Anti-nuclear "Roots", the birth and growth of mass citizen action against nuclear power
The Seabrook nuclear power project has become a global symbol in the battle over atomic energy.
On August 1,1976, eighteen New Hampshire citizens were arrested for occupying the newly-bulldozed site. Nine months later, more than 2,000 people repeated the action in a growing non-violent movement that made world headlines and that prompted parallel occupations all over the United States.
The struggle was sparked when the Public Service Company of New Hampshire-despite the opposition of local communities-broke ground on one of New Hampshire's most delicate tidal estuaries. Within days nuclear opponents had founded the Clamshell Alliance and pledged themselves to peaceful direct action as a means of stopping construction at Seabrook. Their tactics and their success in organizing set the stage for the public reaction to Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and sparked an on-going debate that has led to a curtailing of America's nuclear power program.
August 1, 1976, eighteen New Hampshire protesters
walk down the railroad tracks to confront arrest at the Seabrook
nuclear site (upper top); Blind Fred Zapinski going limp as police
drag him off.
The Last Resort presents the human side of the Seabrook confrontation, balancing the arguments of the strongly pro-nuclear Governor Meldrim Thomson and nuclear utility officials against those of local citizens and project opponents. The film includes frank assessments from local police, area officials and then-candidate Jimmy Carter, as well as footage from key confrontations in Europe, Japan and India.
The Last Resort is an exciting and essential primer in understanding the nuclear controversy and the issues-local and global-that are behind it.
Candidate Jimmy Carter comes to New Hampshire in 1976 and calls nuclear power "the last resort"; Tony and Louisa Santasuccl, angry Seabrook residents whose land borders the plant site: "We don't need a monster like that!".
The plant and pipes that carry millions of gallons of ocean water to cool the super hot reactor. Seabrook Station is part of a new generation of atomic power plants, the largest yet built. The estimated cost was originally $800 million but when the plant finally came on line in 1989 the final cost was upwards of $6 billion. New Hampshire Governor Meldrim Thomson and Public Service Company President William Tallman defend Seabrook Station.
Native American musician Periwinkle at rally, August 22, 1976; Activist Ron Rieck and Officer Sam discuss the nuclear dilemma.
New Hampshire luminaries, including then Governor Meldrim ("we can handle sharks, we can handle nuclear power") Thomson, at Seabrook groundbreaking ceremony.
60 minutes, color, 16mm, produced by Green Mountain Post Films, 1978
Producers: Daniel Keller & Charles Light
Directed by Daniel Keller
"The Last Resort goes a step beyond Lovejoy's Nuclear War to show the antinuclear sentiment as an organized movement of intelligent and concerned citizens throughout the world. It is an excellent and timely documentary." -Media Mix, April 1978
"The Last Resort is an insider's record of last year's mass protests. It reveals a growing, organized, grass roots resistance to proliferation of nuclear power plants." -Joseph Gelmis, Newsday
"A far ranging documentary crammed with facts and issues that everyone should be aware of." -Boston Herald American
"An important documentary. Until someone comes up with a workable answer to atomic wastes, pictures like this should be a must for public education."-Archer Winsten, New York Post
"The Last Resort is engaging on a cinematic level because it deals with human beings engaged in a dramatic struggle. The dismaying and at the same time, heartening aspect of this movie is watching the mis-matching of its contenders: the so-called ordinary citizens pitted against what seems to be the overwhelming combined power of industry and government. The movie is propaganda but propaganda in its best form: to call attention to a subject, to inform about it, and to provoke action on it."-Ernest Leogrande, New York Daily News
"Reiterating the commitment of citizen action in the face of overpowering authority stated in Lovejoy's Nuclear War, and recalling similar confrontations between concerned individuals and vested interests seen in Harlan County U.S.A., The Last Resort will be a good addition to public library, community group, and high school and college discussions of civil disobedience, citizen rights, and nuclear power. "-Booklist, The American Library Association.
"Excellently edited and well planned. . . contains a wealth of material for anyone interested in learning about the events surrounding a controversy whose implications reach far beyond Seabrook. "-Carl Vigeland, Greenfield (Mass.) Recorder
Citizens Awareness Network (CAN)
Committee for Nuclear Responsibility
Earth Island Institutehttp://www.earthisland.org/
Friends of the Earth
Institiute for Energy & Environmental Research
No More Chernobyls
Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS)
Rocky Mountain Institute
Safe Energy Communication Council
Southwest Research and Information Center
Three Miles Island Alert
Union of Concerned Scientists
Information Service on Energy (WISE)
For more information contact:
Green Mountain Post Films
PO Box 229, Turners Falls, MA 01376
(413)863-4754 * * * Fax: (413)863-8248
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