Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, was honored and privileged to join with many friends and colleagues, and to take part in the Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free Contingent at the People's Climate March in New York City on September 21st. The contingent comprised many hundreds, even thousands, of people, representing a large number of groups and coalitions, carrying 650 "Nuclear Power? No Thanks!" flags, 200 "Don't Nuke the Climate" placards, and countless other signs and banners from anti-nuclear campaigns across the country.
Spearheaded by Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), which provided the flags and placards, the contingent kicked off with inspiring speakers, including: Chris Williams (NIRS board chair, with Vermont Citizens Action Network and Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance); Dr. Arjun Makhijani (President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, and author of the 2007 book Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy); Leona Morgan (Dine No Nukes), New York City-based Japanese anti-nuke artist and activist Yuko Tonohira; Gary Shaw of Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC); and Jessica Azulay, Program Director, Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE).
Mary Olson of NIRS read new poems by Marge Piercy written especially for the occasion. On-stage performers included: Raging Grannies; Joel Landy; Chiho Kaneko; and Mel & Vinnie.
The People's Climate March was so huge -- around 400,000 people -- that the Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free Contingent had to wait two hours before even beginning to march! But the contingent was lucky enough to have "The Himalayas," one of about a dozen energetic activist marching bands, in its midst, which helped to keep spirits up throughout the long day.
In addition, folks like Joe DeMare with the Green Party of Ohio helped lead No Nukes chants. Joe organized a vanload of folks from northwest Ohio to attend the Climate March's anti-nuke contingent. The Green Party of Ohio, along with Beyond Nuclear, is part of the environmental coalition that has been challenging the 20-year license extension at the problem-plagued Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo for several long years now. (See local media coverage of Joe's participation in the march here.)
Visual art added to the colorful display. Jean Shaw of IPSEC created an amazing King C.O.N.G. (Coal, Oil, Nuclear, Gas) diorama, with the same theme as Gail Payne's march poster, included with an essay by Harvey Wasserman.
New York City-based Japanese anti-nuclear activists created giant, beautiful origami peace cranes.
NIRS' President, Michael Mariotte, has offered his reflections on the Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free Continent at the People's Climate March in a GreenWorld blog post.
Harvey Wasserman, author of Solartopia, filed this report about the march. Harvey has invited Kevin onto his radio show, "Green Power and Wellness," next Tuesday, Sept. 30th at 5 P.M. Eastern, to talk about the march, as well as to give an update on the Davis-Besse intervention -- which they talked about while marching alongside one another in New York City.
The day before the march, Kevin also took part in an anti-nuke strategy meeting convened by NIRS. The main subject matter of discussion was the "nuclear war against renewables" -- both at the federal as well as the state level -- as Dave Kraft of Nuclear Energy Information Service in Chicago has put it. Tim Judson, NIRS' executive director, published a report this month about this dangerous threat, entitled "Killing the Competition: The Nuclear Power Agenda to Block Climate Action, Stop Renewable Energy, and Subsidize Old Reactors."
This message just in from Michael Mariotte, President of NIRS:
"We’ve now posted a gallery of nearly 200 photos of the Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free Contingent at the People’s Climate March, from the Saturday afternoon strategy meeting, to the early morning preparations, to rally speakers and the march itself.
We’ll be adding more photos in coming days, and hopefully trying to put them in a bit better order—they’re pretty random right now.
Click on any photo to enlarge.