SPC Activist Profile: Tim Judson

Tim Judson, SPC staff from 1997-1999, continues to work against nuclear power and helped organize Hiroshima Day activities for many years after leaving staff (above at the 2004 vigil following the Hiroshima procession). Photo: Paul Pearce

Tim Judson moved to Syracuse from Texas (and, before that, southern California) for graduate school. Afterwards he continued living in Syracuse and got involved in community projects, including working on SPC staff from 1997 to 1999. He is currently the President of the Board of the Citizensí Awareness Network, a grassroots organization in the Northeast that organizes against nuclear power, and is employed advocating for workersí rights.

What roles did you take with SPC?
I was on staff there a little over two years. I was given the job of coordinating the PNL. I was exposed to a ton of different issues in a short period of time because we were publishing articles about them. The issue I got most involved in and stayed involved in was working around nuclear power issues, including working on closing down the plant in Oswego. Also, in that time there were sanctions against Iraq and I was involved in organizing around that.

Can you identify a source of your activist ways?
I was like a lot of people. My family was sort of apolitical. I didnít have exposure to activist movements or anything like that. I donít think thereís anything that separates people who will become activists from people who wonít. I had the opportunity. I happened to be living in Syracuse where there was a lot of work happening and ways to plug in.

Can you describe a particularly challenging time in your life as an activist?
I think the most difficult thing about being an activist is the fact that itís hard to find good paying work. Thatís a curious issueóhow do we, within the activist world, actually live up to our own ideals? How do we pay people and keep up a level of activity that can actually challenge power structures?

Can you describe a success you had as an activist?
The work we did around the sanctions and military attacks on Iraq was really critical in terms of keeping that issue in peopleís minds. It helped sustain a level of understanding and awareness that helped the antiwar movement take off in 2003.

What is your call to action today?
I donít think thereís any one thing. In becoming an activist I was taken by the sense that this was really what life was aboutótrying to make the world better and not shying away from the problems that exist. Itís one of the things that make life rich. At a certain point itís not a choice anymore, at least for me.

Ė Amelia Ramsey Lefevre

Karen, founder of the Community Choir, is a mother, counselor, and activist, and believes that everyone can sing, no exceptions!