Washington D.C. rally diary Vol.1

A member of World Network For Saving Cildren From Radiation attended the Rally at Washington D.C. on September 20-22, 2012.

I was most touched by Congressman Dennis Kucinich's remarks for the people of Japan and by the ensuing standing ovation by the audience. My speech was well received, and I appreciated the compliments and the encouragement. Some organizations offered to help with our efforts to save the children of Fukushima.

 

One of the participants was Julie. I met her during a Message of Affirmation at the museum of the American Indian on the second day. She grew up near the Hanford nuclear power plant in Washington, the former plutonium plant which is claimed to be one of the most contaminated places in the US. She had Thyroid Cancer when she was a child in the 60's. Her eyes welled up when she talked about her experience and long battle with cancer. "Of course, no one thought my cancer was caused by the radiation I was exposed to.", she said. She survived cancer and is a quiet but determined warrior against nuclear power.

 

Then I noticed a tall, beautiful African American girl standing next to us. I couldn't help speaking to her and asked if she knew about the Fukushima accident. She said no. I explained to her about the incident and sufferings of the children, and introduced Julie, the victim of the nuclear power. Then the girl slowly pulled her turtle neckshirt down to show her surgical scar and said, "I have thyroid cancer, too. So has my uncle." She was not there for the rally. She came to the museum for a field trip. She just happened to be there. The Fukushima Radiation-Thyroid Cancer connection! Somehow the three of us were brought to the place and shared the moment. And this beautiful girl's name was ASIA. I even bumped into her and her school mates after we left the museum. I gave her my biggest smile waving my hand while praying that she would be OK. Then I thought about the children of Fukushima. They are always on my mind.

 

The participants for the 3-day rally were from all over the US. I learned a lot from them about their ongoing problems with their nearby nuclear power plants, labs and uranium mining. They all admire what German and Italy have achieved but face the reality that the nuclear-free movement in the US is a minority and that much more grass root efforts are needed. The situation is similar to that of Japan before the Fukushima disaster. The US government promotes nuclear power, and the majority support their policy. But the activists are well informed and determined to make a change.

 

The Occupy the Nuclear Regulatory Commission event, on the second day, attracted many people to protest in front of the NRC building. Passionate discussion for the future movement took place all day at the strategy session on the last day. The need for the international human aid organization to help people like the children of Fukushima is suggested. The participants also formed regional groups to share ideas in order to cooperate with one another after the rally.

 

I would like to thank Congressman Dennis Kucinich, organizers from Coalition Against Nukes, Priscilla Star and Michael Leonard and fellow speakers.

 

Mariko Bender

World Network For Saving Children From Radiation

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