Los Alamos, N.M.
"Progress toward nuclear disarmament has ground to a halt. It has fallen victim to short presidential attention spans, conservative legislative bodies, and a nuclear weapons complex that has incredible influence and power. Almost 10 years after the end of the Cold War we are facing the prospect that the Clinton years will be remembered more as a tragically missed opportunity than as the time when United States laid the ground work for a nuclear weapons-free world."
For this reason and with these words, national Peace Action, successor to SANE and the Nuclear Freeze movement as the largest anti-nuclear weapons organization in the U.S., for the first time organized and encouraged participation in civil disobedience as a necessary tactic in the struggle.
The rejection of civil disobedience by the Nuclear Freeze movement in 1986, when the Nevada Test Site and a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty were fast becoming the national focus for nuclear resistance, resulted in the formation of the American Peace Test (APT). APT went on to organize years of mass demonstrations at the remote Nevada Test Site, including nonviolent civil disobedience actions at which thousands of people from all walks of life were arrested.
This year, following Peace Action's national conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico over the Hiroshima Day weekend, 500 anti-nuclear activists gathered at a Los Alamos park for a rally before marching several miles to the gates of Los Alamos National Laboratory on August 9, Nagasaki Day. It was the largest peace demonstration ever at the heart of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, where plans are afoot to manufacture a new generation of illicit weapons of mass destruction. In an orderly manner, 68 people crossed a police line and were arrested while hundreds of Los Alamos employees observed from the sidewalk and overlooking balconies in the nearby buildings. Despite threats of federal prosecution, all 68 were soon released and no charges filed.
For more information, contact Peace Action, 1819 H St. NW Suite 420, Washington, DC 20006, (202)862-9740. http://www.peace-action.org