Hundreds of Southern California residents gathered about a mile south at San Onofre state beach to protest the San Onofre Nuclear Generator Station’s continued operation.
“Big problem,” was chanted in both English and Japanese as well as “We shall not be nuked,” throughout the state park as the colorful crowd holding signs or dressed in costume marched down a dirt trail toward the plant.
The day marks the anniversary of Japan’s tragic earthquake, tsunami and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and was part of a two-day anti-nuclear event.
“These two nuclear generators that people are spending their tax money on are not functioning well,” said San Clemente Green’s Gary Headrick. “Things are not running properly and it’s just profit over safety. We are doing everything we can to stop it.”
Headrick's group operates a website and he writes to advocate against the use of nuclear power.
Both reactors have been shut down for technology upgrades as well as the water leak.
At the protest, the women’s “Occupella Choir” sang “Do-Re-Mi” substituting words for anti-nuclear demonstration lyrics.
Ace Hoffman, who said he's a technical advisor for the anti-nuclear movement in Southern California, said that though Southern California Edison stands to make a lot of money from SONGS, the company should be investing in renewable energy.
“There is a great incentive to run those nuclear reactors,” said Ace Hoffman, an anti-nuclear technical advisor. “We have wind, sun and tides and have been doing fine for a month without the reactors.”
A candlelight memorial was also held at San Clemente’s Saturday night to honor the lives lost in the Japanese disaster and to premier “Fukushima, Never Again,” a documentary focused on raising awareness of the long-term affects of radiation.
“I didn’t know anything about nuclear disasters when it happened,” said Fukushima Dai-ich survivor Kyoko Sugasawa, who spoke at the rally. “As a mother, I see the youth and we are the ones fighting. So together if we can raise our awareness, the we can stop this calamity.”
“We are kept away from things you see on the internet,” said another Fukushima Dai-ich survivor, Hirohide Sukuma. “That kind of misinformation and miseducation is so prominent. We are ashamed of the Japanese government.”
Many more speakers including the Chairwoman for Progressive Democrats of America Mimi Kennedy and professional surfer Cori Schumacher, shared personal accounts of growing up around the plant and the possibility of it’s physical affects on family members.
“We surf the runoff of progress and the waste of our nation.” said Schumacher.
There is talk among the protesters of another demonstration April 28 which marks the anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Plant disaster.
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