January 22, 2010: Benefit Concert for 2 TN Activists Arrested Protecting Appalachian Mountains

WHAT

Join Mountain Justice and United Mountain Defense for a fun night of music, dancing, slam poetry, raffles and fiery speeches about the destruction of mountaintop removal coal mining. An eclectic collection of bands will entertain us with rap performances by Loose Leaf, old timey mountain music with Catfish Mercury Load and dancing into the night with DJ Lauren Elysse spinning soul records and much more.

This is an all ages show with a $5 cover charge.

List of performers: Loose Leaf, Lauuren Elysse, Catfish Mercury Load, Courageous, Bush, Joe T and possibly more TBA.

WHEN

Friday, January 22, 2010

8:00p.m. – 2:00a.m.

WHERE

The Birdhouse located in the historic 4th and Gill neighborhood

800 N. Fourth Ave

Knoxville, 37917

WHO

Mountain Justice demands an abolition of MTR.

United Mountain Defense is dedicated to protecting Tennessee’s environment and communities.

The Kayford 8

On January 22, 2010 UMD is hosting a benefit concert to help raise money on behalf two Tennessee activists, Ash-Lee Henderson and Jared story, who put their freedom on the line in an act of non-violent civil disobedience to defend the mountains of Appalachia. These brave individuals walked onto Kayford Mountain in West Virginia along with 6 other activists and stopped the mountain from being blasted. Six of the “Kayford 8” protestors locked themselves, in groups of three, to a piece of massive earth moving equipment–referred to as a Yuke–with tires 24′ tall and hung a banner reading “Never Again” on the machine. This action was part of a fierce campaign that is being waged in southern West Virginia against companies destroying the Appalachian Mountains with mountaintop removal. Their actions were not without consequences and they are now facing the maximum fines for trespassing of nearly $2000 each which is unprecedented in this type of protest. They took a risk for the greater good and we hope you will be willing to support them for doing so.

The eight activists arrested include Kim Kirkbride, Ash-Lee Henderson, Tanya Turner, Jared Story, Willie Dodson, Will Wickham, Mathew Louis-Rosenberg, and Glenn Collins.

http://mountainjustice.org/events.php?id=163

http://climategroundzero.net/2009/05/photo-essay-kayford-mountain-lock-down/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-cooper/west-virginia-activists-l_b_207696.html

A note from one of the Kayford 8

Hello one and all,

As some of you may know, in May of this year, eight Mountain Justice activists willfully trespassed on to the mountaintop removal site on Kayford Mountain in West Virginia with the intention of shutting down mine activity and directly preventing the destruction of one mountain, for one day. I was one of those protesters, and am proud to say that we did stop them from blasting Kayford that day. We went on to the mine site with the emotional support and prayers of many who have wished they could take this same action, including Larry Gibson who lives on Kayford Mountain and is the grandfather of our resistance to mountaintop removal.

It may have been only one day that we stopped the blasting, but when all the political routes to justice are bought and sold by the coal companies that exploit the land and people of Appalachia, sometimes the most effective action is to place yourself directly between the land and those that intend to destroy it. If these types of actions were happening weekly or daily all across our region, mountaintop removal would soon become economically impossible, and ultimately we would command the attention our legislators and politicians, so that they’d have no other choice but to notice our actions and listen to our voices.

Our action wasn’t without consequence, and now 5 (and likely all 8) of the protestors are facing nearly $2000 each in fines for their acts of conscience. We received the maximum fine allowable for this offense, which is unprecedented in this type of protest. We need your support now more than ever, as many of us are devoted to this all volunteer work on a full time basis and are not able to pay these fines alone. We took this risk for the greater good, and we hope you will be willing to support us for doing so.

Please consider donating to Mountain Justice. You can also contact me directly for more information.

For the mountains and the people and the birds and the bears,

Kim

For more information about this event, please contact Bonnie Swinford at 865 689-2778 or at umdvolunteerhouse [at] yahoo.com

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