Three arrested in mining protest

By: Jared Hagemann Email
By: Jared Hagemann Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Three people were arrested in a protest against mountaintop removal mining outside the 1st Tennessee Building in Downtown Knoxville on Friday.

The three protesters chained themselves to each other at the main entrance of the 1st Tennessee Building, and one protester wore a large paper mache mask.

Knoxville Police charged Ricki Draper, Julia Lepping and an unidentified juvenile with criminal trespassing and resisting arrest.

Knoxville police say the juvenile will also be cited for wearing a mask.

Activists were protesting UBS Wealth Management, a tenant of the building, for investing in Patriot, Arch and James River Coal Companies.

Knoxville Police stopped the protest, and photos provided by the activists show officers cutting the protesters' chains and taking the three people into custody.

The activists were affiliated with the groups Mountain Justice, Radical Action for Mountain Peoples' Survival (RAMPS) and Hands Off Appalachia!

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