Click on the picture above to watch streaming video interviews with activists from the Ground Zero Center.
The anti-Trident protests indicated a larger strain between civilians and the military. Click to read further. Poster drawn for Ground Zero by William Livermore. (Courtesy Ground Zero Center Records, Special Collections Library, Univ. of Washington.)
Military installations and industries have long been the mainstay of many regional economies in the Pacific Northwest. Yet, as the history of antiwar activism shows, this relationship was often contested and strained, particularly during the anti-nuclear protests of the 1970s and 1980s.
Particularly in the closing years of the Vietnam War, antiwar activists turned their attention to the threat of nuclear weapons in the Northwest. As distinguished from the radical politics of the GI movement or the self-defense tactics of the Black Panther Party, anti-nuclear activists drew on a host of pacifist, non-violent, and civil disobedience tactics. Many had backgrounds in religious social justice work, and pacifism was both a protest tactic and a personal philosophy.
Anti-nuclear activism continued the social activism of the Vietnam War era and also transformed it. Throughout the 1980s, anti-nuclear activism helped to knit together movements against war, militarism, and specific military interventions.
This section features an in-depth series of research reports and oral histories chronicling the protest movement against the Trident nuclear submarines at Bangor Naval Base, on the Kitsap peninsula, in the 1970s and early 1980s.
[This article is provided by permission of the author and of Pacific Northwest Quarterly, where it was published in Summer 2004. Copyright (c) 2004 Brian Casserly and Pacific Northwest Quarterly.]
Jessie Kindig is the coordinator for this special section.