World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Committee for Non-Violent Action

The Committee for Non-Violent Action (CNVA), formed in 1957 to resist the nonviolent direct action to protest against the nuclear arms race.

The CNVA's immediate antecedent, a committee known as Non-Violent Action Against Nuclear Weapons, was formed by radical George Willoughby.

In August, 1957, CNVA members were arrested when they attempted to enter the Camp Mercury nuclear testing grounds near Las Vegas, Nevada. In February 1958, Albert Bigelow and the crew of the Golden Rule were intercepted by the US Coast Guard five nautical miles (9 km) from Honolulu, Hawaii as they attempted to sail their vessel into the Eniwetok Proving Grounds, the US test site in the Marshall Islands. Two further attempts to defy a hastily enacted regulation banning US citizens from sailing to the test site led to the arrest and 60 day imprisonment of the crew.

The voyage of the Golden Rule inspired anthropologist Earle L. Reynolds and his family to undertake a similar journey, and on July 1, 1958, their yacht, Phoenix of Hiroshima, entered the test zone at Bikini Atoll. The Phoenix penetrated 65 nautical miles (120 km) into the test area before the vessel was boarded by the Coast Guard and ordered to sail to Kwajalein atoll, where Reynolds was charged with violating the Atomic Energy Commission's new regulation.

In 1959, CNVA sponsored protests at the construction site of an intercontinental ballistic missile near Omaha, Nebraska. Around 15 protestors, including A.J. Muste and Karl H. Meyer, the son of Vermont Senator William Meyer,[1] were arrested and handcuffed as they climbed the fence to invade the site. They were each sentenced to six months in jail. In 1960, the group co-ordinated nonviolent protests against construction of the nuclear weapons equipped Polaris submarine in New London, Connecticut.

During the early 1960s, the CNVA organised two epic Bradford Lyttle.

In the mid-1960s, CNVA began to focus on the Vietnam War. Activists traveled to Hanoi in Vietnam and picketed the US embassy, and the CNVA advocated tax refusal as a method of resistance.

In 1968, after the 1967 death of leader A.J. Muste, the CNVA merged with the pacifist War Resisters League.

While never a mass-membership organization, the CNVA's pioneering use of nonviolent direct action would have a significant influence on movements to follow. Notably, it was the example set by the voyages of the Golden Rule and the Phoenix that would inspire the first Greenpeace activists to use similar methods in their campaigns to halt nuclear testing at the island of Amchitka, Alaska, and at Muraroa Atoll in the Pacific.

See also


  1. ^ "Congressman's son, a pacifist, is jailed", The New York Times. July 11, 1959. Retrieved 4/21/08.

External links

  • Records of the Committee for Nonviolent Action, Swarthmore College Peace Collection
  • In Pursuit of Peace From the UC Santa Cruz Library
  • Doom and Passion Along Rt. 45 by Thomas Morgan (Esquire, 1962)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Fair are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.