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A Return To Seabrook

May 24, 1980 Seabrook, New Hampshire

In May of 1980 The Coalition For Direct Action At Seabrook, a renegade faction of the Clamshell Alliance attempted for the second time to occupy the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant construction site. About 3,000 anti nuclear activists from around New England showed up for the last ditch pursuit of a fantasy West German style site occupation. A group of mostly college age kids from Boston and Rhode Island followed a handful of idealogues from the Clamshell affinity groups, “Hard Rain”, “Red Balloon”, and my personal favorite “Sluts For Peace” brought wire-cutters to the fences of the nuclear plant, and were repulsed by water cannons and club wielding state police. It was not the clean, pretty sight that Clamshell’s nonviolent civil disobedience actions had been from August of 1976 to March of 1979. This was organized frustration and not well organized at that. I had gone to Seabrook with the Boston Chapter of Youth Against War & Fascism. Under strict orders from Workers World Party  we  were there to provide logistical support to the occupiers without engaging in illegal activity. We were told if members got arrested it would detract from our efforts to publicize the Workers World Party Presidential Candidates Deidre Griswold & Larry Holmes organizing efforts in the Granite State.

I had mixed feelings about this but decided this would be one demonstration at Seabrook that I wouldn’t actively pursue getting arrested. I didn’t , but I was separated from the group and found myself with a multiracial student contingent from Brown University, taking a cold shower near the front entrance gate courtesy of the New Hampshire State Police. The demonstration was a fiasco that set the anti-nuclear movement back. It was nearly a decade before another large scale demonstration would  occur at the Seabrook site.

What do you think?

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