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To the Streets

It's not all that often that front-rank political leaders call for civil disobedience, but that's just what Al Gore did in New York on September 24 at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. "I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," the ex-veep and planetary crusader said, "to loud applause," according to Reuters.

There was lots of this sort of activity when nuclear power was the number one energy issue, in the 'seventies and 'eighties. An occupation by the Clamshell Alliance at the site of the Seabrook reactor in New Hampshire, led to the arrest of 2,000. Jackson Browne was arrested with others from the Abalone Alliance protesting the Diablo Canyon reactor on the central coast of California and was photographed mopping the jailhouse floor. And most celebrated, perhaps, was the toppling of a 500-foot weather tower at Montague, Massachusetts, by Sam Lovejoy, who stood trial for property destruction and was acquitted. A fine film tells that story.

Are we headed to a similar set of protests, complete with arrests, where new coal plants are proposed? Will we see Al Gore in the slammer? Stay tuned.

Tags:  coal

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