|Braving the 105 degree heat for a moment of action in downtown Chattanooga moments before police arrived|
More than 100 anti-nuclear activists, primarily from the Southeast, gathered at the University Center of UTC for 2-1/2 days of informed discussions, work, play, talk, music, listening, and learning about Nuclear Power, Weapons, and Waste in the South. Organized and sponsored by a wide variety of groups and individuals from grassroots citizen actionistas to national networks, the summit also drew participants from Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa.
|Dave Matos with Joanne Steele,|
Joanne Steele, guitarist & Tree of Peace storyteller, is an Alabama activist and board member of Nuclear Watch South. She added her music to call us together in song.
|Rita Harris of Sierra Club Memphis|
|Vogtle Action Working Group at Know Nukes Y'all Summit|
The Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant in Shell Bluff, Georgia, has received billions in government guaranteed loans (pronounced public subsidy) to bolster the so-called nuclear renaissance. This facility is seen by many in post Fukushima Japan, including Hiroshima survivor Shoji Kihara, as the most important U.S.nuclear project to halt and turn back nuclear development in Japan. This could redirect precious resources to safer, cleaner, and more economical energy sources.
Despite the deadly serious subjects discussed, a spirit of collaborative action and mutual support prevailed throughout the conference, bridging the usual communications gap between industry, academic and organizational professionals and volunteer grassroots organizers.
|Linda Modica of Jonesborough, backed by Tennessee's contingent of grassroots anti-nuke activists at the Summit|
Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team (BEST), and Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation, both BREDL Chapters, are taking on the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) nuclear power program. Others in Tennessee are hard at work too, educating and activating the people. Ralph Hutchinson of Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance presented on the long history of resistance at the Y-12 bomb plant, and Linda Modica spoke about the uranium dangers from DU weapons manufacture in Jonesborough and nuclear fuel processing in Erwin, Tenn.
Don Safer, Chair of the Tennessee Environmental Council, along with Sandy Kurtz, founder of the Tennessee Environmental Education Assn. were two of the more visible Tennessee folks that kept the conference on track and moving forward.
Dave Freeman the former TVA board chairman who convinced the TVA board to mothball plans for eight reactors shortly after the 1979 Three Mile Island partial meltdown, called nuclear power "the worst failure in our history."
|Don Safer, (L) and Dave Freeman|
Nuclear Information and Resource Service staff Mary Olson and Diane D'Arrigo provided detailed information and played key support roles along with Glenn Carroll of Nuclear Watch South. Many, many others had large and small parts to play.
|Diane D'Arrigo and Glenn Carroll|
New South Network of War Resisters' presentation, Atomic Appalachia & the S.E. Nuclear Complex: Weapons and Power--A Deadly Alliance" was well-received. Look for us on the road throughout the region. Bring us to your event by contacting us by email or call 828.301.6683.
Photos & Story: Clare Hanrahan & Coleman Smith