This past Sunday, 2012 Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein & Green Shadow Cabinet member Margaret Flowers were featured on the PBS show Moyers & Company to talk about their activism for progressive causes. From the show transcript:
BILL MOYERS: You have so much to do here at home on the political issues that concern you, why did you take on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant?
JILL STEIN: Well, you know, the truth is what’s going on in Fukushima really should be in the headlines of newspapers all over the world. This is, regrettably, an issue that puts all of us at risk. I mean, this is sort of writ very large what the dangers of nuclear power are.
MARGARET FLOWERS: And particularly that TEPCO, Tokyo Electric Power Company, is getting ready to remove 1,500 spent fuel rods, which are in a very delicate position.
And this has really never been tried, what they’re attempting to do. So we came to town to deliver a letter that was signed by organizations and people from 16 different countries and petitions, over 150,000 petitions, to the United Nations calling for independent oversight and access to accurate information about what’s going on there.
JILL STEIN: And if this removal of the fuel rods that are teetering in an unstable building 100 feet up in the air, some 1,500 of these fuel rods, they hold the radioactive fallout equivalent of some 14,000 Hiroshima bombs and it’s under the watch of a private nuclear power company that has been very much behind the eight ball on this whole crisis, that has not disclosed what’s been going on, really, until long after the fact. And which has proven incapable of handling the crisis even up to this point.
MARGARET FLOWERS: There’s a group of 16 international experts that have put together a plan for how this should be approached. And yet, it’s not getting any attention. So we really wanted to bring attention to that plan and bring the global attention to this problem.
BILL MOYERS: But if you hold a demonstration here in New York and the media pay no attention, what have you accomplished?
JILL STEIN: Well, I mean, there are a lot of people that are concerned about this all around the world. And we need to be heard. And by coming together across the many issues and the many international borders, you know, we’re going to make this heard. You know, and I think in many ways this is sort of an illustration of this challenge of our times.
There are so many potential Fukushima’s. And I don’t mean just nuclear power plants, I mean our food system, I mean, you know, climate change. I mean, the expanding wars, the attack on our civil liberties. You know, we are up against the wall on so many issues where, as Margaret points out, there are perfectly good solutions, if we could just do the right thing. So, you know, this is one of many issues around which we are mobilizing. And I personally am very heartened and encouraged to see how ready people are right now in this moment that we’re in, this very historic moment. To see how ready people are to overcome traditional barriers to come together and unify and push against the system, against this big money, Wall Street dominated political and economic system to push for the real change that our survival actually depends on. And Fukushima is just an incredible, timely illustration of this.
MARGARET FLOWERS: We’ve seen now that, you know, the increased attention more and more that’s being written about it in the media, so we’re starting to see some movement. And we have to just keep building that attention, focusing that attention on it so that they feel like they have to do something
We need to be asking our own government agencies to be testing our food, testing our water, testing the west coast for radiation. We need to be pressing for accurate information about what’s going on in Japan. These are the things that people can be doing right now.
JILL STEIN: The model here, at least in my mind, is how we’ve very quickly mobilized to stop the imminent bombing of Syria. We mobilized very quickly and we stopped it.
And it was not only public opinion, but I think it was public opinion that was very empowered and was not going to take no for an answer. And I think that’s the lesson that we need to learn. It’s not, you know, lobbying on bended knee. It’s lobbying with a power fist. You know, it’s with the understanding that our survival depends on doing the right thing.
These are not choices here. We can no longer afford to be pushed down the path of nuclear power, down the path of ignoring the Fukushima’s, down the path of an expanding war economy. These are things that I think the American public is no longer taking lightly. And we’re seeing, I think, a whole new era of empowerment.
The full transcript is available here.