Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Just some of the 1,500 protesters who marched on Entergyâ€™s corporate headquarters in Brattleboro on Thursday
With additional reporting by Jeff Potter, using the resources of a video of Wrinn’s press conference posted on YouTube by Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV).
Originally published in The Commons issue #145 (Wednesday, March 28, 2012).
Co-host Mark Lathrop, a.k.a. “Pat Riot,” agreed.
“Nuclear power aside, the idea that Entergy can sign [memorandum of understanding] after [memorandum of understanding] and walk away is absurd,” he said, referring to agreements that the company signed with the state as conditions of the plant’s purchase in 2002.
Lathrop felt that Entergy had violated Vermont law by operating past its state-issued Certificate of Public Good.
“The police should arrest them,” he said.
New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Steven W Lindsey took the corporation to task for what he perceived as arrogance.
“Entergy thinks it can walk in and buy good will,” he said. “Most streets are two-way. But with Vermont and Entergy, it’s one way. It’s Entergy’s way.”
After 3 p.m., the crowd streamed up Old Ferry Road to the entrance leading to Entergy’s Vermont Yankee corporate headquarters. Deputies from the Windham County Sheriff’s Department and officers from the Brattleboro Police stood at the ready behind Jersey barriers, orange sawhorses and yellow police tape dotted with “No Trespassing” signs.
Protest organizers, including Deb Katz of Citizens Awareness Network (CAN), marched back and forth, calling instructions to the crowd gathered on the lawn across the road.
According to Katz, Entergy was permitting people to stand on the green space but if they crossed the road, participants risked arrest.
And those willing to risk arrest did just that.
Among the first to be arrested, Randy Kehler of Colrain, Mass., as Wrinn read Vermont’s unlawful trespassing statute.
“If you trespass, you will be arrested,” he said over a loudspeaker.
A chant of “Shut it down!” drowned out the chief’s warning.
Protesters crossing into Entergy’s territory peacefully followed the orders of the law enforcement personnel. Some were cuffed with plastic ties. Most were calmly escorted away to a booking area behind the main building. Many protesters waved to their fellows across the road who shouted support.
A team of observers from the Vermont Law School, who declined to be interviewed, kept a close eye on the arrests and tracked the activity, as did other members of affinity groups from Vermont and Massachusetts.
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