U.S.Direct Action Protests against Nuclear & Coal Plants


26 november 2008

November 26, 2008
Climate Crisis Energizes Radical Environmentalists
Filed at 7:21 a.m. ET

LOUISA, Va. (AP) -- Under arrest, Paxus Calta raised two fingers from his shackled hand to flash a peace sign. Fellow environmental activists cheered as police escorted him to the van that would take him to jail.

He had intended to get arrested, as he had before in 12 countries on three continents.

For two hours, Calta and 19 other protesters associated with the grassroots group Rising Tide North America had occupied the visitor's center at Dominion's North Anna Nuclear Power Station.

While radical groups and their tactics are by no means new, climate change is a new cause for them.

Rising Tide isn't protesting the causes of global warming as much as the solutions. It is against clean coal, nuclear power and capping carbon pollution while letting polluters buy and sell rights to pollute under the cap -- the very fixes under discussion in Washington. It disdains the compromise and collaboration between the Big 10 environmental groups and elite corporations, as well as the view that technology can save the environment.

Rising Tide originated in the Netherlands in 2000. It came to the U.S. in 2006. That's when a group of activists involved in Earth First!, one of the earliest groups to use in-your-face tactics such as tree sitting and blocking roads with human chains, decided that more attention needed to be paid to global warming.

''There was a huge need for a climate-focused group that wasn't going to compromise ... not do what is conducive to business, but what we actually need for ecosystems on this planet to survive,'' said Abigail Singer, who was in those early discussions and is one of roughly 20 people who lead Rising Tide nationally. Small cells have spread across the country in Asheville, N.C., Boston, Portland, Ore., and more recently Houston and Baltimore.

The group's annual climate camps draw hundreds of activists, anarchists and organizers each year. The participants -- many in their early 20s -- camp out for the week, share group meals and learn skills such as tree climbing that can help during a demonstration.


Eric Hendrixson, the director of safety and licensing at Dominion's North Anna Power Station, looked on as the protesters sat on the floor, passed around trail mix and chanted slogans such as ''Climate Revolution, Not False Solutions'' and ''No Nukes, No Coal, No Kidding.'' Meanwhile, police gathered outside.

''If there was a perfect solution, it would have arrived,'' Hendrixson said, shaking his head, and at one point calling the protesters rude. ''What I don't respect are individuals who voice their opinion out of ignorance.''


Elisa Young says that her family's 144-acre farm in rural Ohio is surrounded by coal-fired power plants, and there are proposals for more of them. She attended one of Rising Tide's climate action camps this summer.

''I am not a trained activist. I don't even consider myself an environmentalist,'' said Young. But these groups ''have a vested interest in the future of this planet. They are the most motivated and least compromised of the activists out there.''

Read the full article on the NY Times website.

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