SHAD Alliance Records
Held at: Swarthmore College Peace Collection [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore 19081-1399
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The SHAD Alliance (Sound-Hudson Against Atomic Development) was a collection of more than 20 local groups of people in southern New York State who were concerned about nuclear proliferation, low-level radiation, the nuclear fuel cycle, and the possibility of nuclear accidents. It was a "grassroots" alliance which took action by means of demonstrations, civil disobedience, educational forums, and leafletting. Nonviolence was always emphasized, and safe energy alternatives were promoted. SHAD's structure was very loosely organized. There was a central office in New York City which coordinated the antinuclear activity of between 20 and 30 "locals" (affiliates) which participated in varying degrees. The New York City and Westchester groups were among the most active local. Anti-nuclear activists from Westchester County, originally working out of the offices of WESPAC in White Plains, were initially focused on Indian Point before proposing to join forces in an alliance with those concerned about the Shoreham reactor. At the first SHAD-wide (general) congress in September 1978, it was decided that the Shoreham (New York) reactor, scheduled to open in the spring of 1980, would be the focus of a regional SHAD campaign. SHAD affiliates also took part in actions against the Indian Point (New York) and Seabrook (New Hampshire) reactors. In March, 1979, the entire antinuclear movement was galvanized by the near-meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania, and SHAD's membership grew accordingly.
SHAD affiliates also took part in the Manhattan Project's Wall Street Action (October 28-29, 1979), which attempted to close down the New York Stock Exchange. The SHAD Alliance encouraged the withholding of payments from Consolidated Edison, the New York utility which built the Indian Point reactor. Involvement in this region's antinuclear movement seemed to peak around the end of 1979. By 1980, the minutes of the Coordinating Committees of both SHAD-wide and New York City SHAD reflect a decrease in interest and falling-off of activity. Internal dissension and chronic lack of funds caused frustration and further limited SHAD's viability. By the end of 1981, it was almost defunct. The office of SHAD was dismantled in 1982, but it may have issued some publications as late as 1988, as noted on OCLC, a national bibliographic database. One committee, the SHAD Education Task Force attempted to carry on and broaden the work of the SHAD Alliance, without the civil disobedience component. It changed its name to Last Chance in 1981. The SHAD Alliance published three serials: Fallout Forum, New York City SHAD Newsletter, and New Rising Sun. The latter two titles were both published by the New York City SHAD local; New Rising Sun seems to have superseded New York City SHAD Newsletter.
The SHAD Alliance papers consist of printed materials: minutes of committee meetings, leaflets, pamphlets, press releases, serial publications, newspaper clippings, flyers, and reference material from other antinuclear groups. There is almost no correspondence. There are 58 photographs (including some contact sheets) of antinuclear protests. A few photos have copyright dates on the back, but most came completely unidentified. There are runs of the three serial publications noted above, and individual issues of other antinuclear and New Left publications. Names of individuals most active in the SHAD Alliance include: Jacob Aftel, Elizabeth Ahearn, John Berman, Bruce Birnberg, John Breitbart, Ken Gale, Barbara Kropf, Mike Levinson, Alyssa Melnick, Amy Melnick, Don Ogden, Barbara Padjack, Esther Pank, and Sharon Persinger.
The papers were received in no discernable order, including many duplicates. They are arranged with the materials of the general "SHAD-wide" group first, then the New York City SHAD, followed by other local SHAD affiliates, called "locals" or "affinity groups". These are in chronological order. Next come the materials (leaflets, pamphlets, scattered serial publications) of various antinuclear groups with which SHAD shared a common interest (including the actions against the Indian Point, Seabrook, and Shoreham nuclear reactors) arranged alphabetically, followed by miscellaneous antinuclear newspaper clippings, reprints, and one poster. Photographs had been received in two large envelopes; removal sheets for these are in the last folder. The photos were removed to the Peace Collection photograph collection DG 142. All sizes are boxed together. Serial publications are with their issuing bodies.
Gift of Jacob Aftel, Bruce Birnberg and Ken Gale, September 1983 [Acc. 83A-124]
Checklist prepared by Barbara Addison in December, 1992; this finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone in August, 2009.
Photographs have been removed to the Peace Collection photograph collection, DG 142. In this collection there are:
- 1 postcard
- 23 photos, size 5 x 7
- 21 photos, size 8 x 10, including 2 sets of duplicates
- 16 contact sheets, size 8 x 10
Subjects include demonstrations and rallies, nonviolent civil disobedience, community gardening, and one picture of a bomb-blasted office. All sizes are boxed together.
- Aftel, Jacob
- Birnberg, Bruce
- Breitbart, John
- Gale, Ken
- Kropf, Barbara
- Padjack, Barbara
- Pank, Esther
- Persinger, Sharon
- SHAD Alliance
- SHAD Alliance (New York, N.Y.)
- Con Ed Rate Withholding Coalition
- Manhattan Project (U.S.)
- Indian Point Nuclear Power Station (N.Y.)
- Seabrook Nuclear Power Station (N.H.)
- Shoreham Nuclear Powerplant (N.Y.)
- Westchester Peoples Action Coalition
- Last Chance (Organization)
- Swarthmore College Peace Collection
- Access Restrictions
- Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Use Restrictions
documents about serial publication, publication removed to SCPC periodicals collection