Archive for the ‘Local Organizing & Public Education’ Category

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 »



By Sharon Tracy

In the early spring of 1977 I went to one of the events about nuclear power held around New England to educate the public and recruit for the occupation. I sat on a metal chair in a church basement with 20 or so strangers crowded round Judy Rubenstein as she told the terrifying story of Karen Silkwood. Judy outlined the evidence of how Silkwood had died in 1975 or so under suspicious circumstances while blowing the whistle on the Oklahoma nuclear fuel fabrication facility where she worked. She had documents with her proving the facility’s criminally lax adherence to safety regulations preventing radioactive contamination. By the time of her fatal drive to meet a New York Times reporter, Silkwood herself was contaminated by high level radiation that mysteriously appeared in the bologna in her refrigerator. (Meryl Streep portrayed Karen’s story masterfully in Silkwood some years later.) I was riveted and outraged.

Putting put my affairs in order, I joined the great occupation in April and ended up living on the Seacoast off and on for many years. During the occupation, I was support, part of the robust legal team of lawyers and non-lawyers from New England and beyond (most were card carrying members of the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU).

            Once construction was well underway, in the mid-80s, locals started hearing some hair-raising stories about bad welds (there are miles and miles of welded pipe), negligent quality assurance, concrete set poorly, improper construction. We started a whistleblowers organization for Seabrook nuclear plant construction workers: Employees Legal Project. Remembering Silkwood, we set up a whistleblower identity protection method. Read the rest of this entry »

LABOR AND THE CLAM By Steve Thornton


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 »

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 »

MAINSTREAM MEDIA By CW Wolff and Robin Read


By CW Wolff and Robin Read

 “The socialists were there…”

 Meanwhile, The Manchester Union-Leader, the state’s largest, most powerful and most conservative newspaper, launched a relentless “Red Tide” campaign, trying to paint the Clamshell Alliance as a communist and terrorist organization. Rather than fuming about the paper’s hysteria and half-truths, we found creative ways to respond.

For example, Union-Leader coverage of one Clamshell rally included front page cutlines under three photos:  “The sodomites were there … The socialists were there… And so was Dick Gregory.” (Gregory was a popular and liberal comedian). A Manchester, NH, singer-songwriter and Clam member took that phrase and made it into a satirical song we enjoyed singing for years. Read the rest of this entry »