Members of Shut It Down arrested occupying conference room

Parading through a conference room: unidentified man, Paki Wieland, Frances Crowe, Ellen Graves, Susan Lantz and Hattie Nestel (in masks) – photo by Marcia Gagliardi

from Shut It Down Affinity Group

After a United States Chamber of Commerce announcement on September 11 that it had joined Entergy’s lawsuit to oppose State of Vermont legislation to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, the Shut It Down Affinity Group visited the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce on September 12 to determine its relationship with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The Shut It Down group deplores U.S. Chamber support of Entergy.

Later, eleven Shut It Downers were arrested by Vernon police at the Entergy Vermont Yankee Governor Hunt House conference center in Vernon after the women entered through an unlocked door. They paraded silently in death masks through halls and a conference room where three men were meeting.

Greg Lesch, office and information technology manager of the Brattleboro Chamber, told the women that the Brattleboro Chamber is not affiliated with the U.S. Chamber. He said the Brattleboro Chamber is a member of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

Priscilla Lynch of the Shut It Down group telephoned the Vermont Chamber from the Brattleboro offices and learned that the Vermont Chamber is a member of the U.S. Chamber and that Entergy is a member of the Vermont Chamber through the Brattleboro Chamber.

In Vernon, police coordinated by Sergeant Bruce Gauld charged the women for trespass at the Entergy conference center (which rumor held was a new headquarters for Entergy in Vermont). Entergy nuclear in Vermont has offices at 185 Old Ferry Road in Brattleboro and is the first item that comes up on a Google search for Entergy members of the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce.

Arrested were Linda Pon Owens of Brattleboro; Priscilla Lynch of Conway; Frances Crowe, Nancy First, Connie Harvard, Susan Lantz, and Paki Wieland of Northampton; Anneke Corbett of Florence; Marcia Gagliardi and Hattie Nestel of Athol; Ellen Graves of West Springfield.