Welcoming the New Year Saturday January 1, 2011 nine women from Vermont and Massachusetts were arrested as they blocked the driveway leading in to the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant owned by Entergy. The women, carrying huge mock solar panels, were charged with unlawful trespass when local and state police arrested them just before two in the afternoon when they refused to leave the property.
Police booked the women and released them pending a February 28 court appearance in Windham County District Court in Brattleboro. The women are with the Shut It Down affinity group. This is their eleventh arrest against nuclear power at Vermont Yankee since they began appearing there in December 2005. All previous arrests have been dropped by the state attorney’s office.
The nine women, ranging in age from 40 to 91, include four Vermonters, Julia Bonafine, Martha Hennessy, Robin Lloyd and Nina Swaim, and five from Massachusetts, including Frances Crowe, Marcia Gagliardi, Ellen Graves, Hattie Nestel, and Paki Wieland.
Their mock solar panels read “No More Leaks and No More Lies—Shut It Down Now.” The group urged the immediate shutdown of the nuclear plant, stating that, “tomorrow would be fine but today would be better.”
Entergy Corporation’s Vermont Yankee continues to be a controversial topic in the northeast as they defend tritium leeks and underplay collapsing cooling towers. Their contract expires in 2012. Both the Vermont legislature and newly elected Governor Peter Shumlin have expressed opposition to Entergy’s application to renew the plant’s license for another 20 years. Entergy continues to seek the renewal despite public concern and evidence that the nuclear power plant is not safe.
Sam Mayfield is a Burlington, VT based videographer and editor. Her video stories have appeared online in the Nation magazine, Alternet, Z-Magazine, the Progressive, on Grit TV and on Democracy Now!. For more information visit her blog: http://samville.blogspot.com/