all
donations will be gladly accepted.

Travel reimbursements are available on a limited basis, so please
RSVP as soon as possible if you would like to come, have questions,
or would
like to apply for travel reimbursements. Also, be sure to notify
someone if you have any special needs.

Thanks!
MJ Annual Meeting Working Group