News Column

Annual Good Friday Protest on at Livermore

March 26, 2013

Jeremy Thomas, Tri-Valley Times, Pleasanton, Calif.

As they have for the past three decades, local anti-nuke groups and interfaith organizations are preparing to hold their annual procession and Good Friday protest at Lawrence Livermore Lab this week.

This year's theme is "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" based on the title of a book by Martin Luther King Jr. The keynote speech will be given by Rev. Phil Lawson, pastor emeritus of Easter Hill United Methodist Church in Richmond and co-founder of the National Council of Elders, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and former interfaith program director of East Bay Housing Organizations.

The annual protest has been going on for about 30 years said Carolyn Scarr, program coordinator for the Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC, co-sponsors of the event.

"It's a real question of whether we'll live as dominators or neighbors in this world," she said. "That's what we'd like people to think about."

Those attending will meet at Vasco and Patterson Pass roads in Livermore beginning at 6:45 a.m. Worship services will be held at 7 a.m., followed by a procession to the lab's west gate, which protesters have blocked during past Good Friday events.

Scarr said an average of 30 to 50 people are arrested each year for blocking the gate.

Attendees will be able to stop at stations along the route for talks about the lab. Members of Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs (Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)

will participate -- with staff attorney Scott Yundt discussing pollution at the lab and executive director Marylia Kelley speaking about converting the lab from nuclear weapons research to civilian science.

"From Tri-Valley CARES' perspective, this is an important occasion to point out that the vast majority of the lab's budget goes to nuclear weapons activity ... and to point to the pollution over the years suffered by workers and community members alike," Kelley said.

Following the procession, from 10 a.m. to noon, a community gathering will be held at Asbury United Methodist Church, 4743 East Ave. Light refreshments will be provided.

The event is co-sponsored by the Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC and the Livermore Conversion Project. Past protests have drawn an average of 100 to 200 people.

For details, visit www.epicalc.org or call 510-655-1162 or 510-654-4983.



Source: (c)2013 Tri-Valley Times (Pleasanton, Calif.) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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