Summer Rain at the Clearwater Fest

Sunday, June 22nd 2008

I volunteered to tend to the E magazine table at the Clearwater Festival on Sunday morning, which made the corner of the big green tent, with Brian Clark Howard of the The Daily Green. Around 10 a.m., after I'd set up all the posters, put out all the literature, the "peacekeeper" forces drove by in their stinky noisy motor-powered golf cars (where is Gem?) asking us to hurry up and hunker down, pack everything up again, hide under the tables because a freakish hail storm was going to pound the area any minute now!

A few of us held stead fast, formed a cabal, conjured up anti-rain dance spells, and the threat went away. But the naysayers from the weather bureau wouldn't have it any other way, so around noon, it came down in buckets, but no orange size ball of ice smashed into the solar array, just sweet rain pummeling hard, sending everyone for cover. The big tents filled up, the music played on, everyone knew the skies would clear, the sun would come out, and it did, around 2 o'clock.

But the "man" came back, telling us the festival had been shut down, everyone had to go home, the Blue Meanies didn't want the spirit of Woodstock to stay alive, instead they want to own Clearwater like they own the Paramount Theater in Peekskill, all to themselves, hahaha, so they can rule with their "nukes are good for you" slogans! Nobody took the Blue Meanies seriously, too many books were being sold, too many anti-nuclear deals were being made, there was no stopping the shut down of Indian Point machine!

Sadly, in the distance, it wasn't such joy for the lone activists tents stuck in the wet mud... who used to get their space for free, years ago, when Ben & Jerry's still gave away ice-cream, and Wavy Gravy hadn't sold out his hemp convictions in exchange for corporation donations. Those were the days, when singing anti-nuclear songs wasn't hollow ground on pipe dreams and empty promises!

Many in the activists area lost their paper inventory to water damage, cursed the Gods, swearing never to return, angry at the organizers for still, after all these years, not erecting them, the real reason, the heart and soul of why we come back every year, a proper tent. For if the Clearwater festival isn't about activism, then what the heck is it all about? Pete Seeger singing anti-nuclear happy tunes while Entergy slowly takes control of the arts in the Hudson Valley? That would be sick, that would suck.

The Mother's Milk Project didn't come back Sunday. The threat of rain... I missed them on Saturday. I heard they were the hit of the show, drawing a large crowd with their babies and their goats. We all have Strontium-90 in our bodies. It didn't get there by accident. We put it there with nuclear power! Decades the people of New York have tried to shut down Indian Point and finally, three leaking reactor pools later, tons of nuclear waste stored on site with nowhere to go, epidemic cancer rates, we got a crack at it.

Thanks to the lone wolf crusade initiated by Sherwood Martinelli of Green Nuclear Butterfly and FUSE USA, more established, but less ballsy groups like IPSEC, Clearwater, Riverkeeper, followed suit by entering the fray, filing a combined total of 158 contentions against the NRC, throwing the rubber stamp relicensing process into the courts. To support this legal effort, the New York Chapter of the Sierra Club is hosting a benefit on June 30th at Lincoln Center for WestCAN. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased from the Rock The Reactors homepage.

Since the launch of the 24 hours, 7 days a week all environmental channel Planet Green, there's been talk about the new channel taking on the nuclear issue in their block of programming. Ed Begley Jr. whose show "Living With Ed" airs on the channel, is on the board of directors of Beyond Nuclear with Helen Caldicott, so perhaps they can create a show that would address the topic in the context of the green revolution.

See you next year, when hopefully, a re-elected Congressman John Hall will keep his word to Betcee May, invite her to pull the plug on Indian Point!

~ RemyC.

Slambovian Circus of Dreams didn't get to close out the festival, but they'll be playing the Levitt Pavilion in Westport, Connecticut on Saturday June 28th if you want to catch them there!

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