We want to update you on our plans for the Quaker worship under the care of Burlington Meeting (VT), at the main gate of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant on Governor Hunt Road in Vernon, Vermont, on First Day, 9-23-12, at 1 pm.This religious witness will go forward regardless of the weather.
We request that all who plan to participate in this worshipful witness gather at the Putney Friends Meetinghouse that morning at 11:00 am for a discussion of basic logistics and ground rules, and final discussion based on our previous dialogues with Chief Sebert of the Vernon Police Department and Patrick Ryan, Head of Security for the plant.At that meeting you will also meet the Quaker elders, identified with arm bands, who will serve as monitors during the worship and aftermath.
We ask that no signs be carried; there will be one banner identifying us as under the care of Burlington Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.We also suggest that Friends may want to carry snacks or a sandwich and something to drink, as the plant is in a rural area with no stores or restaurants.Food can be bought prior to the 11 am meeting at the Putney Coop.There are portapotties including a wheelchair accessible one at the Vernon Town Beach about a quarter of a mile away from the gate.There will be a car available to shuttle those who need it.
Chief Sebert has offered to let us park at the Vernon Town Offices parking lot and along the road behind it.There is no parking at the local school.Both are also within walking distance of the plant gate.We will also be able to have an appointed transport person to drive anyone with health needs from the parking area to the gate and back.Directions to both Putney Meetinghouse and the plant in Vernon are attached to this letter.
At approximately 12:45 pm we will walk prayerfully in single file, in silence, from the parking area to a designated place at the beginning of the plant driveway and form a circle to continue our standing worship.Please bring a light-weight chair with you if you are unable to stand for the worship period, which will last somewhere between a half hour and one hour, and the booking time after, approximately 30 minutes.
We have had many questions about the issue of civil disobedience.The meeting for worship, which is the primary focus of this religious witness, is being held in a mutually agreed upon spot on the edge of the plant’s property, and participation in the worship will not incur arrest.There are a few of us who feel we are called to leave the circle during worship, to duck under a rope and continue our worship further inside the plant grounds, about 15 – 20 feet from the first circle.We will form a smaller circle there and continue in worship.We ask that the initial circle continue to hold the worship, while some go inside the grounds.We will then be asked to leave and if we do not, we will be charged with trespassing and be arrested.The police will walk with us to a small house next to the driveway where our paperwork will be completed, and we will then be released on our own recognizance and allowed to leave.We will not be handcuffed.We ask that the circle hold us in worship while we are being booked, until we come back and join you.No one is under any pressure to either go inside or remain outside, nor do Friends need to decide that before we gather.
We would be grateful if Friends who are coming for this witness will let us know your approximate numbers and your home meeting or church at the email or phone number below.We also urge you to carpool if possible.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Jane Van Landingham
Earthquakers, under the care of
Burlington Friends Meeting
Emergency contact phone for that day only:802-734-8449
*Directions to Putney Friends Meetinghouse:*Take exit 4 off of I – 91.Go north on Route 5 for about a mile.The Meetinghouse will be on your left.
*Directions from the Meetinghouse to Vernon Town Offices:*From Putney Meetinghouse, take Route 5 South, through the downtown of Brattleboro, onto 142 South.In Vernon, continue onto Governor Hunt Road.The Town Offices are on the right.The time is about 25 minutes.