Worldwide Vigils for Vanunu - San Francisco

On Friday we had a small but spirited six and a half hour vigil in front of the Israeli consulate.

We passed out about 200 flyers, held signs, and talked with passers-by and each other. Two of our signs were big full-color enlargements of the UK Campaign's postcard of Mordechai Vanunu holding out his palm with the message.

A camera crew from Beyond Pix helping make a documentary for the Discovery Channel (the Vanunu story is one segment of the documentary, dealing with spies and entrapment) was there for six hours, interviewed most of us, and took pictures of one of Mordechai's heavily censored letters.

Present at the vigil were Ed Ardzrooni of the Bay Area Campaign and the Episcopal Church Peace, Justice, and Hunger Commission, Jeanie Shaterian of the Bay Area Campaign, David Makofsky of the Bay Area Campaign and A Jewish Voice for Peace, Hal Carlstad and Cynthia Johnson of the Bay Area Campaign and the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, Leuren Moret of Scientists for Indigenous Rights, Bill Rushton of the Bay Area Campaign, Garry Lambrev, founder of the Bay Area Campaign in 1987, and Hilda Roberts and Jane Welford, founders of Berkeley Women in Black.

This was the first time no police showed up, though someone from the consulate complained to the video producer (but not to us). Reception was overwhelmingly positive. We took lots of pictures and will send copies (they're still in the shop) to Felice and Mordechai tomorrow. Anyone else who wants pictures can contact me, Jeanie, at

In addition, we had two other events. At both of them we collected messages for birthday cards for Mordechai and had flyers, pamphlets, and books available.

Friday the 21st we had a program "Nuclear Weapons, Human Rights, and Mordechai Vanunu: Voices of Witness from the Bay Area and Israel/Palestine" at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, which Hanford radiation survivor June Casey had decorated with sunflower tablecloths and colorful baskets full of paper cranes and topped with doves.

We had a yummy Armenian dinner and then three speakers: Maurice Campbell of Hunters Point Community First Coalition (Hunters Point, a predominantly African American area of San Francisco, has been suffering for decades from contamination, both chemical and radioactive, from the Naval Shipyard, the place where the Hiroshima bomb was loaded and where ships contaminated by the H-bomb tests were sent to be decontaminated with dishwashing detergent), Robert Lipton of A Jewish Voice for Peace, and Jeanie Shaterian of the Bay Area Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu. Incredibly informative. Great question and answer period followed.

Sunday the 23rd Jeanie spoke at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Sunday service on Mordechai Vanunu as a prophet of peace and how his life and witness could affect ours as individuals, activists, and communities of faith.

We're looking forward to tabling at the October 13 observance of the International Day of Protest against Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Will be bringing a birthday cake for Mordechai.