Archive for the ‘Actions’ Category

Mar
06
    
The Affinity Group and Non-Violence By Nelia Sargent

 The Affinity Group and Non-Violence

By Nelia Sargent

 Wally Nelson’s praise for the affinity group structure still rings in my ears.  A beloved family friend and guiding light to me from age five onwards, and aman of deep integrity, he spoke from more than seventy years of profound nonviolent action. Wally believed his decades of nonviolent witness against war and for civil rights would have been far more effective within the affinity group structure. 

The affinity group is a brilliant, unique contribution to our nonviolent movements.  We must guard it with care. Its structure is powerful. The beauty and strength of the affinity group is its small, decentralized unit that can function autonomously or collectively with many others. Affinity groups built trust based in our collective agreement on our method—non-violence—to reach our goal of stopping nuclear power. Affinity groups defused both intentional provocateurs and the unplanned, random acts of violence that can erupt amid the anonymous masses of large protests.

The affinity group was the core of the Clamshell’s decentralized decisionmaking structure.  Ninety-six local organizing groups, most of which consisted of many affinity groups, met weekly throughout New England at the height of organizing between actions. Each local group worked autonomously. They also sent representatives to the Clamshell coordinating committee who would convey decisions made by the locals that affected the Clamshell’s direction and actions. My favorite part of coordinating committee meetings was the sharing of inspired, creative grassroots actions from all around New England. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
06
    
Non-Cooperation and the Reactor Pressure Vessel by Nelia Sargent

Non-Cooperation and the Reactor Pressure Vessel

By Nelia Sargent

Shortly after 7 that March morning in 1979, the tractor driver of the gargantuan 96-wheeled, 450 ton traboza trailer fired up his engine. The trailer held the reactor pressure vessel for the Seabrook nuclear power plant. It started toward the dockside exit onto route 1A in Hampton, NH, where my affinity group, one of many, had been sitting since before sunrise.  Months of planning a land and sea blockade by hundreds of Clams were culminating with the  blockade of the GE-built stainless steel housing for the nuclear fuel rods. We knew the schedule and the transport route from dockside to the reactor site thanks to a sympathetic employee inside the NH highway department.   Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
06
    
Clam Local Organizing: Public Education by Tom Wyatt

Public Education – The Lifeblood of a Clam Local 9/26/07

By Tom Wyatt

Public education was the glue that held the Worcester-based Central Massachusetts Citizens Against Nuclear Power together well into the 1980s. Because we were a local Clamshell Alliance chapter, from time to time many members organized for and joined nonviolent direct actions, spending time in armories and jail. But we were always planning the next radio show, slide show, workshop, letter writing campaign, and newsletter. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
06
    
LABOR AND THE CLAM By Steve Thornton

LABOR AND THE CLAM  

By Steve Thornton

Peter Kellman went to work at the Laconia Shoe Company in Sanford, Maine on the morning of September 18, 1980.  Peter was a machine operator at the factory and the president of the local shoe workers union. He was also an anti-nuclear activist with the Clamshell Alliance.  That morning he posted a notice on the union bulletin board urging workers to support the upcoming state referendum to shut down Maine Yankee, the state’s only nuclear power plant.  That’s when the trouble started. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
06
    
As I Recall It by Suki Rice

Here’s what happened as I recall it.
Sukie Rice

In April 1976 Linda LeClair (the AFSC staff person in Concord) called  and asked me to come up and do a n-v workshop with some folks who were  considering some actions against building the S. nukes. I did so and we had an evening of discussion and role-playing at a neat vegetarian restaurant.

 There were people there who were questioning whether or not the actions should be purely non-violent in action or philosophy. So we role-played a bunch with people being the demonstrators, some as police and some as the general public watching it on TV. The role-plays proved how essential n-v is to get the message across to not alienate the NH public. Read the rest of this entry »