By K. Harvey
Looking at nationwide peace organisations along lesser-known protest collectives, this publication argues that anti-nuclear activists encountered conventional demanding situations universal to different social pursuits of the overdue 20th century.
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Extra info for American Anti-Nuclear Activism, 1975–1990: The Challenge of Peace
13 A big part of this dramatic expansion was a dramatic proliferation in citizens and professional groups dedicated to education, political action, and liberal reform. 14 Coalitions of activists involved in opposing nuclear facilities were often very diverse, counting environmentalists, scientists, local residents, and community groups in their ranks. Spirited opposition to nuclear weapons facilities like the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant near Denver had demonstrated the grassroots nature of anti-nuclear campaigning since 1974.
86 Such a corporation would remove, or at least render less effective, the contributions of radical voices within the June 12 coalition, such as the WRL, the communist US Peace Council (USPC), MFS, WILPF, and the Black Veterans for Social Justice. 87 The idea that money and inﬂuence would determine the strategy and direction of anti-nuclear activism was one that radical activists such as McReynolds and Cagan found abhorrent. Nevertheless, it did demonstrate the nature of the division between radical and moderate models of activism within the anti-nuclear movement.
It involved combining concerns about both the environment and disarmament, as well as ﬁnding ways in which diverse constituencies could produce the most effective campaign to oppose various nuclear threats. In some ways this was a contest between environmentalism and paciﬁsm, sparked by the accident at Three Mile Island. Both sought to capitalize on the swaths of public support emerging in the spring of 1979, and as McReynolds recalled, environmentalists “thought we were wildly radical, [while] our side .