By K. Harvey
Looking at nationwide peace organisations along lesser-known protest collectives, this publication argues that anti-nuclear activists encountered well-known demanding situations universal to different social routine of the past due 20th century.
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Extra resources for American Anti-Nuclear Activism, 1975–1990: The Challenge of Peace
In 1978, for example, Ed Hedemann of the WRL designed and produced a series of “Nuclear America” maps, showing the location of nuclear power plants, waste facilities, weapons facilities, and other parts of the widespread nuclear danger. 20 Each was part of an emerging national campaign to connect the multitude of local manifestations of what was increasingly seen as a national—and global—problem. As Solo explained it: The goal was to give people an entry point in their own communities for understanding that the arms race is not something “out there” but an everyday reality with profound impact on our lives.
30 The Mobe was in no way the ﬁnal step in national coalition organizing, but it was an important factor in the development of a mass movement and served to encourage spirited opposition to the arms race through demonstrations and nonviolent direct action. This was done, primarily, through networking of existing groups and diversifying the MFS platform. 32 Expanding the theoretical premise of the nuclear threat, its implications for the peace movement, and the strategic organization required to build a united anti-nuclear movement meant that MFS emerged as the ﬁrst national coalition dedicated to a comprehensive program of activism in the movement.
As MFS organizer Bruce Cronin later summarized, MFS: evolved into a coalition of primarily local organizations. 33 While this may have been an effect of an overwhelming interest shown by smaller local groups in joining the MFS network, it was as much a product of a sense among the traditional peace organizations that MFS was not a worthwhile endeavor. Differences in approach emerged more comprehensively around the UN Special Session of May 1978. As MFS organizers struggled to agree upon the most effective style of protest at the Special Session, paciﬁsts felt the need to engage in civil disobedience was being neglected.
American Anti-Nuclear Activism, 1975–1990: The Challenge of Peace by K. Harvey