Archive for the ‘Native Americans’ Category

Apr
24
    
Clam birth by Sam Lovejoy, June 16, 2008

I believe it was 2 days after the feds granted the Seabrook permit in mid June, 76, Guy [Chichester] called to tell me; and I remember telling him (er goofing on him) “I told you so;” at which point he kinda admitted he had been too optimistic because “I just never believed they’d turn the bay into a hot tub!”. Then he, Renny [Cushing] and I talked on the phone to put together a “quick” coordination meeting almost immediately (several people like Mr. Brummer were already on board), my memory is June 22 (1976?). That 1st meeting had maybe 10 to 12 people at it. Guy and I sorta co-chaired (he was way bigger than me back then).

That first meeting really was only dedicated to energizing ourselves and coming up with a broader list of activist folks to get together AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, and make preliminary – yet to be confirmed or decided til the greater meeting – decisions on what to do and how to do it. The occupation in Weil, Germany, was an inspiration to us all. There was also Neil, Mr. Brummster, Kate, Kristie [Conrad], 2 other women I can see, maybe Chuck [Light] and Dan [Keller] of Green Mountain Post Films?, (and who else, memory just collapsed!).

The next meeting happened just a few days later, was at a little quasi-public place near the coast, with some lawn where we all sat outside on an absolutely gorgeous, sunny day (I remember getting some sunburn). That meeting lasted (?) 12 exhilarating hours with maybe 25 to 30 people. It was at that meeting that ALL general guiding principles of Los Clam were decided or established, nonviolence and absolute consensus – and the Clam named. That meeting broke into sub-groups that would report back to the larger group, maybe every hour, so that everyone knew what was going on in every subgroup, and a strong and clear consensus could be developed.

I clearly remember the Statement of Purpose sub com was “assisted” by a “style” committee at the end of the day. The “name” sub com, if I remember right, came up with “Clam Alliance” (?) which was met with great enthusiasm – and then amended to “Clamshell” by someone in the larger group because the shell was the “container” for the Alliance being started.

It was decided that nonviolent training was needed for each affinity group for many reasons including security and controlling provocation. Also, a certain pre-eminence was given the Clamshell people of the Seacoast in decisions (since “they had to live there,” and knew the local folks), thereby granting them a kind of blackball on strategy and tactics. We committed to growing each occupation force by 10 times the previous number. We created working committees – Coordinating, Legal, Fundraising, Media; there was a joke made that we needed a “Propaganda Committee” which met with a lot of laughter.

Thereafter, until August 1, the Coord Com met at least once a week, or more, preparing for Occupation #1. Harvey [Wasserman] was in Thailand, or somewhere across the Pacific waters, and arrived at the seacoast around noon or thereabouts from Logan airport on August 1, the first “occupation,” with the infamous 18 (mostly) seacoast residents.

All in all, an absolutely tremendous, almost unbelievable, amount of organizing work occurred in just 5 weeks… truly phenomenal. THE CLAM WAS A GROUP, COLLABORATIVE EFFORT, with an emphasis on NOT having a leader or leaders but rather working by consensus thru affinity groups………. and a great team and time was had by all, especially in the first 18 months or so… Three occupations with over 1,600 total arrests (without injury), and a very amazing Energy Fair, all took place within 10 months at Seabrook. The volunteer energy, enthusiasm, cooperation – and love – was spectacular! The sound from this bell ring obviously “rang true” because so many groups around the US and the world adopted the basics of this organizing model.

(and I do believe that Paul Gunter was taller back then!)

Mar
06
    
QUAHAUG ALLIANCE: A NATIVE THOUGHT by Oannes A. Pritzker

QUAHAUG ALLIANCE: A NATIVE THOUGHT

By Oannes A. Pritzker 

  Quahaug is the native term (Algonquin language) for the northern bivalve mollusk (Mercenaria mercenaria) commonly called a hard clam. The Quahaug inhabits inter-tidal waters of what’s now called the Atlantic coast of North America. This marine clam is honored by my indigenous people who are now called ‘American Indians.’

 The Quahaug Clam Shell was not only a major source of food to seacoast Tribal Nations, but was also the material used to make our sacred Wampum. Wampum is not just decoration for jewelry, and it was not money as Europeans wrongly think. Wampum was in fact used to make “Treaty Belts.” They depicted native laws and codes of conduct of how to respect and care for each other and our natural world relatives, what in English is called nature: animals, birds, plants, soil, trees, fish and marine life. Kinonwantaquasin, All Of Our Relations, as we say in my Wabanaki language. This is one of the most important Teachings my Nichitanganooks, my ancestors, tried to express to the Wampiskintanuk, the people from across the waters, the settlers who came to our homelands from Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
06
    
Time to Summon Our Greatest Courage by Winona LaDuke

Clamshell Alliance

By Winona LaDuke   

I remember the early morning at Seabrook, and my time in Boston. I remember the smell of the ocean and the mist on my face, and I remember faces and smells, and through that the courageous souls who helped me shape my own humanity.  I know that what we all did changed history.

Seabrook was my first anti nuclear demonstration at a nuclear power plant. I knew little about the east coast, New Hampshire seemed far away from my dorm room at Harvard,or for that matter my parents home three thousand miles away,  but I understood fundamentally that the questions being asked by the activists were the same questions we were asking in our own Indigenous territories- Who gave them the right to poison us?  And how will we stop them?  Read the rest of this entry »