Calls for national convergence against nuclear power in Washington, DC

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July 6, 2012 by SCNCC

Solidarity Statements towards the Rally for a Nuclear Free Future, Sept 20-22 in Washington DC, organized by the Coalition Against Nukes:

“The demonstrations against nuclear power that CAN is organizing in September are powerful and imperative. I want every person – mothers, fathers, children, grandmothers and grandfathers, men and women of all ages and varieties, to make a major effort to attend one or all of these gatherings as the time for the “peaceful” atom is over. We must end it now before it ends us.” — Helen Mary Caldicott

“Radioactive debris from Japan is now washing up on the Alaskan coast. Cesium-contaminated Tuna are being hauled in off the coast of southern California. The pools of radioactive waste at Fukushima continue to boil with lethal intent over a year after the meltdown. The warning signs of global atomic peril are flashing ominously. But our own government is not taking heed. Instead, it is blindly pursuing a new generation of nuclear plants and appears to be on the cusp of extending the licenses of the existing network of decrepit reactors, many of which are older and more troubled than Fukushima. In America, both parties are firmly buried in the pockets of the nuclear lobby. Obama’s entire political career has been sponsored by the nuclear utility Exelon. In other words, the government is not going to stop the nuclear madness. It is up to us, as, naturally, it has always been. Fortunately there is already a vibrant grassroots anti-nuke movement in the United States, with Strands stretching from Vermont to California, From Ohio to Florida. Now these disparate voices are converging on Washington in September for a massive rally at the NRC as part of three days of action. Join us and help pull the plug on the nuclear industry!” – Jeffrey St. Clair, coeditor of CounterPunch, author of Born Under a Bad Sky

“The need for international solidarity is perhaps felt most intensely in the anti-nuclear movement. Not only because the sharing of information is critical for us, but also because a nuclear-free world cannot be realized without overcoming the complex social, political, economic and cultural structures that are essentially global. A nuclear-free world just cannot be the same world without nuclear technology. It has to be a more human, more egalitarian, transparent, positively peaceful, and truly democratic world as a manifestation of which the humanity and our planet will get rid of the nuclear menace.

The yet unfolding nuclear disaster in Fukushima has united us all and alarmed us of the urgency of this task.

We in India have been fighting a prolonged and tough battle against all odds, facing brutal repression. In entirely non-violent ways, our people – fisherfolk, farmers, and women in large numbers – have been struggling to defend their lives and livelihoods, grassroots democracy, their form of sustainable lifestyle and in the process have questioned and redefined the mainstream ideas of progress.

We have been watching closely the struggles in other parts of the world and have got immense strength. Coalition Against Nukes (CAN) is a source of inspiration for us. We wish you strength and your great struggle every success !!”

With warm regards,
Kumar Sundaram, Achin Vanaik and Sanghamitra Gadekar

“Ever since ‘that day’ in March 2011, many have been living such an intense period of agony; we have seen worsening exposure to radiation by all life forms, and that the ways and degrees in which people are affected by radiation are largely political and social – an extreme intensification of class divisions, discrimination, exploitation, violence and all other socio-political problems. However, we have also seen that it is the people who decompose such power that be – especially in the post-3.11 Japan, many have begun the work to create community-based movement to protect their lives and dignity, and ultimately achieving the life without nuclear energy. At this point today, it is imperative for us to drastically rethink the nature of the power that administrates and manages the society based upon nuclear energy – and what we call ‘the global nuclear regime.’Let us gather to begin the end of the nuclear regime”– Yuko Tonohira

Yuko is a Native of Hokkaido, Japan, She is an illustrator and organizer. She co-founded Todos Somos Japon, a group that communicates political dialogues among people in and outside of Japan through its bilingual website jfissures.org. Todos Somos Japon also organizes protests, educational events and movie screenings in order to widen a critical dialogue about capitalistic imperialism focusing on the global nuclear regime.

“Time to abolish nuclear weapons and their evil twins, nuclear power. Every nuclear reactor is a bomb factory. That’s why we have to support the C.A.N. Days of Action and make the end of nuclear power and nuclear bombs on our planet an idea whose time has come! No more Fukushimas! No more Hiroshimas! No more Chernobyls! Sun, wind, tides, geothermal can supply all the energy we need on and create peace on earth. Save our Mother Earth!!” – Alice Slater Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, NY

“From the grassroots, change typically occurs. The Coalition Against Nukes is an extraordinary example of an active, vibrant grassroots organization. As the impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster continue, while the nuclear industry and nuclear promoters in government seek to cover up these consequences and, despite Fukushima, push for the construction of more nuclear power plants, the Coalition Against Nukes is there — fighting this deadly, unnecessary energy technology. Join us this September in Washington D.C.” –Karl Grossman

Karl Grossman: Author, Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power, Host TV programs “Chernobyl: A Million Casualties” and “The Push to Revive Nuclear Power”, Professor of Journalism, State University of New York/College at Old Westbury

“C.A.N. is at the heart of the global grassroots No Nukes movement aiming to save our species from radioactive extinction. We are at the tipping point of Solartopia, where an ever-more irresponsible and uncaring corporate elite brings us Fukushima while green technologies become cheaper, safer, cleaner, more reliable and faster to install. Never have we been closer to converting our economy to a community-controlled energy supply, a prospect that terrifies King CONG (coal, oil, nukes & gas) while offering us a truly sustainable reality for a peaceful, socially just future. The upcoming actions in September and the on-going non-violent campaign for a green-powered Earth is at the core of our being. I’m proud to work with C.A.N. and so many great activists to help make it happen.” – Harvey Wasserman,

Harvey Wasserman’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at http://www.solartopia.org along with THE LAST ENERGY WAR. He edits http://www.nukefree.org and hosts the Green Power & Wellness Show at http://prn.fm/shows/environmental-shows/green-power/#axzz1y5PwYltR. He will be among the many at C.A.N.’s September rally in DC.

“I think the biggest problem is that of apathy of the people…now that so many know that their government has sold them out. In favor of bailing out Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO, owner of the Fukushima reactors) the Japanese government continues to sacrifice children living very near the no-go zone in dangerously high radiation contaminated hotspots inside and outside of Fukushima prefecture. In favor of paying off local municipalities to accept and burn radioactive debris from the earthquakes, tsunamis and continuing nuclear meltdowns of 3/11…albeit in incinerators unequipped to filter any radioactive isotopes from escaping into the air to be later rained down on the citizenry and their crops…the Japanese government favors a policy of spreading radioactive contamination all over Japan…this policy is favored over evacuating the citizens in danger and leaving the radioactive debris where it is.

After all, true shut down of the Fukushima reactors is not foreseen for at least 10 years, so how could anyone fathom moving home and living a healthful life? The biggest problem is the coverup of ALL of this and the relative silence of the people. In my case, I could no longer stomach a school system that would not address why in the world I would opt out of school lunches in front of the PTA for fear of panic. The very betrayal of the citizens and by extension, of their children, the students who have no choice but to go with the party line, accepted dogma that ‘It’s okay…the food is safe!’, is UNTHINKABLE.

If it’s safe, why did my friend’s children, residing in Wakayama Prefecture since 3/13, test positively for Cesium 134 in their urine analyses? The mother of these children trusted the school board when they told her that the milk and other ingredients in the school lunches was safe. The worst part? The sharing of these children’s urine analyses with the school board and with the student body and their parents was forbidden….for fear of panic. I shudder to imagine how many other children are unknowingly suffering from internal radiation contamination.

This is the insanity that ensues when the government cannot cover up their tracks of lies. This is what happens when supposed “safe, cheap and green” goes terribly, terribly wrong. (Don’t get me started on this one.) This is what happens when people acquiesce.

But NO LONGER! The people have had it. It is time for a paradigm shift and the Japanese are part and parcel of this shift. It is time to tip the scales of ‘harmony’ in favor of the screams of mothers pleading for their children; in favor of those that spend a good part of their day acquiring safe food for their families. Let us study this. Let us learn the lessons of Fukushima. Let us support Japan in their shift of consciousness to ACTION!” — Cathy Iwane

Cathy Iwane recently evacuated Japan with her daughters after living, working and raising a family in Wakayama for 25 years. The events caused by the 3/11/11 nuclear meltdowns along with the mishandling of the disaster by the Japanese government has propelled Cathy into activist mode, translating data, petitions, attending press conferences and public meetings on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Cathy’s interests lie in creating sustainable models of safety in agriculture. She maintains a healthy, vibrant lifestyle practicing and teaching yoga in California.

“The ongoing Fukushima disaster since 3/11 should be a wake up call to the world: nuclear power is not safe: it threatens all life on earth. Untold amounts of dangerous contamination have entered our environment throughout the world. Today, our friends in Japan remind us that, “The Fukushima units 1,2,3,4 are all in extremely risky conditions, and if another earthquake hits, 85 times more cesium than that in Chernobyl will be released, which will make us all radiation refugees, making Japan inhabitable, contaminating the whole world.”

The crisis continues in Japan while the U.S. government does nothing to help. It’s business as usual in the U.S. nuclear industry and the NRC as well. Loan guarantees are on the table for two new nuclear plants, and things are in order to relicense our old, leaking, dangerous 104 nuclear plants. Their lifespan is up, yet the nuclear industry and the NRC want to keep them open. Why? Profit. Profit, not safety, comes first for the nuclear industry.

We say no. We say our children come first. We say precaution and safety come first. The intelligent and safe response to the Fukushima disaster would be to phase out all of our own 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S., 23 of which are Fukushima style reactors-GE Mark I. Why are we playing with such fire? It is time to phase out nuclear power in the U.S. and throughout the world. There is no time left to lose, or we risk losing everything.”

Heidi Hutner, mother, cancer survivor, professor and writer

“Nuclear power is expensive, unreliable, unnecessary and most important, unlike all other forms of electricity generation, prone to long-term, catastrophic accidents. We are dicing daily with death every day that the nuclear plants are kept powered-up.

When those plants are operated by private corporations subject to the iron rule of capitalist profit-taking, then they become an accident waiting to happen as corporations cut corners on health and safety, warp the political process with their campaign contributions and economic leverage and seek to constantly increase profit at the expense of humans and the natural environment.

With no answer to the problem of nuclear waste, even without accidents, we are bequething a poisonous legacy to generations of future humans. The longer we waste billions of dollars on nuclear power, the more money we pour down the drain rather than spending it on the development of clean alternatives and energy conservation. The United States government, whether Democrat or Republican, is entirely in the pocket of the corporations and is keen to start building the next generation of nuclear power plants that help keep the war machine going and encourage an international nuclear arms race.

We must build our own independent movement for political change and to shut the plants down now so that no-one else has to live through another Fukushima. We must take our inspiration from the immense anti-nuclear protests in Germany and Japan that are changing government policy away from nuclear power and toward clean alternatives such as wind and solar. Only through the massive and sustained mobilization of the people of the world will change come about.

The national anti-nuke march and demonstrations in September in Washington DC, are an essential step along the road to rebuilding a fighting, independent, militant mass movement for positive environmental change and a sane national energy policy for the United States. We stand in solidarity with the people of Japan and all those fighing to permanently close down the over 400 nuclear plants around the world. Your fight is our fight. Your victory is our victory. We must fight together to bring change. I urge everyone to attend and help organize the demonstrations in DC in September to build a nuclear-free world!”

In Solidarity,

(Prof) Chris Williams

Chris Williams is a long-time environmental activist and author of Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis (Haymarket, 2010). He is chair of the science dept at Packer Collegiate Institute and adjunct professor at Pace University in the Dept of Chemistry and Physical Science. His writings have appeared in Z Magazine, Counterpunch, The Indypendent, Dissident Voice, International Socialist Review, Truth Out, Terraspheres.com, Socialist Worker, ZNet and Climate and Capitalism. He reported from Fukushima, Japan in December and January

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