Protest as Terrorism: The Potential for Violent Anti-Nuclear Activism

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This article examines the potential threat of terrorism toward the Nevada Nuclear Test Site and the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository by domestic protest groups, particularly anti-nuclear activists. The analysis is based on the history of direct action anti-nuclear campaigns against the facilities, particularly the Nevada Test Site, and suggests that violence as a form of protest, particularly the type of violence that is aimed at jeopardizing human safety (as opposed to violent destruction of property), is very unlikely. It is argued that the normalized relations between authorities and protesters that occurred at the peak of direct actions is critical to maintaining the nonviolence that has characterized activism at the facilities. But, the current climate of heightened government scrutiny and repression toward various types of perceived terrorist threats may affect future forms of protest and engender violent responses on both sides.


Anti-nuclear; Nevada--Nevada Test Site; Nevada Test Site; Normalized protest; Nuclear disarmament; Nuclear industry--Waste disposal; Nuclear warfare; Political activists; Protest movements; Social movements; Terrorism; Terrorist; Yucca Mountain


Politics and Social Change | Sociology


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