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Anti-Nuke Effort Employs New and Old Protest Methods

From placards to tweets, those involved in a San Clemente-based effort to decommission San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station are employing all means to advance their cause.

One hundred and twenty characters at a time, nuclear power opponents are taking aim at the .

Using everything from Twitter to placards, pamphlets, and websites, local and far-flung protesters have in preparation for a Sept. 27 informational meeting about lessons learned from Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

San Clemente Green, Residents Organized for a Safe Environment and the Coalition for Responsible and Ethical Environmental Decisions are the central players on the local scene working against the continued operation of . They've employed signs, placards and pamphlets at council meetings, and .

of San Clemente Green has linked local efforts with statewide and national campaigns to end nuclear power, connecting with organizations like and Friends of the Earth.

Headrick told the council this week that Friends of the Earth was willing to fly in its own scientists to sit in on the Sept. 27 meeting and make presentations with evidence that could contradict and supplement information from San Onofre and Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials, who are slated to be on the agenda.

The San Clemente groups have set up a website at Decommission.SanOnofre.com to centralize data and news reports about the plant with the ultimate goal of spreading their call for decommissioning the station.

Individual residents have also made themselves heard in the virtual world in the effort to shut down San Onofre.

Darin and Lisa McClure of San Clemente come from a social media marketing background and have used their expertise to add to live Twitter feeds from council meetings—@ClementePatch is the San Clemente Patch editor’s Twitter handle, whom often tweets back and forth with @DarinRMcClure and @LisaMcClure during these events.

Whereas San Clemente Patch’s Twitter feed is purely news-oriented with an eye to objectivity, the McClures are adding a new dimension to the more traditional methods of political protest with their tweets.

Twitter users often use hashtags as labels for tweets that make information streams easier to follow.

By searching hashtags like #sccouncil, #sanclemente, #NRC and #SONGS, Twitter users can find a constellation of people and links related to the fight to shut down power plants, general news and information on the industry.

Social media is a powerful tool in this effort; @ClementePatch uses #sccouncil to catalogue tweets from council meetings on various topics under discussion, as well as council vote results.

The McClures, however, use the hashtag almost exclusively for tweets and links related to their anti-nuke advocacy.

All together, tweets with the #sccouncil hashtag have been viewed almost 70,000 times by nearly 6,000 people, according to the analytics site TweetReach.com. Most of those impressions come from @DarinRMcClure.

Gary Headrick July 22, 2011 at 02:59 PM
This is a struggle of epic proportions, and the term "underdog" does not suffice for the challenge we face. We are determined to do everything we can in the name of SAFETY over PROFIT. Once people become aware of the true nature of this dangerous situation, we can overcome the propaganda and misleading reassurances which the industry has so carefully crafted. It is not CLEAN if you account for the mining and highly radioactive waste. It is not SUSTAINABLE when you understand that uranium supplies are limited and would be greatly diminished with more nuke plants being built. It is definitely not SAFE as we've seen in Fukushima, especially considering we have the most dangerous nuclear power plant in the USA. It's time to boldly rely upon American ingenuity and become leaders in the emerging green technologies. We need to turn this crisis into an opportunity and take our country in a new direction. Shutdown SONGS before it is too late and let's move quickly towards a brighter future. It won't be easy, but it also won't be nearly as bad as what ENRON out us through out of pure greed. Let's do the right thing for LIFE not Profit.
Gary Headrick July 22, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Here is a link to some very relevant and important information I forgot to include - http://decommission.sanonofre.com/

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