Downwinders on Trial in Pilgrim Trespassing Incident

gavelPLYMOUTH – A group of protesters arrested for trespassing in May on the grounds of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth will face a judge today.

The incident took place on Mother’s Day when Cape Downwinders held a rally in Plymouth. Two grandmothers and two great grandmothers in the group of protesters attempted to plant flowers on the nuclear plant property as a symbolic action to call attention to the nuclear plant on the shore of Cape Cod Bay.

“Radiation exposure is particularly damaging to infants and children,” said Diane Turco of Harwich, a leader of the group. “As grandmothers and great grandmothers, we have an inter-generational responsibility to act now.”

Besides Turco, the other defendants are Sara Thacher of Dennis, Mary Conathan of Chatham, and Susan Carpenter of Dennis.

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The four defendents are expected to use the so-called necessity defense, and plan to call on Dr. Helen Caldicott, an internationally known activist on the environmental consequences of nuclear power,  to testify in their defense.

“Hopefully we will be found not guilty of trespassing because, in fact, it is Entergy Corporation and the continued operation of Pilgrim that is a trespass on our lives and our safety,” said Turco. “We still plan to use a necessity defense because we feel that the real criminal here is Entergy Corporation.”

Twelve activists from the group, including Turco, were found guilty of trespassing in March after a similar incident.