Sunday, May 8, 2016

Everyman I, II, and III

      We had not been the only ones to respond to the resumption of nuclear testing with a protest voyage by boat.  The Committee for Nonviolent Action (CNVA, successor to Non-Violent Action Against Nuclear Weapons) dispatched protest vessels to the test sites.  In 1962 the U.S. government arrested the crew of Everyman I only fifteen miles outside San Francisco, headed for the test zone we had entered in the Pacific.     Everyman II sailed from Honolulu into and through that same test zone for days before U.S. authorities, rushing to secure a court injunction, arrested and jailed its crew.  

     Meanwhile CNVA invited my father to sail the 48-foot Everyman III from London to Leningrad, on the Baltic Sea, to protest Soviet nuclear testing.  With members of A Quaker Action Group (AQAG), via Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, they reached Leningrad in October, 1962.  The Everyman III was stopped at sea by armed Soviet officials who blocked their attempts to hand out antinuclear leaflets and gave the crew the choice of sailing away or being towed out to sea. 
     Rejecting both options, some crew members began to sink the boat in the harbor while others took their leaflets and leaped into the near-freezing water in an attempt to swim ashore.   Eventually, the vessel was towed out to sea, with Dad and the other pacifists tied up with ropes and kept captive on board until beyond the 3-mile limit.

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