During this month, we have shared newsletter clippings from December 1960 about a daring attempt to disrupt the launch of one of the world’s first nuclear-armed submarines, the Ethan Allen. We’ve shared firsthand accounts, including by those who made the attempt by swimming in the bracing November river water, as well as some of the consequences for those most directly involved in the action. This dramatic action was witnessed by many members of the public and the press, and the story and photographs made headlines around the world. The action was great for exposure, but not so much for educating about the ethical and existential dangers of the nuclear arms race. For that other objective, ten participants leafletted at the gate into the Electric Boat (EB) dry dock. Notably, most people there to see the sub launch that day ignored the activists as they entered, but many more became curious about the activists on their way out — only after witnessing the dramatic disruptions of the nine arrested. In this case, it was not that “actions speak louder than words,” but that such actions without words may be easily misunderstood, while words without actions are often passed over altogether. It is through the cooperation of bold direct actionists, friendly leafletters, and the organizers who coordinated all of these moving parts that this story made such a big splash back then, and why we can tell this story now.
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
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Christiansen, Mary. “Welcome Committee at EB Gate.” Polaris Action Bulletin. 3 December 1960 (Bulletin #16), page 3.
“Millions See and Hear of Demonstration.” Polaris Action Bulletin. 3 December 1960 (Bulletin #16), page 3.
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