Nonviolent Direct Action Training Opportunity on December 1

Dear Members, Attenders, and Supporters of Putney Friends Meeting,

I’m thrilled to invite you all to a very low-cost nonviolent direct action training workshop this Saturday, on December 1, from 9 am to 5 pm in the main Community Room at Antioch University New England, 40 Avon Street, Keene, NH. If you are interested, please send an RSVP email to me in the next few days, bring a bag lunch for yourself on Saturday, and, if at all possible, be prepared to make a $5 donation when you arrive in order to cover training materials and the travel expense of our two trainers. However, please know that no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

The two trainers leading this Saturday’s workshop are experienced members of the nonviolent action training committee of the SAGE Alliance, the year-old campaign of concerned citizens from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts working to support the State of Vermont in its efforts to decommission the aging and leaking Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor as soon as possible. The SAGE Alliance has recently focused on educational events and also trained people to participate at the two recent public hearings of Vermont’s Public Service Board.

But more citizen action is needed between now and next Fall when the Public Service Board will likely make its final decision about whether Vermont Yankee’s owners will receive a “Certificate of Public Good” to keep operating the reactor for another 20 years, or whether the corporation will have to shut the reactor down as planned and clean up the hazardous site in Vernon, Vermont, as long advocated by Vermont’s Senator, Governor, Attorney General, State Senate, Department of Public Service, and the many citizen’s groups in the tri-state area that make up the SAGE Alliance campaign.

Between now and the PSB’s decision in the Fall, the SAGE Alliance wants to train as many area people as possible to engage in creative, disciplined, and effective nonviolent public demonstrations–including well-organized acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. Many of us already have some experience with this as sixty New England Quakers held a meeting for worship at the gates of the reactor on September 23 and ten people at the action committed civil disobedience, including four people from Putney Friends Meeting. The goal in all this work is to keep this important regional issue in the public eye and influence the decisions of both the Louisiana-based Entergy Corporation, which owns Vermont Yankee, and the three-member Public Service Board, which currently has the legal power to close Vermont Yankee if it determines that Entergy does not deserve a Certificate of Public Good.

Have you ever wanted to know more about how to effectively participate in a nonviolent citizen action campaign and deepen your skills to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience actions either as a participant or as a support person? Are you concerned about the proposed 20-year extension of Vermont Yankee’s operation beyond its original expiration date of March 21, 2012? Have you wanted to do more to act in unity with Putney Friends Meeting’s minute on supporting the citizens movement to close Vermont Yankee? If any of these three things are true for you, I would love to have you join us this Saturday, from 9 to 5, in Antioch University New England’s Community Room for this important civic engagement skill-building workshop.

This Saturday’s nonviolent direct action skills training workshop is co-sponsored by Nuke Free Antioch, Nuke Free Monadnock, and the Environmental Studies master’s concentration that I direct at Antioch in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability. The training workshop is open to the public, as well as any interested Antioch students, faculty, staff, and alumni, so please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone in the area that you think might be interested.

Also, please let me know if you have any further questions about this nonviolent direct action training opportunity, and please RSVP to me ASAP if you would like to reserve a slot at this Saturday’s training workshop.

All my best,

Steve Chase
Director of the Master’s Program Concentration in
Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability
Department of Environmental Studies
Antioch University New England
40 Avon Street, Keene, NH 03431
schase@antioch.edu; 603-283-2336 (office); 603-357-0718 (fax)

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