Quoth the Raven, 'Livermore!"

EON Commentary by James Heddle

Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! –
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted –
On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore –
Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!’
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

Edgar Allen Poe – The Raven

Livermore – Nuclear Danger for Evermore
[Scroll down for video clips]
If Hanford in Washington state is the butt hole of the American nuclear weapons/power establishment; Savannah River in Georgia its duodenum; the NRC in D.C. its heart (or spleen); then you could build a good case that the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California is its brain – at least the reptilian part.

LLNL bills itself as “a premier research and development institution for science and technology applied to national security.”  Charged with maintaining and continually upgrading America’s nuclear arsenal, home to state-of-the-art instrumentation and super computers, LLNL’s ‘best and brightest’ scientists and technicians design planetary insecurity in the name of of US national security, polluting their local community with nuclear radiation in the process.

Formerly run until recently by the University of California, Berkeley, LLNL is the evil twin of the nuclear weapon design laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico, the folks who brought us the Manhattan Project.  ‘Nukes Forever!’ is their unofficial motto – voiced in a moment of unbridled exuberance by former LLNL head, John Knuckles.

Thought the immanent danger of planetary nuclear annihilation went away with the Cold War? Think again. The US and Russia are still targeting each other’s cities on hairtrigger, three minute ‘launch on warning’ status.  Make you feel more secure? You betcha! Not.

And what do you suppose Israel, India and Pakistan are planing to do with their nukes? As Johathan Schell makes clear in his recent ‘The Seventh Decade,’ the nuclear weapons and energy policies of the the US government – even more virulent under Obama, despite his artful rhetoric –  continue to endanger our national security, our planet and the very survival of our species and the biosphere.

Two San Francisco Bay area grassroots organizations – Tri Valley CARES, headed by Mary Leah Kelly, and the Western States Legal Foundation, headed by Jackie Kabasso – have been blowing the whistle on LLNL for years, confronting it locally, exposing it nationally, and condemning it globally.

The following clips document an action held Aug. 6 in the LLNL’s front yard  – a rally, candle light procession and video projection of a Skype message from activists in Japan on the Lab’s fence.  

From Hiroshima to Fukushima to Livermore: Confronting the Two-Headed Dragon of Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power” was organized by a broad coalition of Bay Area peace, environmental and social justice groups, led by Tri-Valley CAREs and the Western States Legal Foundation, to demonstrate solidarity with the radiation victims of the nuclear bomb and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It was held at Bill Payne Park right across the street from Livermore Lab, which is enjoying a nuclear weapons budget under Obama larger than existed under Reagan at the height of the Cold War.


The program explored the seamless, Siamese twin connection between nuclear weapons and nuclear power that has existed – and continues to exist – since the beginning of ‘the Nuclear Age.’

The event concluded with a march to the Lawence Livermore Lab entrance and a live skype
 conversation with an Hiroshima survivor, Mr. Keijiro Matsushima and Steve Leeper, Chair of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, which was projected on the Livermore Lab fence. Mr. Matsushima recounts his boyhood experiences as an eye-witness to the bombing. Steve Leeper describes the post-Fukushima situation in japan and urges U.S. nuclear free activists to join the campaign to shut down Japan’s nukes.

Part 1 – Marylia Kelly – Tri-Valley CARES
Part 2 – Dr. Robert Gould, Physicians for Nuclear Responsibility
Part 3 – Dr. Arjun Makhijani – IEER
Part 4 – Jackie Cabasso – Western States Legal Foundation
Part 5 – Live from Hiroshima – Keijiro Matsushima, Hiroshima eye-witness, and Steve Leeper, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.

Pt. 1 – Marylia Kelley

Pt. 2 – Robert Gould

Pt. 3 – Arjun Makhijani Keynote

Part 4 – Jackie Cabasso

Hiroshima to Fukushima to Livermore – Pt. 5

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