i unexpectedly ended up in San Francisco last night. David Solnit told me about this mornings action to protest the proposed re-licensing of the Diablo Canyon reactor complex. What he did not tell me was that after years of living in the East Bay he had moved to the city and that was where we would stay before helped him drag out the giant puppets for this action.
Diablo is where i started thirty years ago now. The reactor complex, build on an earth quake fault, located on the sea side, had been the target of the west coast anti-nuclear movement. Or to be more precise, the movement grew up around this stunningly poor idea. I went to Diablo as a liberal, someone who could not wrap their head around why getting arrested was a useful political tactic. Someone who thought we could just work it out if we all talked about together. But as Northern California would teach me later, we cant all work it out and the economic distorions around nuclear are so significant, and the centralized power aspects so attractive that there is no reasonable conversation about reactors. I remember 30 years ago not being so excited about the composting toilets that one activist was showing me at the campsite and being unimpressed by the consensus decision making structure. It would take another decade before i really got why these things matter.
I spent much of last night talking fast with David and Rabbit. Two of my favorite radicals. There were questions to catch each other up, what do our love lives look like, what projects and campaigns are inspiring. There was a certain bemusement around going to a Diablo action together – a reactor we ahve all worked on may years ago and are now quietly righteously proud of having opposed. But really what i loved about the quick style discussion of these boys is the self reflection it heightens for me. Which is the whole reason for this trip.