12 Women Arrested at Valley Nuke

Police arrested 12 women for non-violent civil disobedience at the gates of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

One of the women who was arrested is Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of www.CodePink.org, a direct action for peace group with offices in California and Washington, DC.

Last year, Benjamin interrupted a nationally televised speech by President Obama and asked him to close the Guantánamo Bay prison. The United States government has been torturing people at Guantánamo, according to:


Obama said of Benjamin, “The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to.”

A video of the speech, and Benjamin's request, are at:


All the women who were arrested on May 9, except for Benjamin, live in the Valley. Their goal is to close Vermont Yankee immediately, and move the hundreds of tons of nuclear waste there out of the water-filled pool where it is now and into safer “dry cask” storage.

The women in the photo were arrested. They are, from left, Priscilla Lynch, Ellen Graves, Paki Wieland, Benjamin, Hattie Nestel, Frances Crowe, Susan Lantz, Jean Grossholtz, and Linda Pon Owen.

To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.”

photo by Marcia Gagliardi

The owner of Vermont Yankee wants to end the system of sirens, free “tone alert radios” for people within 10 miles of the reactor, and automated phone calls in case of a nuclear emergency. Thanks to a protest movement in the Brattleboro area that saw thousands march and hundreds arrested for non-violent, civil disobedience, the 42-year-old reactor will close permanently in December. It's owned by Entergy Corporation of Louisiana.

But when Vermont Yankee closes, its 700 or so tons of nuclear waste will remain on site. The waste is the deadliest material on earth. According to the federal government, the waste will still be toxic 1 million years from now. Most of the waste at Vermont Yankee is in a water-filled pool seven stories above ground. If the water leaks out of the pool, the waste will catch fire, leak radioactivity into the atmosphere and will kill thousands of people, according to a report to Congress by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“We think this is a terrible idea,” Michael Mariotte told the Valley Post about Entergy's plan. He works for www.nirs.org.

Entergy wants to end the emergency alert system 16 months after Vermont Yankee closes.

Among the groups fighting Entergy's plan are www.NukeBusters.org and www.SafeAndGreenCampaign.org.


nuke protest

Corporations cannot be allowed to walk away from the dangerous situations they create.

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