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Wednesday
Oct232013

No Nukes! at PowerShift 2013 in Pittsburgh

Kevin, Leona, and Yuko prepare for their workshop in between visitors to the Beyond Nuclear info. table at PowerShift 2013. The Japanese banner behind them reads "Stop Plutonium Thermal," or "Nix MOX." It was given to Kevin by anti-nuclear activists in Saga City, Japan in August 2010. Photo by Dave Kraft, NEIS.Beyond Nuclear was joined by Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) of Illinois, Friends of the Earth (FOE), Georgia Women's Action for New Directions (WAND), Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Campaign, Public Citizen, Energy Justice Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, and other anti-nuke groups at Energy Action Coalition's PowerShift youth activist gathering in Pittsburgh last weekend. An estimated 6,000 young climate and environmental justice activists attended the event, which also addressed such dirty, dangerous and expensive fossil fuel risks as mountain top removal coal mining, fracking, and tar sands crude oil.

Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps, joined by Leona Morgan of the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, Western Mining Action Network, and Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping (MASE/WMAN/CARD), and Yuko Tonohira of Todos Somos Japon (photo, left), co-led a workshop entitled "Nuclear Power's Human Rights Violations." Kevin framed the discussion on the United Nation's Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Health, Anand Grover's, newly published final report on the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Leona discussed the impacts of uranium mining on Navajo and Pueblo indigenous peoples in the Four Corners. And Yuko reported on the impacts of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe on evacuated residents, as well as workers at Tokyo Electric Power Company's devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

In addition to the workshop, Kevin, Leona, and Yuko ran a Beyond Nuclear info. table the entire weekend, which witnessed heavy traffic and great discussions with hundreds of visitors. Beyond Nuclear and NEIS were info. tabling neighbors.

Kevin also had the honor and privilege of being asked to moderate a workshop panel on nuclear power as a false solution to the climate crisis, featuring Katherine Fuchs of FOE, Courtney Hanson of Georgia WAND, and Leona.

Allison Fisher of Public Citizen's Energy Program conducted a workshop to teach activist skills building.

Kevin attended the break out session for his native Michigan, where he was able to announce to 200 high school and college students from the Great Lakes State the Fermi 3 proposed new reactor NRC Atomic Safety Licensing Board proceedings to take place next weekend, and to encourage their participation.

Kevin and Leona were also able to attend -- and fly the anti-nuke banner at -- the PowerShift rally on the riverside in downtown Pittsburgh, between the Roberto Clemente and Rachel Carson bridges, last Monday (Clemente was a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball star and humanitarian, who died tragically young, delivering earthquake relief supplies to Nicaragua; Carson, the matriarch of the U.S. environmental movement, author of the iconic Silent Spring in 1962, about the hazards of pesticides and radioactivity, also died too young, of breast cancer).

Beyond Nuclear has taken part in each of the PowerShift gatherings thus far: 2007 at University of Maryland, College Park; 2009 and 2011 at the Washington Convention Center in D.C.; and 2013 in Pittsburgh.