Monthly Archive for April, 2013

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Shut-It-Downers end series of protests with Earth Day presence at Vermont Yankee

Linda Pon Owens in police cruiser

from the Shut It Down affinity group

Vernon, Vermont—Accompanied by the drums and prayers of the monks and nuns of the New England Peace Pagoda, the Shut It Down Affinity Group concluded a weeklong series of gate-blocking presences at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant on Monday, April 22. Vernon Police Sergeant Bruce Gauld arrested the women while the monks and nuns continued to pray at the site.

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Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark testifies at court hearing for Transform Now Plowshares

(l-r) Ramsey Clark, Anabel Dwyer, Sr. Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed. Photo by Ralph Hutchison

by Ralph Hutchison, OREPA


The judge interrupted the questioning of former Attorney General Ramsey Clark as he testified at a hearing in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee on April 23 in preparation for the Transform Now Plowshares trial in May.

Bill Quigley, counsel for the defense, had just asked Clark if the threat of the use of nuclear weapons was imminent.

“It’s omnipresent,” said Clark.

“Excuse me,” the Judge said. “Are you saying the President intends to use nuclear weapons? Are you in a position to know that? Are you tied in with the President?”

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~ Prison letter from Brian Terrell, from Yankton

Drones, Sanctions and the Prison Industrial Complex

by Brian Terrell

In the final weeks of a six month prison sentence for protesting remote control murder by drones, specifically from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, I can only reflect on my time of captivity in light of the crimes that brought me here.  In these ominous times, it is America’s officials and judges and not the anarchists who exhibit the most flagrant contempt for the rule of law and it is due to the malfeasance of these that I owe the distinction of this sabbatical.

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Jailed NATO protester pleads guilty, begins three year prison sentence

Mark Neiweem

(Adapted from press releases at

Mark Neiweem, a 28-year-old Chicago activist, pleaded guilty in Cook County Court April 11 to felony charges brought on by interactions with undercover Chicago police officers who had infiltrated activist groups prior to protests at the NATO summit held in Chicago in May, 2012. Neiweem pleaded guilty to a probation violation charge from a previous conviction and to solicitation and attempted possession of an explosive or incendiary device.

Neiweem, who spent 329 continuous days in the notorious conditions of Cook County Jail while awaiting trial, will now serve out the remainder of a 3-year sentence in a state prison.

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Twelve arrested at Federal Courthouse in NYC demanding closure of Guantanamo detention facility photo

from Witness Against Torture

Responding to reports that 84 men — more than half of those imprisoned at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay — are hunger striking to protest their indefinite detention, 12 concerned activists with Witness Against Torture were arrested on April 22 at approximately 3 p.m. in a “die-in” on the steps of the Federal Courthouse at Manhattan’s Foley Square.

Those arrested, some in orange jumpsuits and black hoods, held signs with names of the men who have already died under U.S. custody at the prison. Fearing that more prisoners could die soon, the protesters are demanding that immediate measures be taken by the Obama administration to close the prison.

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Persistent women arrested at Vermont Yankee nuclear plant five days in a row

Nestel’s citation with Bonnie Holmes’ rat stencil

Vernon, Vermont – Two women of the Shut It Down Affinity Group face charges of trespass and vandalism after police arrested them on Monday, April 15 in the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant driveway covered with spray-painted, stencilled images of rats and the statement “I smell a rat.”

Both from Massachusetts, those arrested are Hattie Nestel, 74, of Athol and Priscilla Lynch, 63, of Colrain.

“It is important to link the recent dangerous loss of electric power to the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant with the possibility of a similar event at Vermont Yankee,” Nestel said. “For several days, damaged radioactive fuel rods heated up in a spent fuel pool at Fukushima because a rat had crawled into electrical circuits and died. The same thing could happen at Vermont Yankee.

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Forty-seven arrested; Faslane nuclear weapons base shut by protesters for 3 hours

photo by Ric Lander –

from Scrap Trident

Hundreds of people from across the UK, France and as far away as New Zealand converged on Faslane Naval Base in Scotland, homeport to Trident, at 7 a.m. on April 15, blocking all three of its gates and shutting down access, bringing traffic on all roads into the nuclear weapons base to a halt for 3 hours.

Students, pensioners, environmentalists and activists from a dozen campaign groups and political parties laid down in the entrance to the base and locked themselves together with metal and plastic tubes, chains and thumb cuffs. They demanded the UK disarm Trident, fund human needs – welfare, education, pensions, disability benefits, and green jobs – and let Scotland lead the way to a world free of nuclear weapons.

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~ Message from Yang Yoon-Mo, Jeju prison

A tree seen on the way to the meeting room of the Jeju Prison

 from Save Jeju Now


Yang Yoon-Mo hit his 68th prison day on Monday, April 8. On April 10, he will hit his 70th prison day.

On a sunny Monday, the way to the meeting room of the Jeju prison was filled with green trees and magnolia.

Yang Yoon-Mo was still in patient cloth. Though still thin, he looked bright. His hairs were cut in tidy fashion.  The international team member could not tell him that a clash began in front of the construction sites from the early morning of the day because she worried about his heath that is still in recovering process.

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Gangjeong is in emergency! Resistance to naval base construction continues…

Photo by Fr. Colbe Jung

by Sung-Hee Choi [see updates below]

April 8 and 9

While company workers block the gates [of the site of a new naval base being constructed on Jeju Island, South Korea], police are intentionally silent about it. People are desperately keeping the gate. Company workers’ violence to people is a very high possibility. One young man was hit in the eye with glass and needed medical investigation to his face yesterday. One person was arrested yesterday.

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Three men arrested during march to Y-12 nuclear weapons plant

photo by Ralph Hutchison, OREPA

by Ralph Hutchison, OREPA

The Oak Ridge, Tennessee city police joined forces with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in an effort to stifle any public voice in opposition to the proposed $6.5 billion Uranium Processing Facility (bomb plant) at Y-12 in Oak Ridge.  One tactic was to erect a fence around Department of Energy (DOE) property to wall off the space used by protesters for more than 700 gatherings over the last 25 years; a second was to harass and intimidate marchers as they walked from the public park to the bomb plant.

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