Last week, we presented the story of two young men who swam in the bracing November waters of the Thames River to obstruct the launch of a nuclear-armed submarine, the Ethan Allen. These were some of the first nuclear-armed submarines in the world: the Polaris-class submarines which became a central part of the United States Cold War nuclear strategy. During that nonviolent action, other members of the Committee for Nonviolent Action (CNVA) attempted their own obstructions of the submarine launch, but were also apprehended by the authorities. All told, nine CNVA members (eight men and one woman) were arrested and thrown in jail — and then they started talking to the other inmates. Within days, both correctional officers and other inmates came to recognize the massive threat that the civil disobedience / nonviolent action strategy of the CNVA members presented towards the entire incarceration system in which they had been put. Again, despite failing to actually stop the launch of the Ethan Allen, the story of their time in jail gives another example of the power of a small but extremely disciplined and dedicated group.
(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)
(Click the image below to download the PDF version of the original newsletter clipping)
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Richman, Victor. “Boat Action and Consequences.” Polaris Action Bulletin. 3 December 1960 (Bulletin #16), page 2.
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