Archive for the ‘Training’ 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
    
Create the Action by Acting on Your Passion by Naoto Inoue

 

Create the Action by Acting on Your Passion

By Naoto Inoue (as told to Sharon Tracy)

 Do you remember 1976? The anti-nuclear planning was happening and I was living in Newburyport. I had dropped out of UNH and was looking for direction in my life, not really knowing what to do. I was working as a carpenter. On Water St there was a natural food store called Corn Mother, and Katrina who owned the place showed me a poster about a Clamshell organizational meeting in Hampton Falls, NH, at the church. So I went to the meeting. At the time, I was so numb I did not know where electricity came from (in 2007 I am finding that is still the case). But if I can learn anybody can. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar
06
    
Founding Statement of the Clamshell Alliance Adopted July, 1976 and reaffirmed November, 1977

Founding Statement of the Clamshell Alliance

Adopted July, 1976 and reaffirmed November, 1977

RECOGNIZING:

  1. that the survival of humankind depends upon preservation of out natural environment;
  2. that nuclear power poses a mortal threat to people and the environment;
  3. that our energy needs can be adequately met through utilization of non-nuclear energy sources;
  4. that energy should not be abused for private profit; and
  5. that people should not be exploited for private profit,

THE CLAMSHELL ALLIANCE, a New England organization, has been formed:

  1. to stop all construction of a nuclear power plant in Seabrook, New Hampshire;
  2. to assist efforts to halt nuclear plant development in New England;
  3. to re-assert the right of  citizens to be fully informed and then to decide the nature and destiny of their own communities; and
  4. to achieve these goals through direct, non-violent action, such an one-to-one dialogue, public prayer and fasting, public demonstrations, site eoccupations and other means which put life before property.
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
    
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 »