From a press release from the Safe And Green Energy (SAGE) Alliance:
Group demands: “No Nuke Business as Usual for March 22nd” and "Shut Down Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant"
An affinity group of eight anti-nuclear activists with the New England-based Safe And Green Energy (SAGE) Alliance, today entered the New Orleans headquarters of US nuclear corporation, Entergy to declare “No Nuke Business As Usual on March 22nd.” The group is demanding that the company cease operations at its Vermont Yankee reactor in Vernon, according to the democratic decision of the State of Vermont and the popular wishes of the Vermont people. The State voted in February 2010 to close the plant on March 21, 2012 when its 40-year license expired.
The eight protesters, all of whom have ties to New England anti-nuclear activism, some for decades, taped off a corporate “crime scene” at the downtown Entergy building, demanding an audience with Entergy, CEO, J. Wayne Leonard. The request was not granted. The protesters hung banners and yellow crime tape after entering the building. All eight were arrested. It was expected that they would spend 24 hours in jail before being arraigned. A statement by one of the protesters, Renny Cushing can be viewed on YouTube.
“I come with the message from Vermont and from New England, that we stand united to oppose nuclear tyranny over our state’s right to self determine a safe and green energy future,” said Nancy Braus, a resident of Putney, Vermont and a bookstore owner in Brattleboro. “Our simple trespass is our statement of resistance to Entergy’s corporate trespass with the continued illegal operation of this nuclear waste factory,” she said.
Vermont Yankee is the same GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactor design as the four Fukushima Daiichi reactors that exploded and melted down in the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan.
"Entergy’s assault against democracy and the people of Vermont makes it a corporate outlaw,” said Renny Cushing, a founding member of the Clamshell Alliance in New England that launched the anti-nuclear movement in the US in July 1976 with The Declaration of Nuclear Resistance. “We have a responsibility to our families and our communities to resist Entergy’s recklessness, arrogance and greed. The corporation’s management and shareholders need to recognize that if Entergy won’t shut down that Yankee Plant, then as citizens we will work together to shut down Entergy," Cushing said.
Entergy has challenged the State of Vermont in federal court over the state’s decision to close the reactor. On January 19, 2012, a federal judge found mainly in Entergy’s favor but the state has appealed. The federal government, represented by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, issued the Vermont Yankee a 20-year license extension on March 21, 2011, just ten days into the Fukushima nuclear disaster, despite the plant’s history of fires, radioactive leaks, structural collapses, and cover-ups. Entergy also owns reactors in Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, and New York.
The occupation of Entergy’s New Orleans headquarters came at the same time as protesters in Brattleboro, VT gathered at Entergy offices there. Five Vermont activists were arrested today during a similar non-violent protest action took place at the Entergy regional headquarters in White Plains, NY. On March 21, seven women protesters chained shut the gates at Vermont Yankee while Buddhist monks and others chanted and sang in opposition to the reactor’s continued operation.
The SAGE Alliance is organizing a people’s campaign to shut down the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Reactor through grassroots organizing, education and non-violent direct action.