Interview with Curtis Taylor on the importance of bringing balanced information about the nuclear industry to Aboriginal Communities.
Interview with Curtis Taylor on the importance of bringing balanced information about the nuclear industry to Aboriginal Communities.
Hiroshima Day Ceremony at Grafton Peace Pagoda
Yesterday evening close to 100 people gathered in the town of Grafton to commemorate the 68th anniversary of when the US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
The ceremony started with a 4 mile walk from Grafton Center up to the Grafton Peace Pagoda.
Speakers included Hattie Nestel to talk about Vermont Yankee and nuclear power, Bruce Gagnon to speak about the upcoming Drone Walk in Maine, and Allan Brandt who shared the story of the Peacemaker and a prayer from the Mohawk tradition.
Other prayers included prayers from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.
We heard music from a Taiko group out of Western Mass and guitar and songs from Roberto Muller.
Hiroshima Day Ceremony
About 50 people came out yesterday for an event commemorating the 68th anniversary of Nagasaki Day. The event was held in McConnell Hall (the science building) at Smith College an irony that did not go unnoticed.
The event was organized by Nuke Free Future who started the evening inviting people to sign the petition calling on Obama to abolish nuclear weapons.
The night started off with a viewing of The Medical Consequences of Nuclear War a film by Ira Helfand which detailed the nuclear holocaust that would follow the use of another atomic weapon.
We heard from speakers Francis Crowe and Anna Gyorgy author of No Nukes. The floor was opened up to hear from members of the audience. We ended the evening with a graphic description of the hours following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a moment of silence.
All photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drvonskillet/sets/72157635014319396/
Voice From Fukushima Official Trailer
After campaigning in Japan for a cleanup of the nuclear waste and an end to the nuclear industry Chikako Nishiyama came to the US looking to build international alliances and to call for the people of the world to stand in solidarity with those suffering from all parts of then nuclear chain – from uranium mining to nuclear bombs.
Last weekend filmed she interviewed several anti-nuclear activists for a documentary to bring back to Japan. This documentary highlights the history of the nuclear disarmament movement in the US and is an international stance of solidarity with the people around the globe suffering from the failures of the nuclear industry.
We are trying to raise some money for this project, for editing, marketing, etc. If you would like to make a donation to help us share these stories you can go to our paypal link here
(Donations of any size are appreciated)
July 26: Interfaith Peace Walk Gathering Portland, OR
7pm Gathering & Symposium *Atomic West*
Augustant Lutheran Church, 2710 NE 14th Ave
full walk schedule here
July 30: Hanford Nuclear Site
1pm: from John Dam Plaza [1815 George Washington Wy, Richland, WA] to the gate of Hanford Site (5.7mi)
full walk schedule here
August 3rd: Vandenberg AFB to Diablo Canyon
August 9th: Nagasaki Remembrance Day Ceremony
7pm: Steynberg Gallery 1531 Monterey St San Luis Obispo, CA
Speakers will include Chikako Nishiyama, Nipponzan Myohoji Reverend Sawada Shonin and Cecile Pineda, author of “Devil’s Tango: How I learned the Fukushima Step by Step”
Event is free but donations are welcome
To join any of these events, make a donation or learn more about Chikako Nishiyama’s work please leave your contact information below:
The Detail Schedule and Information of 2013 PEACE WALK
for A NUCLEAR FREE FUTURE (Portland OR – Bangor WA)
Starting Point , Time & where we will walk & stay.
Jul 26 Fri. Portland,OR
◎7PM Gathering & Symposium*ATOMIC WEST*
Augustant Lutheran Church, 2710 NE 14th Ave. PORTLAND OR
(15th Ave. & Knott)
[STAY] The Native American United Mothodist Fellowship of Portland
3917 NE Shaver St. PORTLAND OR 97212 503-287-6526
Jul.27 Sat. Portland(12mls-)
●8:30AM Walk start at
Japanese American Historical Plaza:2 NW Naito Parkway, PORTLAND OR
(Along the waterfront at NW Naito & Coach)
Jul 28 Sun. White Salmon & Hood River(13mls-)
●9:00AM Walk start at Hwy 141 & W Jewett Blvd WHITE SALMON WA
12:00PM lunch at Water Front Park located at the riverside of Columbia R.
HOOD RIVER, OR
●1:00PM Walk start from Water front Park HOOD RIVER OR
◎Symposium *Atomic West* HOOD RIVER(unfixed) Contact Robbie Lap
Jul 29 Mon. Toppenish(Yakama Nation),WA(12-3mls)
Drive from HOOD RIVER OR to WAPATO WA （2.5 hours～106miles）
●10:30AM Walk Start W.3rd ST. & S.Naches Ave. WAPATO
To 241 Robbins Rd. TOPPENISH(Long House located)
～Walking downtown Wapato, Hwy 97 & downtown Toppenish
[Stay overnight] at Yakima Indian Reservation Long House(unfixed)
Jul.30 Tue. Richland-Hanford Gate of 300.(12mls)
Drive from TOPPENISH to KENNEWICK(1.5 hours~68miles)
We will leave Toppenish on 8:30AM
●940AM Walk Start at Rite Aid Parking Lot, 101N.Ely St.KENNEWICK
●After 5 miles walk we will move to John Dam Plaza
Gathering At 12:00PM AT John Dam Plaza,1815 George Washington Wy.
●Prayer and Walk start 1PM from JOHN DAM PLAZA to the Gate of 300
Area of Hanford Site(5.7mls)[Stay]Christ the King Church Richland
Jul..31 Wed. Centralia(8mls)
Drive between Richland and Chehalis
●200PM Walk Start
Chehalis Timberland Library,400N. Market Blvd.CHEHALIS. WA
7.5miles walk to 3681 Cookshill Rd. CENTRALIA WA
Aug.1 Thu. Olympia( 17.5mls)
●815AM Walk Start
HWY12 +Littlerock Rd. SW ROCHESTER WA
(88Exit I-5 connected to HWY 12 Go to West)
[Stay] 5537 40th Ave.SW OLYMPIA WA
2 Fri. Lacey(13.3miles)
●800AM Walk Start
5537 40th Ave. SW OLYMPIA WA – Walk through Downtown OLYMPIA
[Stay] Sacred Heart 812 Bowker St. LACEY
3 Sat. Tacoma(18mls)
●800AM Walk Start
Steilacom-Dupont Rd. SW+Pendleton Ave. DUPONT (near to I-5 Exit 119)
To Downtown Tacoma
[Stay]Guadalupe House Tacoma Catholic Worker
1417 S G St. Tacoma 98405 253-572-6582
4 Sun. Des Moines(14.5mls)
●830AM Walk Start
Guadalupe House Tacoma Catholic Worker 1417 S G St. Tacoma
[Stay] Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church
25701 14th Pl. S. DES MOINES WA 98198
5 Mon. Seattle(15miles)
●900AM Walk Start
Kubota Garden 55th Ave. S + Renton Ave. S. Seattle
To Downtown Seattle & Sadako Statue(Univ. Dist.)
Sadako Statue(The Peace Crain girl in Hiroshima) located at
NE 40th St. + Roosevelt Wy NE Seattle~northern end of the University Bridge, University District Seattle)
◎Symposium *ATOMIC WEST* at UNIVERSITY FRIENDS MEETING, 4001 9th Ave. NE Seattle. WA 98105 (unfixed 7PM~?)
6 Tue. Lake Forest Park & Green Lake Seattle Lantern Ceremony-Hiroshima to Hope (10mls walk + Volunteer work+ Lantern Ceremony)
●830AM Walk Start Bothell Wy. NE+80th Ave.NE KENMORE
~LAKE FOREST PARK~GREEN LAKE(Bath House Theatre) SEATTLE
[Stay]Bainbridge Island. Beautiful Nipponzan Myohoji Temple
7 Wed. Bainbridge Is. (Rest Day)
[Stay]Nipponzan Myohoji Bainbridge Is. Dojo 6154 Lynwood Ctr. Rd. NE B.I. *Lunch-Dinner* Barbecue at Ichimura san’s home in Key Peninsula
8 Thu. Bainbridge Is.-Suquamish(12mls)
●830AM Walk Start at Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple, 6154 Lynwood Ctr. Rd. NE Bainbridge Island. WA 98110 206-780-6739,
◎7PM Symposium*Hibakusha in the World/Atomic West*
SUQUAMISH UCC CHURCH (the Address is below)
[Stay]Suquamish UCC Church. 18732 Division Ave. NE Suquamish.WA
9 Fri. Suquamish-Ground Zero Center(14.5mls)
●900AM Walk Start at Chief Seattle’s Grave
～Downtown Poulsbo~Ground Zero Ctr. For Nonviolent Action
[Stay]Ground Zero Center 16159 Clear Creek rd. NW Poulsbo WA 98370
10-11 Sat.-Sun. Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Activities of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
“This year we are hoping to expand our reach to communities of color
along the westcoast and get the information about the global, regional
and local compromised positions we are in regarding use of nuclear in
all its forms.“
Friends, Revolutionaries, Artists:
I hope this message finds you in good health.
I am writing to tell you of an exciting upcoming event that I welcome you to take part in.
Many of you had the opportunity to meet Charmaine White Face, an Oglala Lakota representative from Pine Ridge Reservation when she joined our latest Walk for a New Spring. The walk was a 50 day pilgrimage to D.C. calling for peace and nuclear disarmament. On the walk she shared with us a presentation entitled “America’s Chernobyl”; the untold story of uranium mining on the Great Sioux Nation.
She came representing the Lakota Nation and the Defenders of the Black Hills, an organization she co-founded to protect the sacred Black Hills.
After the Walk finished Charmaine went on tour again with the Lakota Grandmothers and the Strong Heart Lakota Solidarity Project. I had an opportunity to join this Truth Tour while they were in NYC. The tour was promoting the new documentary Red Cry which details the ways in which the United States Government initiated and is still employing genocidal tactics against the Indigenous People of this country.
This extremely pertinent documentary tells the unheard stories of Pine Ridge, and what we as a community can do to stop this cultural and physical genocide.
I am extremely excited to tell you that Charmaine, Canupa Gluha Mani and several elders and organizers will be coming back to the East Coast early next month.
Continuing the Truth Tour the elders and supporters will again go to the United Nations to deliver an official complaint of genocide from the Lakota Oyate and ask to be represented fairly as a nation.
According to the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties signed by the Sioux Nation and the United States Government the areas of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming are set aside for the “Absolute and undisturbed use and occupation [of the great Sioux nation]”. By neglect and feigned ignorance, the United States continues to allow the devastation of indigenous land, including the Black Hills which are considered a sacred area to many Native tribes. The uranium mining of the traditional indigenous land in the Midwest, central US and Western US is a direct violation of treaties signed by the US government.
We have a chance to change that.
On Wednesday June 5th and Thursday June 6th the Truth Tour will come to Amherst.
There will be a screening of the new documentary Red Cry and a chance for discussion with the elders and organizers. We will also be hosting a solidarity & decolonization training.
I am writing to invite you to these events and ask for your help.
We are looking for a space for the approximately 10 people who will be making the trip up from South Dakota to stay.
We are also looking for some light refreshments and/or donations for food and travel expenses for the group.
If you are interested in any of these things, please contact me by phone or email.
I thank you all for your work and interest, and I hope I will see you at one or both of these events.
More information to come.
Peace & Solidarity
Lakota Elders Denied Entry into the United Nations — Video
Defenders of the Black Hills Website
Red Cry Trailer
Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act
[to download this document visit newenglandpeacepagoda.org and select the document on the right hand side]
Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868
March 30, 2013
A thousand people took to the streets of downtown Brattleboro on Saturday to protest the continued operation of Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor one year after the plant’s license was originally set to expire.
Entergy, the company that owns Vermont Yankee stated originally that the plant would not continue to operate without a certificate of public good.
When the Vermont legislature overwhelmingly voted against a renewal of the plant’s re-licensing, Entergy decided to sue the state and eventually won the right to re-license the Mark 1 boiling water reactor (the same make as at Fukushima Daiichi Prefecture) for another 20 years.
Last March when the plant continued to operate thousands of people came from all over New England to support the Vermonters fight for a sustainable and nuclear free future.
Dozens of people were arrested following acts of civil disobedience at Entergy headquarters.
This year after a short march through town, the walk ended with a gathering at the Latchis Theater.
The Sage Alliance and other organizations organized a series of skits, speakers and other performances depicting the dangers of Vermont Yankee and sharing the story of the ongoing legal battles between the State of Vermont and Entergy.
Speakers included activist Chris Williams, Senator Jeanette White, and Deb Katz the director of Citizens Awareness Network (CAN) who ended the program with the reminder that “This is not a time to be discouraged rather a time to rededicate ourselves to shut this nuke!“
The New York Academy of Medicine New York City
The Helen Caldicott Foundation and Physicians for Social Responsibility
There were some 200 in the audience in rapt silence as many videographers recorded more than twenty-five presentations about the March, 2011 meltdowns of the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daichi nuclear reactors. The catastrophe was examined by leading world experts in radiation biology, epidemiology, oceanography, nuclear engineering, and nuclear policy. The talks were insightful, well-researched, poignant, and based on solid science and medical practice. And quite understandable for some in the audience, like me, who have none of these backgrounds.
Both days started promptly at 9 AM and ended promptly at 6:30 PM. During each morning and afternoon coffee break, there was a great buzz as we met people from all over the world, including Ukraine, Australia, Japan, Canada, and all over the US.
The conference opened with a video sent by and featuring former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan who was in office when the catastrophe of the Fukushima meltdowns occurred. Mr. Kan stressed that design flaws and human error caused the meltdowns. Mr. Kan stated emphatically that nuclear power cannot coexist with human life and must be abolished worldwide. Mr. Kan said releases of cancer-inducing Cesium-137 amounted to 400 to 500 times the releases of the Hiroshima bomb and that radioactive releases continue from the site. Despite TEPCO’s wish to the contrary, Mr. Kan said he made the difficult decision to require workers to remain on site in order to contain the catastrophe.
Mr. Kan emphasized that Fukushima is a man-made catastrophe which was engineered by GE and sold to Japan by the US
Dr. Alexey Yablokov of the Russian Academy of Sciences drew a standing ovation as he explained his unique methodology for assessing cancer incidence from the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown and his book Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.
Dr. Yabloko has concluded that official estimates including the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and Soviet and Russian governments underestimate both mortality and cancers caused by radiation from Chernobyl.
Before Monday’s lunch, we heard testimony from two US Navy veterans, Jaime Plym and Maurice Enis, who are among 5,000 sailors caught in Fukushima’s radiation fallout aboard the USS Ronald Reagan just off shore of the meltdowns for 80 days. The veterans were given no protective gear, no potassium iodine pills, and no information that they were being exposed to high levels of radiation. Before disembarking the ship, they were ordered to sign papers saying they were in good health and agreed they would not sue the US for any heath problems they might experience in the future. They say they now suffer serious health problems and no health insurance to cover their medical bills. With other Navy personnel who accuse TEPCO of providing “false and misleading information” about Fukushima while being “aware that the potential health risk was greater than its agents were reporting.” (See CBS News report: Navy Vets Say Fukushima Meltdown Made Them Sick 3/11/13).
During Tuesday’s lunch break, we heard from several Japanese women about societal and medical effects of Fukushima on Japanese family and culture. The women cite the Japanese government’s failure to inform citizens of the real dangers and further note the Japanese government’s failure adequately to compensate citizens for loss of property. Further, the Japanese media failed to investigate and report on the Fukushima disaster in timely fashion. The women are worried about their health and the health of their children since the meltdowns.
Many speakers pointed out that there was little planning for the possibility a disaster of the magnitude of the Fukushima meltdowns. There will undoubtedly be long-lasting and serious health effects incurring DNA damage going forward for many, many generations.
The consensus of speakers acknowledges no possible remediation of widespread high levels of contamination. Any genuine cleanup would be impossibly expensive and time consuming. It is clear that there is nowhere to put enormous amounts of contaminated soil, water, and debris. In addition, the 80% of radiation that leaked into the Pacific is irretrievable: even if we COULD clean things up, it is too late. The horse is out of the barn.
The physicians stressed their oath, “Above all, do no harm.” Prevention is the most important thing. Nuclear energy’s capacity to do damage is beyond human control, and the only way to prevent harm is to abolish nuclear power.
Others spoke of the failure of US engineers when they sited the Fukushima reactors in a high-level earthquake area with a long history of tsunamis, some of them measurable at considerable height. To provide easier road access to the reactors, Fukushima developers blasted a natural cliff sea wall down from 30 feet to 10 feet with a 14-foot man-made sea wall. The 2011 tsunami crested to 46 feet and flooded basement diesels so that they could no longer provide auxiliary power, thus leading to the meltdowns.
Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen spoke of economic pressures to curb costs, thus undermining the stringency of inspections, oversight, and maintenance. As in the United States, Japanese oversight agencies often draw from the nuclear industry. Oversight agencies are, therefore, corrupted by close ties. Mr. Gundersen also mentioned that spent fuel rods stored at Fukushima in dry casks on site were unharmed by the effects of the earthquake and tsunami. Spent fuel stored in pools high above the ground portend much more danger, but as at United States nuclear plants,TEPCO resisted putting rods in casks because of the cost: about $1.2 million each.
Mr. Gundersen further reported that Fukushima radiation monitors recorded 30,000 times the usual background radiation yearly dose in 10 minutes on March 12, although those readings were not made public at that time. Mr. Gundersen visited Tokyo in November, 2012, and took soil samples. He found the soil he measured contained radioactive hot spots.
Nuclear engineer David Lochbaum called Fukushima a foreseeable disaster in large measure because of its flawed design. Because of the flawed design, including basement back-up generators flooded by the tsunami, Fukushima’s reactors were without necessary auxiliary power for 9 days. Therefore, fuel rods heated up to meltdown without pumps to circulate cooling water.
In the immediate wake of the meltdowns, there was a muddled chain of command and climate of profound cover-up.
Many speakers noted the acknowledged flawed design of Fukushima’s GE Mark 1 boiling water reactors. GE itself described the design’s deficiencies in the early 70s, but reactors modeled on the prototype were nevertheless installed in many places, including Fukushima and more than 30 US sites, many of them still operating. Akin to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Japan’s oversight agency is corrupted by the industry it purports to regulate, according to many of the symposium’s speakers.
It is notable that if the Japanese government acknowledged the true extent of radiation contamination, compensating the millions of affected people and businesses would bankrupt Japan.
Presenters observed that the US has 63 military installations throughout the Japanese islands with some 60,000 military dependents including men, women, and children. These people, too, are potentially eligible for compensation and evacuation if the extent of contamination were to be honestly acknowledged.
Maps of radiation from Fukushima demonstrate a variable path because of prevailing winds, uneven concentrations, and fickle meteorological conditions. One thing is clear: more radiation will leak from Fukushima and, if Reactor 4 is not contained, future leakage will occur.
Some speakers shared studies of radiation exposure demonstrating that women, children, and especially fetuses are much more vulnerable than young men to damage and possible cancers from radiation exposure, although the standard for measuring harm from radiation is young men. Other studies show high infant mortality rates in both Japan and the US west coast at almost precisely nine months after the disaster, a phenomenon also observed within nine months of the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986.
Presenters also charged that International Atomic Energy Agency and World Health Organization statistics from the Fukushima tragedy understate its extent.
“The Fukushima crisis is actually an issue of global public health,” said Dr. Caldicott in her concluding remarks. “We are already observing a demonstrable, increased incidence of thyroid abnormalities in children in the Fukushima Prefecture. This may be an early indicator of an eventual increased incidence of thyroid cancers.
“Further, plumes of radioactivity from Fukushima are currently migrating in the Pacific Ocean towards the West Coast,” Dr. Caldicott added. “The crisis is far from over . . . and worst of all, Fukushima Daichi’s Building #4, which holds 100 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel, was seriously damaged in the earthquake and could collapse in another quake. This would cause the fuel pool to burn, releasing even more massive amounts of radiation. All of these have profound medical and public health implications.”
Dr. Caldicott implored her audience to work for a renewable energy future well within our ability to achieve. “Within nine months of Pearl Harbor,” she observed, “the United States completely retooled its industry to make war. It would be entirely possible within nine months, for the US to completely retool its industry to make and install solar panels and wind turbines to replace fossil-fuel and nuclear energy sources.”
Dr. Caldicott also encouraged conservation and urged people to examine their life styles, turning off their dryers, hang clothes on clotheslines, and develop mindfulness of energy-hogging lifestyles.
A wonderful second day for the Walk For a New Spring Peace Walk with blue skies and sunshine for over 35 participants who gathered at Pulaski Park in Northampton, MA. After Sister Claire spoke with sincerity and wisdom about our focus for the walk, the walkers chanted and drummed down the well populated Main St of Northampton and the high visibility thoroughfare of Rt. 9 towards Hadley, garnering many smiles, honks, waves and folks flashing the peace sign.
The American Friends Service Committee with Jeff Napolitano and Nuclear Free Future with Hattie Nestle hosted us for a lovely lunch at the First Congregational Church in Hadley MA, where participants shared about upcoming and important nuclear free activist events and joined in some connection and laughter amongst themselves.
The group continued walking after lunch through Hadley on Rt. 9 eventually arriving at the Jones Library in Amherst, MA for a Potluck and talk by Charmaine Whiteface of the Great Sioux Territory. The group was warmly hosted by the Amherst Human Rights Commission headed by Co Commissioners Ingrid Askew and Carol Ross.
A group of more than 80 people gathered at the library and the event was positively charged with spirited discussion, the camaraderie of old and new friends working for a common good, and the addition of documentary filmmaker Robbie Leppzer of Turning Tide Productions.
The finale of the days events was truly a highly educational, moving and inspirational lecture given by Charmaine Whiteface entitled “America’s Chernobyl.” Charmaine is a scientist, a professor, a member of the Defenders of the Black Hills and a Sioux woman who currently resides in the Great Sioux territory.
Charmaine Whiteface gave an historical overview of the tribes comprising the Great Sioux Nation and how their territories have been marginalized, with the bulk of the discussion landing on the 2,885 open pit uranium mines that are currently flooding the rivers, the reservations, the schools and the communities of the Sioux with radiation 4 times that of Fukushima. She spoke of the Riley Pass Mine, which emits 1400 micrograms of radiation/hour. She spoke about a group of students and a professor coming to test at an open uranium site 300 yards form an elementary school where the micrograms of radiation count reached such high levels the professor ordered her students to leave as it was too dangerous. She spoke of the work her community has done to simply get signs posted that warn people of the toxic dangers of the radiation and how the government has yet to post most areas, and even worse has deemed certain areas close to these sites “picnic areas”. Ms Whiteface shared evidence that this region has the highest percentage rates of cancer in the country and how children swim unwittingly in radioactive river water. Ms. Whiteface had many shocking facts to share and stories to tell about the government’s knowledge of these dangers and unwillingness to do anything about them.
An innovative and tenacious woman, Charmaine White Face came with a solution. She has made an open request for a bill: The Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act, which in effect, requires a moratorium on all further mining projects and mandates the clean up of all former sites before that moratorium can be lifted. This process calls upon the EPA (The Environmental Protection Agency) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to inventory the problem areas and create an Action Plan for clean up as well as implement the Moratorium on new uranium Exploration and Mining Permits.
Charmaine White Face ended her talk with a strong request and plea for people to implore their politicians to sign onto the Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act.
Post by Ana M. Wolf
Photos by Vanessa