Reflections On Our Campaign - 04/08/2007
By Hattie Nestel
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  I know many of us are struggling to figure out how to work to achieve our goals for a non-violent, sustainable world. I found this text included in an essay by Greg Boertje-Obed who has been imprisoned for a year for a plowshare action at the E-9 Minuteman nuclear missile silo in North Dakota.

  Gandhi stated, "Non-violence in its dynamic condition means…the pitting of one's whole soul against the will of the tyrant. Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire…and lay the foundation for that empire's fall or its regeneration." Greg goes on to say, "While what we do is very little, it can be part of the process of waking people up to the injustice of our empire which is not carrying out its treaty obligations to negotiate and pursue complete nuclear disarmament. ….a change and transformation leading to regeneration is also possible" He also stated, "Until those interested in peace are willing to make the same sacrifices as those interested in war, peace will not prevail."

  Greg and his wife Michelle have been arrested repeatedly for actions such as this and both have spent many years in prison for their non-violent actions.

  Phil Berrigan stated on his deathbed, " These are hair-trigger times-with well manicured barbarians at the wheel, and our nuclear strike force poised and ready. The American people will prevail, so will all thoughtful and decent people throughout the world." He spent half his activist life in prison til the very end.

  This last Walk for a Nuclear Free Future, from March 24-April 1 was very well received. Over and over again, I heard people state they were committed to shutting down Vermont Yankee. There is a strong possibility that CAN will open a chapter in Rutland and Burlington. We were very well received throughout the state, with more people then ever making Shutting Down Vermont Yankee their major issue. THE RECEPTION IN BURLINGTON WAS STUPENDOUS. A BAND PLAYED AND ROBIN AND OTHERS FROM B. WELCOMED US AND MARCHED WITH US THROUGH THE CHURCH ST. MALL TO CELEBRATE THE END OF THE WALK. The evenings potluck and program held an overflowing crowd, due to the great organizing work of our northern counterparts. Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation into the U.S. Senate demanding an Independent Safety Assessment, ISA, the Vermont Atty General has joined the Ma A.G. and the entire US Congressional delegation form Ma. in a lawsuit stating that the NRC change its rules so that it must consider the vulnerability of the spent fuel in its environmental Impact Statement, and the Vt. Senator president pro tem Peter Shumlin has also stated he wants an ISA and the waste removed from Windham County and distributed to the most populous areas of the state! We are also seeing more letter writers and more people willing to read up on this issue so they can articulate the disadvantages of nuclear power with friends, neighbors and legislators.

  The two women from the Middlebury Friends Meeting, part of the group People for Less Pollution who shut down the tire burning factory on the N.Y side of lake Champlain, noted quite adamantly that Vermont Yankee was far more dangerous than the burning tires and emphatically committed to shutting VT. YANKEE DOWN!

  I am writing this to encourage all of us to continue to STAND UP to SHUT DOWN Vt. Yankee. I encourage any of you who would like to comment or send out your own reflections on our campaign to please do so.

  Thank you and thank you again, Hattie


To download an RTF copy click here.

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