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UMass Amherst seal
Alternative Energy Coalition Records, 1960-1981 (Bulk: 1976-1980)
8 boxes (12 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 586

Abstract:
A product of the vibrant, progressive political culture of western Massachusetts during the early 1970s, the Alternative Energy Coalition played a key role in the growth of antinuclear activism. In 1974, the AEC helped mobilize support for Sam Lovejoy after he sabotaged a weather tower erected by Northeast Utilities in Montague, Mass., in preparation for a proposed nuclear power plant, and they helped organize the drive for a referendum opposing not only the proposed plant in Montague, but existing plants in Rowe, Mass., and Vernon, Vt. Forming extensive connections with other antinuclear organizations, the AEC also became one of the organizations that united in 1976 to form the Clamshell Alliance, which made an art of mass civil disobedience.

The AEC Records provide insight into grassroots activism of the 1970s and 1980s, galvanized by the seemingly unrestrained growth of the nuclear power industry. The records, emanating from the Hampshire County branch, contain both research materials used by the AEC and organizational and promotional materials produced by them, including publications, minutes of meetings, correspondence, and materials used during protests. Of particular interest are a thick suite of organizational and other information pertaining to the occupation of the Seabrook (N.H.) nuclear power plant in 1979 and minutes, notes, and other materials relating to the founding and early days of the Clamshell Alliance. The collection is closely related to the Antinuclear Collection (MS 547).

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Biographical Note

On Washington's Birthday in 1974, a local organic farmer and member of the Montague Farm commune, Sam Lovejoy, committed an act of civil disobedience. In the early morning hours he used hand tools to fell a weather-monitoring tower erected by Northeast Utilities, the corporation that was planning to build a massive nuclear power plant in town. Leaving the wreckage behind, Lovejoy flagged down a passing patrol car and turned himself in to face the consequences, hoping to spur a public debate about the use of nuclear energy. In that he succeeded. During the weeks that followed, Lovejoy's trial garnered national attention and catalyzed the formation of antinuclear organizations such as the Alternative Energy Coalition (AEC).

Founded in Montague, the AEC offered support for Lovejoy during the trial as well as for the larger aim of building broad-based opposition to nuclear power in the wake of Richard Nixon's "Project Independence," which included a plan to build 1,000 nuclear power plants by the year 2000. From the outset, the AEC used a range of tactics to achieve their goals, from political engagement, to petitions, public awareness campaigns, and direct action. The activist Harvey Wasserman, a co-organizer of the AEC, and several of his associates created a political party to influence local elections, supporting Lovejoy as he ran for representative to town meeting, and Anna Gyorgy (another AEC founder), Marc Sills, Nina Simon, and Janice Frey for other spots under the antinuclear "No Party" ticket.

By the early spring, the AEC began collecting signatures to place a dual referendum on the ballot for the state senatorial district, the first instructing the senator to oppose the proposed plant at Montague, the second instructing him or her to "sponsor and support a resolution aimed at closing and dismantling" the region's two active nuclear power plants at Rowe, Massachusetts, and Vernon, Vermont. They were successful, gathering over 3,800 supporters.

In 1976, the AEC chose to affiliate with several antinuclear organizations to form the Clamshell Alliance, a New England-based coalition of antinuclear activists. Through acts of non-violent civil disobedience, most notably the 1976 and 1977 occupations of the Seabrook Nuclear Power plant in New Hampshire, the Clamshell galvanized the antinuclear movement and became one of the major factors in radically slowing the growth of the nuclear industry in the United States. The AEC continued as a separate organization with chapters in both Hampshire and Franklin Counties, until disbanding in about 1981. By that time, dozens of other groups were active in opposition to nuclear power, aligned with the AEC's principles of non-violent direct action.

Scope and contents of the collection

The Alternative Energy Coalition Records document the organizational life of the Massachusetts-based antinuclear activist group from approximately 1974 to 1981, centered on the Hampshire County Branch. Reflecting the AEC's dual commitment to promoting the use of renewable energy resources and opposing nuclear power, the records provide an indication both of the high degree of decentralization characteristic of the early antinuclear movement and the impressive coordination maintained between like-minded organizations.

In addition to administrative records of the Hampshire County chapter of the AEC, the collection contains fliers, newsletters, leaflets, and other promotional materials, information on alternative energy, correspondence with allied organizations, and some realia used in protesting nuclear power. Of particular interest is a thick sheaf of notes, memoranda, and minutes of meetings from the organization and early years of the Clamshell Alliance, including minutes of the Coordinating Committee and a variety of materials relating to the occupations at the Seabrook (N.H.) Nuclear Power Plant between 1977 and 1979.

The collection is organized into three series:


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Alternative Energy Coalition Records (MS 586). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Gary Tartakov, December 2008 (Accession number 2008-295).

Processing Information

Processed by Katherine Barrett, Cameron Brown, Rebecca Guernsey, and Morgan Hubbard, December 2010.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Language
English

Series Descriptions
1973-1981
66 folders (3 linear feet)

Series 1 contains documents produced by the AEC for its own use and day-to-day operations, including flyers, meeting announcements, project proposals, handbooks, training session materials, meeting minutes, and member contact information. The organization also created extensive planning materials, including reconnaissance maps of New England nuclear sites for non-violent protest actions and outgoing petitions to the President against nuclear power. This series contains some artifacts, including black armbands worn by AEC members during site occupations as well as handmade hitch-hiking placards. Of special note in this series are three office logbooks that AEC members annotated and used to communicate with one another during direct action engagements, and a pad of paper used by AEC and affiliated members to document--in real time--the actions of the October 6, 1979 Seabrook occupation. (This pad is in the folder entitled, "Clamshell - Seabrook Occupation, October 6th, 1979.")

1960-1980
132 folders (7.5 linear feet)

Series 2 contains materials collected by the AEC on a wide range of alternative energy sources. Enclosed are magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and pamphlets elaborating on nuclear issues, including nuclear weapons use and the environmental impacts of nuclear energy. The AEC was committed to gathering information about non-nuclear energy sources like solar, wind, electric power, and fossil fuels. In addition, the AEC maintained a small library of books, brochures, fact sheets, catalogues, and product listings exploring practical energy conservation methods, this last intended for use of private citizens. Brochures in this series investigate topics ranging from improved house construction to composting toilets, from hot water heaters to energy-efficient fireplaces. The AEC also received weekly reports from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (from 1976-1979) and the Department of Energy (from 1978-1979). A few representative reports are preserved in this series. The AEC also collected legislative materials denoting Massachusetts alternative energy policies.

1977-1980
109 folders (3 linear feet)

Series 3 contains material relating to the AEC's extensive connections to other environmental and antinuclear activist groups, both local and national. The AEC collected newsletters, news articles, and correspondence from groups with similar objectives. The AEC's strongest link was to the Clamshell Alliance; this organization's mission, membership, planning, and operations overlapped with those of the AEC after Clamshell's founding in 1976. As such, most material in this series is devoted to the Clamshell Alliance. Other selected affiliated organizations include the Abalone Alliance (California), Crabshell Alliance, Palmetto Alliance, Potomac Alliance, Tennessee Valley Energy Alliance, Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance, and the Rocky Flats Truth Force. The AEC also kept documents relating to other ideologically aligned social issues, such as the Red Power, Women's Rights, Mohawk Sovereignty, and Peace Movements.

Contents List
Series 1. Organizational Materials
1973-1981
66 folders

Artifacts: Logbooks (1976-1979) and songbook,"Songs of Seabrook"
1979


Artifacts: Four (4) Black Arm Bands
1979


Artifacts: Hitchhiking Signs
ca.1979


May 6th Coalition March on Washington
ca.1979


June 24th Occupation (1978)
1978


July 21st-22nd, 1979: Legal Seabrook
1979


October 7th Occupation Tactics and Site Access
ca.1979


November 11, 1978, Car Caravan and Demonstration
1978


AEC: 1 June 1979 Recycling Memo
1979


AEC: Finances
1978-1979


AEC: Mailing Lists
1979


AEC: Meeting Minutes
1976-1977


AEC: Meeting Minutes
1979-1980


AEC: "Nuclear Power and Alternative Energy Info Book," Office Copy
1973-1977


AEC: People Lists
ca.1979


AEC: Press Releases and Newspaper Articles
1979-1981


Alternative Energy Fair
ca.1979


Canvassing Information
ca.1979


Conferences, Speakers, Public meetings
1978


Correspondence
1977-1981


Congress File (Temporary)
1979


Danbury Federal Prison Bibliographies, etc.
ca.1979


Evaluations: No Nukes
ca.1979


Facilitating
ca.1979


Finances
1977


Hampshire County AEC News Release
1977-1978


Hampshire Country Petition Forms
1979


Inventory
ca.1979


Journals and Newsletters
ca.1979


Leaflets - External
ca.1979


Mailing Lists
1979


Maps: Misc.
ca.1979


Media Contacts
1978-1979


Montague Intervention
1977-1979


Montague LPV Task Force
1977


Neutron Bomb Petitions
ca.1979


Newsletters: AEC and Other
1978-1980


Non-Violent Training Committee (Western Mass)
1978-1979


Nuke Moratorium Petitions
ca.1979


Occupation/Restoration Task Force
1977-1978


Office Business
1977-1979


People's Alliance
1977


Plymouth
1978


Poems, Songs
ca.1979


People's Alliance
ca.1979


Public Education Task Force (NUKES)
1979


Railway Express Agency and Co. (Building Lease) - 1948/1958
ca.1979


RATE Hikes
1979-1980


Seabrook 1978: A Handbook
1978


Seabrook Nuke Plant
1978


Seabrook Occupation: Chronological Press Folio
ca.1978


Seabrook Petitions
ca.1978


Subscription Requests to Periodicals, etc.
1978-1979


Sun Day
1978


Survival Summer - Info
ca.1979


Three Mile Island - President Carter Petitions
ca.1979


Trident Teach-In Materials (AEC)
1977-1978


Unity Committee, April 26, 1980
1980


Valley Advocate (Newspaper)
ca.1979


Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant
1979-1980


VYDA - March 30th 1980 - News Clippings
1980


VYDA - Proposals and Meeting Info
ca.1979


Xerox Masters - Originals for Leaflets
ca.1979


Western Mass Trainers
1979


Yankee Power Plant Petitions
1979


Year of the Child - Info
ca.1979


Series 2. Research
1960-1980
132 folders

Alternative Energy
1967-1979


Alternative Energy Clippings
1976-1977


Alternative Energy Stores and Suppliers
ca.1979


Antinuclear Groups Nationwide List
1979


Black Fox Plant (Okla.)
1979


Breeder Reactors
1973


Catalogs and Resources
1979-1980


Coal
1976


Composting Toilets
1976-1977


Conservation (General Info)
1973-1977


Consumer Publication
1976


County Voice
1979


Criminal Code Reform Act - H.R. 689, S. 1437
1978


Construction Work in Progress Public Service Co. (N.H.)
1978-1981


Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission
1976-1980


Department of Energy / Federal Groups
ca.1979


Diablo Canyon
1977


Economics / Nuclear
1977-1979


Effects of Nuclear Power
1973-1978


Effects of Nuclear Power - Environmental
1978-1979


Electric Energy
ca.1979


Energy
1979


Energy Analyses
1979


Energy Efficient Architecture
1974-1977


Energy (General Info)
1977


Energy House
1975


Energy Task Force Alternative Currents / A.T.A.C
1979


Environmental Action / Energy Research and development Administration
1976


Environmental Hazards
1976-1978


Environmental Policy Center
1978


Environmental Protection Agency
1975-1977


Fireplaces and Hardware
ca.1979


Gas
1976-1977


G.E. Boycott
1979


Graphics


Guardian - Newsletters
1979-1980


Health and Occupational Safety
1976-1977


Hudson River
1977-1979


Hydro Electricity Dam Inventory W. Mass
1979


Hydropower
1978-1979


Insulation
1976-1977


International
1976-1977


J. P. Stevens (Corporation)
1977


Jamesport Generating Station
1976-1979


Labor Law Reform
1977-1978


Legislation
1977-1979


Legislation - Mass.
1979


Legislature - Congress
1976-1978


Literature - Antinuclear Organizations
1978-1979


Literature - Periodicals
1978


Maine Yankee
1979


The Manhattan Project - Wall Street Action, Oct. 29th
1979


Master Plan for Energy
1978


National Center for Appropriate Technology
1979-1980


Newspapers
1978-1979


Non-Energy Articles
1978


Nonviolence
1976-1977


Northampton Daycare
ca.1979


Nuclear Accidents
1976


Nuclear Accidents - Evacuation
1975-1979


Nuclear - Breeder Reactor (LMFBR Program)
1974-1978


Nuclear - Clinch River
1976-1977


Nuclear Energy - Pro Articles, Trident Launch
1979


NIRS- Nuclear Information Resource Serv.
1979-1980


Nuclear Material, Misc.
1971-1979


Nuclear Power I
1972-1976


Nuclear Power II
1974-1979


Nuclear Power III
1973-1979


Nuclear Regulatory Commission
1976-1981


Nuclear Safety
1978-1979


Nuclear Waste I
1975-1978


Nuclear Waste II
1974-1976


Nuclear Waste Disposal
1976-1977


Nuclear Waste Management
1960-1979


Oil
1976-1977


People and Energy
1979


Politics and Education, Middleton (Conn.)
1978-1979


Pollution
1975-1977


Power Plant Licensing
1975


Power Plant Safety
1978


Price-Anderson Act
1977


Promoting Enduring Peace
1979


Radiation - Low-Level Effects
1979


Radioactive Waste: New England
1976-1978


Reference Boiling Water Reactor Decommissioning
1980


Reading List
1978


Research - Bibliographies
ca.1979


Research - Journals, Newsletters, Newsclippings
1976-1980


Research - Reports
ca.1979


Rural Education Center
1980


SALT and Government Propaganda
1978-1979


Scenic Hudson - Clearwater Sunday
1978


Science Articles - oil, coal, etc.
1978-1979


Shoreham - Long Island (N.Y.)
1980


Sierra Atlantic
1978-1979


Sierra Club Literature
1978


Silkwood, Karen
1977


Soft Technology
1979


Solar
1970-1978


Solar Bulletins
1977-1980


Solar Controls
ca.1979


Solar Collector Brochures (Air)
1977


Solar Collector Brochures (Liquid)
1977


Solar Energy - Application in Homes
1976-1978


Solar Energy Clippings and Articles
1972-1979


Solar Energy - Mass.
1976


Solar Greenhouses
1977


Solar Heating Brochures
1977


Solar Heating - Domestic Hot Water Systems
1977


Solar Energy Institutes of America
1977-1980


Solar - Legislation,Government
1976-1978


Solar Lobby
ca.1979


Solar - Photovoltaics
ca.1979


Solar Satellites
1979


Street Papers
1978


Sun Power
1974


Solar Pumps


Solar Resources
1977-1978


Solar Supplies and Info Centers
1976-1977


Thermal Curtains and Insulation
1977-1978


Three Mile Island
1980


Three Mile Island Accident
1977-1981


Utilities
1976-1977


Waste Storage
1976-1979


Water Conservation 1978-1979
ca.1979


Weapons
1978-1981


Wind
1974-1976


Wind - Newspaper Clippings
1976-1979


Wood - General
1975-1978


Wood Stove Brochures
1977


Women
1979


Yankee Atomic
1980


Series 3. Affiliated Groups
1977-1980
109 folders (3 linear feet)

Abalone Alliance
1977-1980


Affinity Groups
ca.1978


Alliance for Survival
ca.1978


AFSC - American Friends Service Committee Incorporated
1979


Anti-Draft Material Ad-Hoc Committee
1979


Arizona Mobilization for Survival
1979


Berkshire AEC
1977


Berkshire Alliance for Safe Energy
1979


Black Hills Alliance
ca.1979


Che Lumumba School
1979


Citizen's Energy Project of Washington DC
1979


Citizens for Safe Energy Dorset (Vt.)
1979-1980


Citizens for Safe Power Transmission (Red Hook, NY)
1978


Citizen's Party (Citizens Committee)
ca.1979


Clamshell: 1978-1979 Fall River Reactor Blockade
ca.1979


Clamshell: Additional Resources
ca.1979


Clamshell: Affinity Groups membership
ca.1979


Clamshell: Internal Committees
1978


Clamshell: Clamshell Alliance Newsletters
1977-1979


Clamshell: Clamshell Alliance News Releases
1976-1977


Clamshell: Blockade Handbook
1978


Clamshell: Boston Chapter
1977-1980


Clamshell: Brainstorms
1977


Clamshell: "Clams for Democracy"
ca.1979


Clamshell: Conferences, Western Mass.
1978


Clamshell: Clamshell Congress
1979-1980


Clamshell: Clamshell Congress Proposals
1978-1979


Clamshell: Contacts
1974-1979


Clamshell: Coordinating Committee
1977


Clamshell: Coordinating Committee, Part 1
1978


Clamshell: Coordinating Committee, Part 2
1978


Clamshell: Coordinating Committee
1979


Clamshell: Coordinating Committee Reports
ca.1979


Clamshell: Legal Info
1977-1979


Clamshell: Non-Violent Training Sessions
1978


Clamshell: Occupation I and II
1976


Clamshell: Organizational Materials I
1977


Clamshell: Organizational Materials II
1979-1980


Clamshell: Rally, October 23
ca.


Clamshell: Resources: Reading Lists, films, magazines
ca.1979


Clamshell: Seabrook Action
1978


Clamshell: Seabrook Action, May 24
1980


Clamshell: Seabrook Occupation, May 30
1977


Clamshell: Seabrook Occupation, Memos
ca.1977


Clamshell: Seabrook Occupation, Oct. 6
1979


Clamshell: Seabrook Occupation Oct. 6th Newspaper Clippings
1979


Clamshell: Training Information
1976-1978


Clamshell: Training for Trainers
ca.1977


Clean Energy Petition PIDC Correspondence
1978


Coalition for Direct Action at Seabrook
1979-1980


Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy
1979-1980


Community for Creative Nonviolence
ca.1979


Concerned Citizens of Rhode Island: Clippings to be Filed
1978


Concerned Citizens for Safe Energy (Stuyvesant, N.Y.)
ca.1979


Connecticut Citizen Action Group
1977


Crabshell Alliance
1978


Critical Mass (Citizens' Movement for Safe and Efficient Energy)
1976-1978


Dorothy Day Community
1980


Eastern Federation of Nuclear Opponents and Safe Energy Proponents
1978


Energy News of Hampshire AEC
1978


Food for Thought
1979


Franklin County AEC
1977-1979


Franklin County Energy Project
1979


Green Mountain Post Films
1978


Greenpeace
ca.1979


Hampshire County AEC
1977-1979


Haymarket News
1979-1980


John Brown Anti-Klan Committee
1980


International Nuclear Protest Groups
1978-1979


Labor Party Literature
1977


Long River Project
1980


Lower Pioneer Valley Regional Planning Committee
1980


Mass. Alliance for a Safe Energy Future
1979


Mass PIRG
1974-1980


Michigan PIRGIN
1979


Mobilization for Survival
1978-1979


Mobilization in Pioneer Valley
1979


Mohawk Nation
1979


Municipal Power Advocacy Coalition
1979


MUSE - Musicians United for Safe Energy
1979


Natural Guard
ca.1979


NECNP - New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution
1975-1977


Nuclear Power Resources (New York PIRG, etc.)
1977-1978


NYS Alliance to Save Energy
1973-1978


Pacific Alliance


Palmetto Alliance
1978-1979


Pennsylvania


Pioneer Valley War Tax Resistance
1979


PIRG New Jersey
1975-1976


Potomac Alliance
1979


RADS - Radiation Alert Development Signpost, New Hampshire Local
1980


Rath Proposal
ca.1979


Regional Environmental Council - Worcester, Mass.
1977-1978


Rocky Flats Truth Force
1979


SANE - Citizens' Organization for a Sane World (D.C.)
1979-1980


SCANN - Student Coalition Against Nukes Nationwide
1979


Shad Material (NYC Shad Alliance)
1978-1979


SNDF - Stuyvesant Nuclear Discussion Forum
1978


Solar Rollers
1978


Solar Strollers
ca.1979


Tennessee Valley Energy Alliance
1979


Texas
1979


Traprock
ca.1979


Trojan Decommissioning Alliance
1977


UMass Energy
1978-1979


Union of Concerned Scientists
1978


Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance
1979-1980


Women and Life on Earth
ca.1979


Workers Alliance
1977-1978



Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts.
  • Hampshire County (Mass.)--History.
  • Nonviolence--Massachusetts.
  • Nuclear Energy--Massachusetts.
  • Pacifists--Massachusetts.
  • Political activists--Massachusetts.
  • Renewable energy sources.
  • Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant (N.H.).
  • Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station.

Contributors
  • Alternative Energy Coalition.
  • Clamshell Alliance.

Genre terms
  • Realia.


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