Gray Panthers of San Francisco
September 2006 Newsletter

Nationwide Protests at Bechtel


On August 9, 61st anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki and UN Indigenous Peoples Day, demonstrations were held across the country at facilities run by San Francisco–based Bechtel Corporation, one of the world’s leading engineering firms and nuclear weapons contractors.

Bechtel is one of the top nuclear profiteers in the world, with huge Dept. of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration contracts and record profits in 2005. According to CorpWatch (4-28-04), Bechtel “has played a leading role in some of the most controversial construction projects in modern history: California’s San Onofre nuclear reactor, Boston’s budget-busting “Big Dig,” the failed attempt to rebuild and privatize Bolivia’s water system, the ongoing corporate takeover of the London subway system, and now a $3 billion reconstruction job in Iraq.” (A recent federal audit exposed gross mismanagement of part of it—a $50 million Bechtel project to build a Children’s Hospital in Basra, which the US now plans to cancel.)

In San Francisco, SFGPers and several hundred others gathered at corporate headquarters on Beale Street to hear speakers denounce Bechtel’s profiteering from nuclear weapons testing, production and clean-up; its failure to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure; and its violations of indigenous peoples rights at home and abroad. Corbin Harvey of the Western Shoshone Nation in Nevada (where Bechtel recently lost a contract to manage the Nevada Test Site) led a healing ceremony to celebrate the Shoshone’s recent victory in the UN, which found the US in violation of their human rights. Keiji Tsuchiya spoke on behalf of 260,000 survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, calling on “the US government to acknowledge the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as criminal acts and apologize for the crime, and…eliminate nuclear weapons from its arsenal...without delay.”

More photos and stories on Hiroshima/Nagasaki Anniversary protests

Tri-Valley CAREs website

"Stop Bechtel" website

(back to September 2006 Newsletter front page)