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).
The protesters crossed the road with their affinity groups in stages, allowing officers to escort away one group before another followed. With each wave, Wrinn read off the Vermont law.
Brattleboro police arrested 137 protestors without incident.
Both protest organizers and police said they had prepared for Thursday’s protest for months in advance, and both credit the advance planning with keeping the day peaceful.
Rev. Jonathan Rehmus of the Colrain Affinity Group in Massachusetts observed the arrests from the road.
“We support Vermont,” Rehmus said.
Despite hailing from Massachusetts, Rehmus said the affinity group had trekked north because members sensed VY was a risk they could no longer take.
A tsunami won’t hit the Connecticut River, but he said that the spent fuel rods, stored above ground inside the facility and entombed in dry casks on site, are “just waiting for a tornado.”
Rehmus said Entergy had an “atrocious” maintenance record and that the day’s protest represented the thousands of people in the tri-state area who want the plant shut down.
Amanda Calder, 27, of Burlington, who is involved with Occupy Burlington, said an 80-year-old anti-nuclear activist inspired her to become active against VY.
The elder told her about how Entergy wanted to mothball the plant for 60 years.
“I’d be 87 by then,” said Calder.
According to Calder, the technology exists to move beyond nuclear power to renewables.
“It’s a social problem, not a technological problem,” she said. “Because renewables eat into the 1 percent’s profits.”
A school bus waited to shuttle arrestees to the Brattleboro Police Department for further processing, although some people “due to medical issues” were released immediately with written citations to appear in court at a future date, Wrinn said at a press conference.
Two on early release were “decades-long” protesters of the Shut It Down Affinity Group Paki Wieland, Northampton, Mass., and Jean Grossholtz, also of Massachusetts.
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