For Immediate Release
Judge Hands Down Jail Time in Trial of Louisa, VA Anti-Nuclear Protesters Defendant Will Appeal
VIRGINIA - Three of the six protesters arrested at the Dominion Resources North Anna
Nuclear Power Plant were found guilty of trespassing today in the Louisa
County Courthouse. The charges stem from conducting an alternative tour
and sit-in at the Dominion Power Nuclear Information Center on August 7th.
The judge rejected their defense of necessity and sentenced Paxus Calta to
30 day in jail with 15 suspended. He reports to jail on September 29
pending his appeal and is available for interview until then. Sue
Frankel-Streit and Spot Etal were fined $1,000 with $700 suspended. All
three are banned form entering Dominion property for a period of two
years. About 20 supporters gathered in front of the courthouse with signs
displaying their anti-nuclear message.
"What is a greater harm here? That Dominions nuclear information center
was inconvenienced and had to close 30 minutes late or that an untested
new nuclear reactor will overheat Lake Anna when it is already getting
to over 100 degrees most summers?" asks Paxus Calta, one of those arrested
and a member of the People's Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) a group of
concerned Louisa and Albemarle County residents who want real
renewables and efficiency solutions instead of the proposed new reactor.
"Dominion wants to build a dangerous new reactor when it has no place to
put the waste for the current two. These plants are already a toxic
nightmare and we don't need anymore in this area," Says defendant Sue
Frankel-Streit. "Dominion and the State are failing to address the
problems of climate change and of nuclear toxins. We need a different way
to make decisions about energy, because the solutions being proposed
are failing to serve the people."
Three other protesters from this action pled guilty last month and were
fined $1,250, given a ninety day suspended sentence, two years of
probation and a stay-away order from Dominion. Prosecutor Tom Garrett
justified the harsh sentence (he had requested $2500 fines), saying the
protesters should pay for overtime served by police monitoring a five-day
climate change convergence held in Louisa from Aug.5-10th. The defendants
have filed an appeal.
The planned new reactor at Lake Anna is one of the first of many
nationwide being touted as a solution to global climate change. The
protesters maintain that nuclear power is a false solution to the climate
change problem with costs and dangers that far outweigh any benefits. They
cite enormous costs requiring massive government subsidies to construct
the plant, dangers to the community caused by the lack of any viable plan
to safely transport and store the toxic nuclear waste and project that
construction of the plant could take ten years or more. The Louisa County
protest is part of a series of international events calling for safe and
renewable energy solutions.
The People United is a network of justice-seeking people found mostly in Virginia and the surrounding areas. Many of us are busy organizing in our local areas with groups like Food Not Bombs, Sowers of Justice, our local Peace Education Centers, and immigrant solidarity networks. We hold signs on street corners, organize neighborhood meetings, and when we really have to, we'll travel to DC for a protest march or to Richmond for a lobby action. We also like having a place where we can connect to broader movements for change.