Three activists from the Cape-based group Cape Downwinders were arrested Friday, Sept. 9th at the State House in Boston. The group was in Boston to promote the early decommissioning of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.
After a rally on Beacon Street by a larger group of protestors, the group delivered a letter to Governor Baker calling for him to demand the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) immediately close Pilgrim due to its long history of problems (and most recently two unplanned emergency shutdowns in just a three-week period). As of today, Pilgrim power status is reported to be at 9%, according to the NRC website.
Three of the demonstrators were arrested when they refused to leave the Governor’s office until he responded to their letter and made a commitment to uphold public safety. The police arrived at 5:30PM when the State House was closing, and a couple hours later they were arrested for trespassing. The three were taken out the back door after State Police set up a decoy van out front to avoid press coverage of the arrests. They were booked at the Leverett Circle State Police barracks and released around 9:15PM. The State Police were very respectful to the detainees throughout the entire process.
The Governor Responds…
The Governor responded to media questions on Monday about Pilgrim’s safety and the arrests. Read the full transcript >>
Q: Do you believe that Pilgrim nuclear plant is safe for the hundreds of thousands of your constituents who live around it?”
Baker: “I believe that it is regulated by a federal government that takes the process of shutting down a plant very seriously and we’re in constant contact with them. And, therefore, I would presume, yes, that that’s a safe facility, which is part of the reason they do shut it down once in a while.”
The day of the arrests, there was yet another problem reported at Pilgrim — a hydrogen gas leak. Read more >>
Arraignment for the three protestors is set for today, Tuesday, September 13th at the Boston Municipal Courthouse. Diane Turco, a 62-year-old Harwich resident, Douglas Long, a 73-year-old Orleans resident, and Mary Conathan, a 74-year-old Chatham resident, will plead not guilty, invoking the so-called “necessity” defense.
Additional Media Coverage:
Protesters ordered to stay away from Statehouse. Cape Cod Times, Sept. 13, 2016,