June 24 Street Rally Starts at Entergy v. Shumlin

Activists are asking the public to join them at a rally on June 24 from 7:30 a.m. until 9 a.m. outside the federal court in Brattleboro where the trial of Entergy v. Shumlin will be held on June 23 and June 24 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Peter Shumlin is governor of Vermont. Entergy is the Louisiana corporation that owns the problem plagued Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The reactor is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone’s throw from New Hampshire.

In April, Entergy sued Shumlin because the people of Vermont used the democratic process to order Entergy to close Vermont Yankee in March 2012.

Vermont Yankee, which opened in 1972, has been plagued by problems in the past few years, including a fire that could be seen from miles away, and a flood when hundreds of thousands of gallons of water poured out of a collapsed cooling tower. Vermont Yankee is the same make and model (General Electric Mark 1) as the reactors that are spewing deadly poison into the air and water in Japan.

The name of the federal court case initiated by Entergy is “Entergy v. Shumlin.” Governor Shumlin has lived almost his entire life in Putney, near Brattleboro. In February 2010, as president of the state senate, Shumlin led the legislative vote to close Yankee. In November, he was elected governor. Closing the reactor was a center-piece of his campaign.

Entergy wants a federal judge to force Vermont to let Entergy run Vermont Yankee until 2032.

The trial will begin June 23 in the courtroom upstairs from the post office on Main Street in downtown Brattleboro. The rally will be on the sidewalk in front of the post office, said organizer Debra Stoleroff. She works for the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance www.vyda.org

VYDA is an all-volunteer group. Another group that's working to close Vermont Yankee is the Vermont Public Interest Research Group www.vpirg.org

VPIRG has full-time, paid staff.

Stoleroff said that anyone who wants to carpool to the rally should contact Nancy Rice by phone at (802) 728-9318 or by e-mail: rice@innevi.com

Stoleroff said, “VYDA and other organizations are currently planning actions leading up to and following March 21, 2012. This is the day that Vermont Yankee's license to operate expires. If you are interested either in supporting or engaging in non-violent civil disobedience, now is the time to get educated and involved. We are hoping to have an action planning camp sometime in July or August. If you are interested in forming affinity groups for actions, attending the camp would be a great way to get informed and involved."

Her e-mail address is debra@vtlink.net

The Massachusetts attorney general, Martha Coakley, said in May that she will actively support Shumlin in the trial of Entergy v. Shumlin.

On June 16, the five members of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (who are appointed by President Obama, whose election campaign received funding from the nuclear power industry) refused to say whether they had voted in secret on June 15 on whether to ask the U.S. Justice Department to actively support Entergy in the trial of Entergy v. Shumlin. The NRC gets 98 percent of its funding from the industry it "regulates."

On June 16, there was a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is a member of the committee. He asked the NRC members about their involvement in Entergy v. Shumlin.

"My understanding is that there was a vote yesterday at the NRC on the issue in fact of whether or not the NRC should be involved in this case," Sanders told NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko. "Can you tell me what the vote was, Mr. Commissioner?"

Jaczko and the other four commissioners refused to answer. They said the vote was secret.

Obama also appoints, and decides whether to promote, federal judges -- including the judge who will decide Entergy v. Shumlin.

Dr. Mike Rotkin is a nationally known expert on the relationships among powerful corporations, grassroots movements, and the federal judicial system. He teaches at the University of California, and was elected mayor of Santa Cruz (population 57,000) five times. In an interview with the Valley Post, Rotkin said Vermonters, and residents of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, can influence the judge’s decision in Entergy v. Shumlin. “Judges would like to maintain the illusion that the judicial process is never influenced by political considerations,” Rotkin said. “The reality is quite the opposite.”

Rotkin said people must act collectively if they want a judge to stand up to a powerful corporation. Preferably this should be done in highly visible ways, such as participating in marches and rallies. But writing letters to the editor of newspapers that judges are likely to read and signing petitions can also be effective.

"Nothing has a bigger impact on judicial decisions, from the local municipal court to the U.S. Supreme Court, than the judges' understanding of what the public wants to see them do,” Professor Rotkin said. “In Plessy v. Ferguson in 1898, the U.S. Supreme Court validated segregated schools. In Brown v. Topeka Board of Education in 1954, the same court overturned that decision. What changed was public opinion and the willingness of African Americans and their supporters to speak out and demonstrate against segregation."

More information on Vermont Yankee, and the grassroots movement that last year led the state to order Entergy to shut the reactor, is at:



This is an updated version of an article that first appeared on April 18.


from Claire Chang of

from Claire Chang of www.NukeBusters.org:

in the Lawsuit brought against Vermont by Entergy Nuclear, Inc.

June 23 and 24
7:30 – 9:00 AM
Sidewalk at Brattleboro Post Office, Brattleboro, VT


The Safe & Green Campaign, a citizens environmental organization based in the Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts towns within 20 miles of the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor in Vernon, VT, is inviting concerned members of the public to take part in the following event:

A quiet, dignified, single-line vigil in support of Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, and Vermont’s Public Service Board, who have been named as defendants in a federal lawsuit brought by the Entergy Corporation, owner/operator of Vermont Yankee (see “background” below).

The court hearing, which is open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM each day. The vigil will end at 9:00 AM so as not to interfere with the court proceedings. Those who want to attend the hearing may want to leave the vigil before 9:00 AM to be sure of getting seats, though this may not be a problem (the courtroom is said to hold at least 75 spectators).

On the sidewalks in front of, and across the street from, the Brattleboro Post Office on Main Street. The federal courtroom is upstairs in the Post Office building. Vigilers will be asked to stand facing the street in a single line so as to avoid blocking pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks. We must also be sure to avoid blocking the entrance to the Post Office, cross streets, and driveways.

The Safe & Green Campaign will have a number of signs for people to hold. The signs read, “Entergy vs. Vermont…We Support VERMONT!” If vigilers choose to bring their own signs, we ask that they be in keeping with the purpose of the vigil, which is to show support for the State of Vermont and its elected officials in their determination to uphold Vermont’s democratic process and the will of the people to close Vermont Yankee. Safe & Green will also have leaflets to be given out to passersbys.

Entergy is pushing to nullify an important Vermont law that gives the state legislature the authority to determine whether or not Vermont Yankee will be permitted to continue operation beyond the expiration, on March 21, 2012, of its original 40-year license. The law stipulates that permission must be granted by both the Vermont Senate and the Vermont House of Representatives. On February 24, 2010, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (26-to-4) not to allow continued operation.
Until the lawsuit is finally settled, which could take years, Entergy is seeking an immediate “preliminary injunction” that would block any effort by the State of Vermont to close the Vermont Yankee reactor. This means that for years Entergy could continue to operate an aged, unreliable, badly-maintained and accident-plagued reactor. Their request for a preliminary injunction will be the main subject of the June 23-24 hearing. NOTE: Judge J. Garvan Murtha, the Vermont federal district judge who will preside over the June 23-24 hearing, may not hand down his decision regarding the injunction until the following week at the earliest.

POST-DECISION TEACH-IN: As soon as we know Judge Murtha’s decision, Safe & Green will hold a public “teach-in” in order to explain and discuss both the legal and citizen action implications of his decision.

Safe & Green Campaign www.safeandgreencampaign.org

Thank you for the great

Thank you for the great summary of the Entergy lawsuit and the events being planned around it!

Nancy Rice

Randolph Center, Vermont

(802) 728-9318

Thanks for the info! Ethan

Thanks for the info!

Ethan Hazzard-Watkins



I'll be out of town, but good

I'll be out of town, but good luck, get those dangerously greedy corporate blow pigs out of here for good, don't let them impose federal jurisdiction with their big bucks.

John Hehir

The trial will run from 9

The trial will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on June 23 and June 24. There will be a one-hour lunch break both days, probably from noon until 1 p.m. The trial may continue after June 24 on a date to be determined by the judge.

E-mail from Leslie at

E-mail from Leslie at www.safeandgreencampaign.org :

Thursday, May 5, 2011

10:30 a.m.

Federal District Court, above the main post office in downtown Brattleboro (Main Street)

The judge, and lawyers for Entergy and the state of Vermont, will hold a "pre-trial status conference" to set the schedule for Entergy v Shumlin.

Please come to support the State of Vermont in a peaceful, dignified way. Letting Vermont's elected officials know the people are with them from day one of the preemption case is important.

The public will soon be able

The public will soon be able to find out the time and date when Entergy v. Shumlin will begin by calling the court at (802) 254-0250 during normal business hours. The Valley Post will call the court weekly and publish this information as soon as it becomes available.

On April 22, there was a

On April 22, there was a protest at Vermont Yankee. Eleven women were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. They were calling for the reactor to be closed immediately and permanently.

These women were arrested: Julie Levy of Weathersfield, Vermont; Robin Lloyd of Burlington, Vermont; Nina Swaim of Sharon, Vermont; Betsy Corner of Colrain, Massachusetts; Frances Crowe and Paki Wieland of Northampton; Marcia Gagliardi and Hattie Nestel of Athol, Massachusetts; Jean Grossholtz of South Hadley, Massachusetts; Ellen Graves of West Springfield, Massachusetts; Jennifer Wright of Unity, New Hampshire.

More information is available from www.NukeBusters.org

On April 24 at noon, there

On April 24 at noon, there will be a march from downtown Brattleboro to Vermont Yankee to support a nuclear free Vermont. Marchers will meet at the Marlboro College Tech Center parking lot, 28 Vernon Street. More information is available at www.NukeBusters.org

Vermont Yankee

I think Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York should join Vermont in this lawsuit fight. All four states are threatened by a serious "event" at this decaying facility; the CEO's of Entergy will not be affected, being outside the range of the worst contamination. A nuclear disaster, as we have seen at Chernobyl and in Japan, is impossible to reverse; one minute everything looks normal, and in another minute nothing will be normal for many generations - the land is ruined, a large area is uninhabitable, and outdoor recreations such hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, and gardening are gone with the contaminated wind.

UPDATE: On April 18, Shumlin

UPDATE: On April 18, Shumlin and Vermont attorney general William Sorrell vowed to go head-to-head with the multi-billion dollar Entergy corporation's army of lawyers. Federal judge Garvan Murtha will publicly hear the case in a courtroom upstairs from the main Brattleboro post office. Murtha will decide the outcome, unless the state persuades him to let a jury decide it. Entergy's top lawyer said Entergy doesn't want a jury.

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