April 11th @ 7PM: The Bay Area Radical History Project presents Anti Nuclear Direct Action Movement; Horizontal Direct Action Praxis (theory and practice)
Thursday, April 11, 7:30 pm
The Bay Area Radical History Project presents
Anti Nuclear Direct Action Movement; Horizontal Direct Action Praxis (theory and practice)
- Join three folks who organized in overlapping and different parts of the anti-nuclear direct action movement to paint a picture of the movement–which lives on in many ways today–and reflect and discuss what worked/what did not to apply to current struggles (occupy, climate justice, anti-war, etc). Panelists: Chris Hables Gray, David Solnit,and Marian Doub.
at The Holdout ( 2313 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland)
The Bay Area Radical History Project Presents:
THE ANTI-NUCLEAR DIRECT ACTION MOVEMENT
Horizontal Direct Action Praxis (theory and practice)
What we can draw on for climate, occupy and other movements today from the public uprising that took on the powerful nuclear power industry and won–and also took on the cutting edge of empire-nuclear weapons? Join folks who organized in overlapping and different parts of the anti-nuclear direct action movement to paint a picture of the movement–which lives on in many ways today–and reflect and discuss together what worked/what did not.
In the wake of the Viet Nam War a mass grassroots anti-nuclear power and weapons movement rose up across the United States. Drawing on ecology, feminism, Civil Rights and anarchist organizing, people pioneered new practices and theories of social change organizing in the US: horizontal decentralized network organizing; affinity groups, clusters and spokescouncils; consensus decision-making and feminist process; skills trainings and shared leadership; jail solidarity and mass nonviolent direct action.
Richard Nixon had pledged to build 1000 nuclear power plants in the US by the year 2000. Massive grassroots organizing and mass direct action stopped the industry and kept nearly 880 US reactors unbuilt. Today, just over a hundred operate. No US reactor ordered since 1974 has been completed. Calling to “DECENTRALIZE POWER” the movement popularized ideas and practices of renewable, not-for-profit, locally controlled energy.
In the early 1980’s the Anti-Nuclear Direct Action Movement became the cutting edge of the nuclear disarmament movement, in which millions took to the streets to confront US empire’s deployment of first strike nuclear missiles across Europe, escalating against the Soviet empire and tens of thousands took direct action across North America and Europe.
Creating models of organizing and a culture of direct action that continues today, the Bay Area was key hub for this movement:
* Mass direct action blockades of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power plant organized by Abalone Alliance–an alliance of over 100 autonomous local groups. Action handbook pdf here.
* Livermore Action Group, which at it’s height involved thousands of participants self-organized into affinity groups, a regular “Direct Action” newspaper, and mass direct action campaign against UC-administered Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab.
* A series of creative direct actions, “Hall of Shame” and “Warchest Tours” in the SF Financial District, following similar actions on Wall St, confronted corporate capitalism behind the nuclear power and the arms race; Over 600 were arrested when the Democratic Party held it’s Convention in SF in 1984.
Rafael Jesús González, amazing Bay Area poet-activist who was in the Lifers Affinity Group in the Anti-Nuclear Movement, will open the event with poetry, accompanied by flute/drums of Gerardo Omar Marin.
Chris Hables Gray organized in the anti-nuclear direct action movement in the 1970’s and 80’s, and continues to be an antiwar organizer, anarchist-feminist, and author of the books Peace, War, and Computers, Postmodern War, and Cyborg Citizen.
David Solnit was part of student and punk affinity group that organized with Livermore Action Group, Vandenberg Action Coalition and Abalone Alliance and was a member of the Corporate Warchest Tours Collective that mobilized resistance to the 1984 Democratic Convention in SF. He edited/co-wrote the books Globalize Liberation and The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle.
Marian Doub organized in the anti-nuclear direct action movement in the 1970’s and 80’s with Livermore Action Group, Vandenberg Action CoalIition and Abalone Alliance as well as the Rocky Flats Truth Force in Colorado and the Coalition for Direct Action as Seabrook (NH), mostly as part of the bi-coastal & multi-class Narcoleptic Affinity Group. She has also worked with various local peace and justice solidarity movements from the 80s to the present—recently contributing to the founding & sustaining of Occupy Bernal in her neighborhood. She makes her living as a nationally respected consultant with economic justice & community development groups and supporters.
Downloadable Direct Action Anti-Nuclear movement handbooks:
Diablo Blockade by Chris “Crystal” Gray and others:
Abalone Alliance Story:
Warchest Tour ’84:
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In February 2013, The Holdout and Aid & Abet will launch an ongoing series of talks on recent San Francisco Bay Area Radical History, covering 1980 to the present.
The series is every other Thursday through May, and then continuing monthly. The presentations will be a mixture of panels, short films, and speakers. Specific details on each presentation will be listed as they become available.
A complete schedule and more information is at https://bayarearadicalhistory.wordpress.com/