MOTHER's Newsworthies: Robert Blake, Jackson Browne, John Osborne, John Chafee and Thomas Evans

Learn what Robert Blake and Jackson Browne, John Osborne, John Chafee and Thomas Evans are doing to better their communities.

| January/February 1982

Learn what the movers and shakers are actually doing to better their environment.  


Robert Blake and Jackson Browne: Supporting the Abalone Alliance


The Abalone Alliance — a grassroots coalition of more than 60 antinuclear/safe-energy groups — sent out a call this past September to mobilize the blockade/encampment of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant site in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The alert was issued upon the approval (by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company's scheduled test run of one of the plant's two reactors, which are located near a geological fault.

Prominent among the more than 3,000 anti-nuke activists who convened at Diablo Canyon (just days before the tests were scheduled to begin) were rock star Jackson Browne and actor Robert (Baretta) Blake. The protesters were split into small "affinity groups," each instructed to determine its own means of approach to the site. Blake's unit opted to ferry ashore in rubber boats. Meanwhile, Browne and the members of his troupe broached the plant gate and were promptly carted off to jail. When the first week of the siege had ended, more than 1,500 arrests had been made.

Although the 435-acre plant was defended by the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department, the California Highway Patrol, the National Guard and the Coast Guard, belligerent confrontations were almost nonexistent. Nonviolence workshops, conducted by the alliance, instructed participants not to launch either physical or verbal attacks, damage property, bring or use drugs or alcohol or carry weapons. The precautions proved largely successful. Nevertheless, it was clear that the protest was not meant to be merely a symbolic one: Blockade organizers have vowed to do everything in their power to obstruct operation of the plant.

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