Archive for the ‘Ones that Stepped Up’ Category

Mar
03
    
March Actions

May
10
    
Into Eternity film

Into Eternity is a new compelling Danish film about the construction of the world’s first permanent repository for high level radioactive waste, in Finland. Once sealed, the facility is never to be opened and needs to last for 100,000 years. But can we ensure that? Once you see the trailer at: http://www.intoeternitythemovie.com, you may well find yourself asking what you can do to shut down nuclear reactors that keep producing more hazardous waste.

Two showings in the Connecticut River Valley:

  • Thursday May 12th, 6:30 PM     Greenfield MA

Greenfield Comm. College Main Campus, Main Building 3rd floor, Stinchfield Hall  Admission: Contributions greatly appreciated

  • Thursday May 19th, 7:00PM    Brattleboro VT

Latchis Theater, 50 Main Street Brattleboro, VT   Admission:   Adults $7.50  Seniors $5.00

There will be a time for questions & answers after the film showings. Literature and resource people from Safe & Green Campaign, New England Coalition, and CLAM will be present.

Sponsors:   CLAM (http://clamshellalliance.net),

New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution (http://www.necnp.org)

 

Safe & Green Campaign (http://www.safeandgreencampaign.org)

Marlboro Productions (http://www.marlboroproductions.com)

GCC Renewable Energy Program* (http://web.gcc.mass.edu/renewable-energy) * For May 12th event.

Into Eternity was written & directed by Michael Madsen from Denmark, produced by Magic Hour Films and distributed by International Film Circuit Inc. The movie is 75 minutes long, in English, Finnish and Swedish with English subtitles.

SYNOPSIS:

“This place is not a place of honour. No esteemed deeds are commemorated here. This is not a place for you. What is here is dangerous and repulsive. The danger will still be present in your time, as it is in ours.”

These are the sentences that future man will meet if he finds and opens the gigantic network of underground tunnels which are presently being hewn out of the bedrock in Finland.  The tunnels will be filled with high-level radioactive waste, which must be kept isolated from human beings and other live organisms for at least 100.000 years into the future so as not to render large areas uninhabitable.

Not only must the facility last 10 times longer than any manmade construction ever, it must also be able to resist all thinkable climate changes, erosion, and evolution. The real challenge, however, is to secure the facility from human intrusion.  To succeed with that is vital in order to keep future man safe and prevent the waste from escaping into the biosphere. When the waste has been deposited, the facility will be sealed off, never to be opened again. But can we ensure that? How is it possible to warn future man of the waste we left behind? How do we prevent them from thinking they have found the pyramids of our time, mystical burial grounds, hidden treasures? Which languages and signs will they understand, and if they understand, will they respect our instructions? Hopefully these questions will have found answers before the facility is finished 120 years from now.

Feb
03
    
How the great Howard Zinn made all our lives better

How the great Howard Zinn made all our lives better

January 28, 2010

By Harvey Wasserman

Howard Zinn was above all a gentleman of unflagging grace, humility and compassion.

No American historian has left a more lasting positive legacy on our understanding of the true nature of our country, mainly because his books reflect a soul possessed of limitless depth.

Howard’s PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES will not be surpassed. As time goes on new chapters will be written in its spirit to extend its reach.

But his timeless masterpiece broke astonishing new ground both in its point of view and its comprehensive nature. The very idea of presenting the American story from the point of view of the common citizen was itself revolutionary. That he pulled it off with such apparent ease and readability borders on the miraculous. That at least a million Americans have bought and read it means that its on-going influence is immense. It is truly a history book that has and will continue to change history for the better.

But that doesn’t begin to account for Howard’s personal influence. He was a warm, unfailingly friendly compadre. He shared a beautiful partnership with his wonderful wife Roz, a brilliant, thoroughly committed social worker about whom he once said: “You and I just talk about changing the world. She actually does it.”

But Howard was no ivory tower academic. His lectures were engaging, exciting and inspirational. But they took on an added dimension because he was personally engaged, committed and effective. He chose to write books and articles in ways that could impact the world in which they were published. He showed up when he was needed, and always had a sixth sense about exactly what to say, and how.

Perhaps the most meaningful tribute to pay this amazing man is to say how he affected us directly. Here are two stories I know intimately:

In 1974, my organic commune-mate Sam Lovejoy toppled a weather tower as a protest against the coming of a nuclear power plant. When Sam needed someone to testify on how this act of civil disobedience fit into the fabric of our nation’s history, Howard did not hesitate. His testimony in that Springfield, Massachusetts courtroom (see “Lovejoy’s Nuclear War” via www.gmpfilms.com) remains a classic discourse on the sanctity of non-violent direct action and its place in our national soul. (Sam was acquitted, and we stopped that nuke!)

Three years earlier I sent Howard a rambling 300-page manuscript under the absurdly presumptuous title A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, 1860-1920. Written in a drafty communal garage in the Massachusetts hills by a long-haired 20-something graduate school dropout, the manuscript had been rejected by virtually every publisher in America, often accompanied with nasty notes to the tune of: “NEVER send us anything like this again.”

But I sent a copy to Howard, whom I had never met. He replied with a cordial note typed on a single sheet of yellow paper, which I still treasure. I showed it to Hugh Van Dusen at Harper & Row, who basically said Harper had no idea why anyone would ever read such a book, but that if Howard Zinn would write an introduction, they’d publish it (though under a more appropriate title).

He did, and they did…and my life was changed forever.

Thankfully, Hugh then had the good sense to ask Howard to write a REAL people’s history by someone—the ONLY one—who could handle the job. He did….and ALL our lives have been changed forever.

Howard labored long and hard on his masterpiece, always retaining that astonishing mixture of humor and humility that made him such a unique and irreplaceable treasure. No one ever wrote or spoke with a greater instinct for the True and Vital. His unfailing instinct for what is just and important never failed him—or us. The gentle, lilting sound of his voice put it all to unforgettable music that will resonate through the ages.

A few days ago I wrote Howard asking if he’d consider working on a film about the great Socialist labor leader Eugene V. Debs, whose story Howard’s books have uniquely illuminated.

Eugene V. Debs was beloved by millions of Americans who treasured not only his clarity of a shared vision for this nation, but his unshakeable honesty and unquestioned integrity.

Debs ran five times for president. He conducted his last campaign from a federal prison cell in Atlanta, where he was locked up by Woodrow Wilson. He got a million votes (that we know of). “While there is a soul in prison,” he said, unforgettably, “I am not free.”

Debs had deeply shaken Wilson with his brilliant, immeasurably powerful opposition to America’s foolish and unjust entry into World War I, and his demands for a society in which all fairly shared. In the course of his magnificent decades as our pre-eminent labor leader, Debs established a clear vision of where this nation could and should go for a just, sustainable future. Enshrined in Howard’s histories, it remains a shining beacon of what remains to be done.

Through his decades as our pre-eminent people’s historian, through his activism, his clarity and his warm genius, Howard Zinn was also an American Mahatma, a truly great soul, capable of affecting us all.

Like Eugene V. Debs, it is no cliché to say that Howard Zinn truly lives uniquely on at the core of our national soul. His PEOPLE’S HISTORY and the gift of his being just who he was, remains an immeasurable, irreplaceable treasure.

Thanks, Howard, for more than we can begin to say.

Harvey Wasserman is Senior Editor of http://freepress.org, where this article first appeared.

Mar
10
    
Our Friend Has Passed Away

Guy Chichester

Guy Chichester 1935-2009

It is with a tremendous sense of sadness and loss that we share the news that our friend and longtime antinuclear, environmental, and social justice activist Guy Chichester passed away 2/8/09 at his home in Rye, New Hampshire. There will be a celebration of Guy’s life sometime this spring.

(Deb Cram file photo)

Common Dreams has a basic outline of Guy’s Life

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/02/10-8

NH Magazine is a 2006 article about the Clam which features Guy

http://www.nh.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060331/NHM01/60331005/-1/NHM

Clamshell Alliance – website is now officially under construction!!!

Come back and see us soon!