Hundreds arrested at Entergy offices in VT, LA, NY
One difference between a person and a corporation is that a corporate person can be in many places at once. To occupy space in, say, three states, it takes at least three natural persons. There were many times that protesting today outside the offices of Entergy Corporation, the rogue corporation that operates the Vermont Yankee nuclear station in Vernon, Vermont.
Had the plant’s operators been obeying state law, the plant would have ceased operation today.
Upwards of 1000 people took that message to the company’s Brattleboro office this afternoon. More than 100 of them were arrested and charged with unlawful trespass for attempting to deliver their message directly to the company.
Meanwhile, seven activists with roots in the New England anti-nuclear movement were arrested for criminal trespass inside Entergy’s corporate headquarters in New Orleans. They were Renny Cushing, Lynn Chong, Ben Chichester, Kendra Ulrich, Jeff Brummer, Nelia Sargent, and Paul Gunter. They were released after six hours.
Five others were arrested at Energy’s office in White Plains, NY, near the aging Indian Point reactor.
The demonstration outside the Entergy Brattleboro office, organized by the SAGE Alliance, followed a rally on the Brattleboro Common and a 3.5 mile march up Putney Road and Old Ferry Road . Organizers made a deliberate decision to demonstrate there, rather than at the reactor, to keep the attention on the Entergy Corporation.
“We come peacefully to Entergy Headquarters today with this message: your time is up,” began the SAGE Alliance’s statement about the demonstration.
Those who participated in civil disobedience were organized into affinity groups. SAGE also asked everyone to abide by a “nonviolent code of conduct” that articulated the discipline they intended for the action, for example, “we will not harm anyone, and we will not retaliate in reaction to violence.”
Spirits were high throughout the Brattleboro action, and the potential of solar energy was much in evidence.
New Phase of Resistance
Entergy’s 40-year license expired yesterday. Although it received a 20-year extension (the day after the Fukushima meltdown began) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the State of Vermont insists the New Orleans corporation also needs a Certificate of Public Good from the state and permission of the legislature in order to keep operating. The dispute is ongoing in federal court.
No Nukes activists, who call attention to VT Yankee’s history of radiation leaks and t echnical failures, aren’t waiting for the court. Frances Crowe, a 93-year old activist who was among the first arrested (and the first to be released) told a reporter, “As I was walking down, all I could think of was Fukushima and the suffering of all the people, and I don’t want that to happen to New England.”
Vermont’s Governor, Peter Shumlin, was quoted saying, “I am very supportive of the peaceful protesters gathered today in Brattleboro to express their — and my — frustration that this aging plant remains open after its agreed-upon license has expired.”
The day’s actions represent the beginning of a new phase of resistance to VT Yankee and defense of democracy. Visit the SAGE Alliance web page for information about upcoming actions.