Report from Bombplex 2030 hearing, by
NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH
We rocked the Bomb Town
... and sang The Bomb a sweet lullaby by the riverside.
We owned the room. We framed the discussion.
The experience was unexpectedly positive. We were impeccably nonviolent in
our speech and action. We were prepared, informed, articulate, and clear.
The only tension in the room came from Ted Wyka who has to squirm in the hot
seat while the Bomb Culture comes to terms with its End Game.
The "other side" was eager to reflect its humanity to us. The election
results provided a handy unifying and celebratory, at least for most it
The turnout was just right. I'm gonna say 50 people over the two meetings.
The morning meeting had press ... only the alternative press was at the
evening meeting. We had the best literature table spot (but had to wrangle
for it). Almost all our literature was taken. We had darling buttons.
Mushroom cloud with "no" superimposed. Earth with "yes" superimposed. Bombs
Away. No Nukes. Disarmament Now.
The previous night at the SC DHEC meeting on the GRIEVOUS HLW situation was
the first time ever according to Leslie Minerd who should know because she
has been in this movement since the beginning that opponents to DOE's
project proposal outnumbered proponents. It, by the way, was a packed
hearing room. But that's another story -- Joe Whetstone, Sierra Club, merits
special recognition for his diligent leadership and study on this issue.
We were diverse and spoke against Bombplex 2030 and for disarment and
clean-up from a wide range of perspectives. The room was half-full in the
morning and three-quarters full in the evening.
Richard Lindsey, youngest of 10 children of a Cold War victim, SRP worker,
who died at age 53 when Richard was only 8 ... whose aunt lived to be 104
and whose father's parents lived well into their 90s was a powerful and
moving spokesman for the needs of his mother who, as with all the Cold War
worker victims and families, is getting the runaround with the Worker
Compensation Program. Bobbie Paul met the Lindsey family in a fortuitous
accidental meeting and is strongly helping shape the Lindsey's case into
what could well be The Case that breaks the logjam on the Worker
Compensation situation. The Lindsey family is very special and meritorious
of the focus upon it. He was appropriately at the center of our press
conference and was poised and dignified through what must have been an
intense "first time out."
WE NEED TO PLACE THE WORKER COMPENSATION PROGRAM AT THE TOP OF THE LIST WITH
DISARMAMENT AND CLEAN-UP. A COMPANION TO THAT IS TO ADVOCATE FOR WORKER
SAFETY AS WE FACE THE GRIEVOUS WASTE SITUATION.
Lou Zeller, BREDL, spoke early on and started the theme "Zero Nuclear
Weapons by 2030." The press conference was well planned and run by BREDL,
and our efforts were so blessed that even our mistakes turned into perfect
timing! Augusta Chronicle, Aiken Standard, the SC radio network, a local TV
affiliate and Atlanta Progressive were the only press in attendance (I
think). BREDL also contributed a hospitality suite with nourishment for all
(although only the cool people ended up hanging out in there). Janet kept
the home fires burning for the duration of the morning meeting, serving as
hostess and chief coffee maker.
One of the biggest hits was a performance by Melanie Knight, Carolina Peace
Resource Center and reBELLEious cheerleader, who reworked Dire Straits
"Money For Nothin'" into a hilarious and bang-on message. "Look at that
momma, she can't feed her baby -- while you suck upon the taxpayer teet."
Sting's classic contribution "I Want My MTV" was changed, naturally! to "I
Want My NTP!" We'll get those words up soon for your enjoyment and for folks
in other towns who want to "cover" it.
THE YOUNG PEOPLE'S testimony was so amazing. So clear so informed. Allison
Peeler, CPRC, cracked open our hearts with her informed impassioned plea for
her future. Laura Sima, who ANA folks know from DC Days a few years back, is
organizing an anti-nuclear movement on University of South Carolina campus
and spoke from a strong scientific and factual basis. Ranowul Jzar of
Citizens for Environmental Justice, Savannah, and who is currently serving
on the SRS CAB made note of Laura's testimony as the single best hook-up
with the tricky EIS process. Other young people spontaneously signed up to
speak and gave simple straightforward testimony for disarmament.
David Matos, Aiken Peace, perhaps the first voice from Aiken EVER on the
record, in opposition to The Bomb, made incisive comments to the global
insecurity and increased threat from our hostile posture.
Jerry Rudolph, CPRC, broke new ground with some astonishing ideas which he
will hopefully send up the pipeline. This one stood out: he invoked Daniel
Ellsberg's revelatory Viet Nam deceptions that if known in time would have
prevented the war. He made a call for conscience to DOE employees who may be
aware of classified deceptions that should be made public. He also called
for the terrorist threat to us from resuming nuclear weapons manufacture to
be analyzed, and followed that thread in detailing the many facets, the
threats to tourists in other nations, the threat to our economy if our goods
are boycotted. And the threat of modelling ourselves after Russia and
draining the treasury on this enterprise.
Elizabeth Baldwin gave grim detailed narrative of what to expect in the
aftermath of a nuclear blast in your city ... the first responders mostly
dead, the outlying responders overwhelmed by the number of victims, the
simple task of finding wood to cremate the dead while the maggots crowd in
... drawing from testimony she knows so intimately from her work as a
Japanese translator and with the hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She
began her comments by thanking the people who do not agree with our
viewpoint for their respectful attention and the goodwill created by that
simple acknowledgement was palpable.
I believe the strongest point I made was in invoking the new, unmatched
weapons system, the Trident, especially since Kings Bay, Georgia constitutes
the world's third-largest nuclear power. That one single example exposes the
lie that we don't have a credible threat or that the shelf-life of our bombs
DOE folks said they don't want to analyze the use of the product or the
Disarmament 2030 alternative. Natch. But if they do their duty, the message
will be reported back even if they can't figure out what to do with it in
the EIS. And look for Brian Costner in his role with DOE NEPA Compliance at
some of the meetings. For some reason, the "DOE organizers" like to say how
much they respect Marylia Kelly! I told them to read "Nuclear Rites" before
they hit Livermore.
Too much to tell ... so beautiful and so perfect
They only allowed Congressional legislators priority status. Everyone else
of that ilk was first come first served. None from "official leaders" in
opposition to DOE's scheme. We listened to the usual listless droning about
bring your money bring your money from the chambers and support from the
towns and area technical schools. United Way and the representative from 100
Black Men who works with underprivileged children were the most painful
co-options. The only criticism I had of the way they ran the meeting was
that the facilitator's "One minute remaining" was intrusive. They said they
would get a bell. So now they'll be handing out wings during our testimony!!
I wish I dared say more it's so long already. And I wasn't in the room at
all times to hear everything.
Leslie Minerd, Environmentalists Inc. reminded SRS to be careful what they
wish for ... to make note of the many, many more meetings being held in New
Mexico and if Complex 2030 is built elsewhere, it will undermine support for
the clean-up mission at SRS.
Dianne Valentin, Bobbie Paul and Krista Brewer, Atlanta WAND, contributed
the BB demonstration at both hearings. The entirety (6-1/2 hours total,
including the previous night's HLW hearing) was videotaped by Judy Conder,
Georgia Peace & Justice.
I'll end here, and wish it were even appropriate to elaborate further and
cite ALL the compelling and EVERYBODY's testimony.
But this last and most special observation: the evening ended with Bobbie
Paul and Elizabeth Baldwin singing the now-classic reworking of Sam Cooke's
"Don't Know Much." The last words uttered on the record at the SRS meeting:
"If common sense could only start
a chain reaction of the human heart,
what a wonderful world this would be. "
NUCLEAR WATCH SOUTH
(formerly GANE - Georgians Against Nuclear Energy)
P.O. Box 8574
Atlanta, GA 31106
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