During this month, we have shared first-hand accounts of a dramatic protest action that occurred in New London, CT in 1960 to disrupt the launch of one of the first nuclear-armed submarines in the world. We have also shared accounts of the arrested activists following the action and open letters written in response to the arrests. This week, we have a final open letter to present, written by one of the participants of the submarine launch disruption, Bill Henry, while in jail for that action. Bill Henry was 27 years old at the time; his six fellow direct actionists were all in their late teens. The other direct actionists inspired Bill Henry by their potent combination of youthful fearlessness, even naivete, and disciplined nonviolent action — a potency that was similarly and simultaneously being used to desegregate public life in the US civil rights movement.
In the past couple of years, many people have realized that their society is more racist, violent, unequal, dangerous, ignorant, and wrong than they thought. But many have also been inspired by the incredible courage of a new generation of young activists and organizers confronting many of the greatest social problems of our time. As we wrap up the year 2021 and look towards the future, let us take to heart some of Bill Henry’s insights into youth, action, and nonviolence.
See the first part of this story here: http://www.voluntownpeacetrust.org/a-peace-of-history-blog/challenging-a-nuclear-submarine-in-new-london-1960
See the second part of this story here: http://www.voluntownpeacetrust.org/a-peace-of-history-blog/consequences-of-challenging-a-nuclear-submarine-1960
See the third part of this story here: http://www.voluntownpeacetrust.org/a-peace-of-history-blog/multiple-tactics-to-expose-the-nuclear-threat-1960
See the fourth part of this story here: http://www.voluntownpeacetrust.org/a-peace-of-history-blog/only-three-honorable-choices-1960
(Click the image below to download the PDF version of the original newsletter clipping)
The CT Committee on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons organizes a few pro-disarmament demonstrations throughout the year. To participate in these demonstrations against nuclear arms and in support of the UN’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, please get in touch with us on Facebook or email us at email@example.com
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Henry, Bill. “A Call to Youth Everywhere.” Polaris Action Bulletin. 29 December 1960 (Bulletin #17), page 4.
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