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03.10.2018 - 11:06 [ Greenpeace / fredsakademiet.dk ]

Nuclear Flashback: Report of a Greenpeace Scientific Expedition to Amchitka Island, Alaska – Site of the Largest Underground Nuclear Test in U.S. History

(1996) The momentum for the birth of Greenpeace arose from the grassroots movement against the Cannikin test. Motivated by the Quaker tradition of „bearing witness,“ twelve people set sail from Vancouver to stop the nuclear explosion at Amchitka. Radio communications of the Greenpeace vessel, the F/V Phyllis Cormack, were monitored by military intelligence. Eighteen crewmen of the U.S. Coast Guard vessel Confidence in Akutan Harbor (Aleutian Islands) signed a statement supporting the Greenpeace
protesters.

Although stormy weather and postponement of the test prevented the Phyllis Cormack from reaching Amchitka, this first Greenpeace action became a dramatic focal point for an international movement and inspired protests to a „greater sound and fury.“ An aide to one of the senators against the war in Vietnam was quoted as saying, „I’ve
never seen anything like it. Where we are looking for an issue to revive the ABM debate, the Atomic Energy Commission drops Cannikin in our lap. It’s almost enough to enlist every ecology freak in the country.“