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"Forget the Rest" blog

April 17, 2011

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Bulletin #111: Seminars tomorrow (Albuquerque) and Tuesday (Santa Fe): “
What you can do to stop the proposed LANL plutonium complex” – speaking of which: please come to the federal courthouse in Albuquerque Wednesday, April 27, 8:30 am.

Dear members and friends –

Tomorrow evening – Monday, April 18th, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm – we will continue our weekly public seminars on practical policy responses to our converging crises by discussing what interested citizens can do to help forestall construction and operation of the proposed plutonium complex at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

As before we will meet tomorrow in the main hall of the Albuquerque Mennonite Church, 1300 Girard Blvd NE (map).

We’ll discuss the same topic in Santa Fe on Tuesday April 19th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at St. John's United Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail, Room 116 (downstairs) (map).  (To get to Room 116, go in the double glass doors toward the north of the building, which face east.  Room 116 is down one level from the entrance.)
So, what can I do?
This question has layers – peel one away and there’s another, each one more individual and unique to each of us than the last.
But right now, and sticking to just the outer layer of Right now, here are some relatively simple things you can do. (Harder stuff is farther below.)

1.      Forward this Bulletin to your friends and ask them to subscribe to future bulletins.

2.      Subscribe if this email has been forwarded to you.

3.      “Like” us on Facebook and spread the word to your Facebook friends.

4.      Send this alert to list-serves you are on.

5.      Write a check or donate on-line.

If you live in or near Albuquerque or Santa Fe:

6.      Come to our meetings, starting tomorrow or Tuesday.

7.      Bring a friend.

And now this:

8.      Please come to the Federal Courthouse, 333 Lomas Avenue, Albuquerque, to the Brazos Courtroom (Room 580), the Hon. Judge Judith Herrera, presiding, Wednesday April 27th at 9:00 am.  Please come one-half hour early.  This hearing is slated to last until 1:00 pm.  Judge Herrera will hear testimony concerning the Study Group’s motion for a preliminary injunction against further investment in the proposed Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility (CMRR-NF) pending analysis in a de novo environmental impact statement (EIS).
The federal defendants – the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), DOE Secretary Dr. Steven Chu, and NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino – and their attorneys at the departments of Justice and Energy, have moved to dismiss our case, and that motion will be heard as well.
As some of you know already (or can read on our litigation web site), the federal defendants have done everything in their power not just to have our case delayed and dismissed, but also to prevent the ordinary discovery process involved in most civil litigation from commencing.  They certainly don’t want senior officials to be questioned about their proposed project in a context where they might have to give straight answers under oath.
This is partly because defendants are telling the court they have not made up their minds about whether they want to build CMRR-NF, and aren’t really implementing the project, while at the same time they are telling Congress they are 100% committed to the project and are implementing it as fast as they can.  (And send as much money as possible, please.)  They don’t want Congress to know what they are telling people in New Mexico, and vice versa.
The Brazos courtroom is fairly large but there may not be room for everyone.  That’s just fine – if you can’t find a seat, or if you want to stand in solidarity outside, please do.  We understand that this is a work day for most of you, but that only adds importance and moral weight to your presence in court or outside.
We hope many people will come. If you don’t live nearby, call any friends you may have here and encourage them to come.
Please help us get the word out however you can.
Some of you may want to get together with your friends to make signs for what we hope will be a significant demonstration outside the courthouse.  Be creative!  (More on this later!)  Here is part of why we are in this lawsuit.

This is your court, set up by the Constitution, before which we come.  We – and this “we” includes most of you, you who have been active in our work one way or another – are coming not just as plaintiffs but also as citizen attorneys general, helping enforce one of our nation’s most important environmental laws.
If you are planning to come to the courtroom please keep the following in mind:

   Dress respectfully and remain silent when the court is in session.

   Don’t forget and bring a pocket knife or anything which could be construed as a weapon.  Don’t bring a camera, recording device, or cell phone which can take pictures.  You will have to give these things to someone outside, leave them in your vehicle, or surrender them at the entrance.

   You must have valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license.

   Come early, as parking may be challenging and there may be a significant queue at the security checkpoint.

Again, please pass the word to all of your friends.  We have been in this for the long haul and hope you will support us and join us.

9.      Here (pdf 2.2MB) is a short list of some other things you can do (see p. 2).
10.  Resolutions by local governments resolutions are very important, both as legal evidence and for their political weight.  An important vote is coming up next week in Taos, in fact.  On Tuesday, April 19, at 9:00 am, Taos County will consider a resolution requesting a de novo EIS for CMRR project.  This meeting will be held at the Taos Administration, Commission Chambers, 105 Albright St. Suite A, Taos.  Please come early – sometimes agenda items are moved up in response to who shows up.  Time can be an issue as to outcome.
11.  Circumstances are changing at LANL with respect to this project.  We think it that this is one of those rare times when letters – preferably open letters in all the newspapers and in any other locations you can think of – to senators Bingaman and Udall, asking them to halt or pause the CMRR-NF project pending further study, may be effective.  At bottom, we need to stop investing in nuclear weapons and invest instead in renewable energy infrastructure while we can.  Some of you might find this 1950 memorandum from Atomic Energy Commissioner Hamilton (pdf) arguing against construction of the CMR Building and other investments in Los Alamos amusing (?) and still somewhat pertinent.

Greg, Trish, and gang

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