Roots and Fruit
No. 9 Spring 2002
South AfricaSamuel R. Tyson
were the only group that did not fight the U.S. Army and therefore made no
treaty with the white invaders.
is our immorality.
Comments on ChristianitySamuel R. Tyson
One might wonder what Harry Elmer Barnes would think of such lives. His Twilight of Christianity, holds little hope for the church in general because for him it is all myth. Kirby Page is quoted more favorably as a follower of the social gospel. If there must be religion Page and others like him could help. Kirby Page was an optimist rather hoping the Methodists would become the fourth peace church. Presently, the loudest Christian noises are made by the literal bible folk and the preservation of Jerusalem for Christians.
Another look into the past is Eminent Asians by Josef Washington Hall (Upton Close)1929. A then time portraiture of Yamagato and Ito (Japan) Sun Yat Sen, Mustapha Kemal (Turkey), Josef Stalin, Mahatma Gandhi does present a differing view and more friendly appraisal. Even Mussolini gets more kudos then brickbats. Since Gandhi was killed in 1948 much of the material is not contemporary for most people. The material is useful as perspective as lives which did bring uproar and changes. Whether this was progress is an entirely different matters, chacun a son gonts.It all does raise the question about leadership and non-violence for the new century. Are there some basic risk takers on the horizon?
Influences: The PhysicistsSamuel R. Tyson
Saturday Night Group (Stanislaus County) experienced the Nevada Test Site in
August, 1957, it seemed other things could be done to continue the anti-nuclear
a public meeting in Livermore, the heart of the beast. I contacted Roy Kepler in
Palo Alto about his interest; it all seemed possible. Linus Pauling happened to
an overflow audience chaired by Al Baez. Just who really obtained the speaker is
open to question. Roy would say he did; Ben Seaver of American Friends Service
Committee- San Francisco - would say they did. There was some flak over a prior
speech in Southern California sponsored by AFSC there. Pauling was piqued
because the opposition (proponents for nuclear weapons), got to speak last. The
constituency for the November 1957 meeting were Saturday night group(Modesto),
Rural Life Conference of mostly Central Valley people, Kepler’s group from the
Peninsula plus an East Bay group. Days after the meeting, Dick Kramer and I
tried to follow-up on the sign up sheet and ran across Paul Wesley, a physicist
at the Radiation Lab, Livermore.
Pauling refused to do Congress’s will when called before a Congressional
committee. A note from his son much later indicates that was a very rough time
for this scientist. Because Pauling was unafraid of thinking differently he took
on Vitamin C as a cold alleviator. Anyone who follows non-traditional lines
(Vitamin C), funding for research was limited. Pauling’s Nobel for Chemistry
could not be ignored. His Nobel for Peace came because of his wife, Ava Helen,
his pillar of support in that area. Years ago they were the recipients of the
ACLU Earl Warren award in San Francisco. He still had the fires burning that
late in life. The Linus Pauling Institute moved from Palo Alto to Oregon State
University, Pauling’s Alma Mater, after his death. John Gofman, an integral
part of the anti-nuclear power struggle came to speak in Modesto in April, 1975,
when there was a proposed nuclear power facility east of Waterford by PG&E,
MID, TID. A group in Waterford were fortunate to have dinner with John and learn
something of him as a person. His approach was Libertarian. Once a well thought
of employee of the Rad Lab, Gofman had written a book Poisoned
Power (1971), about energy derived from uranium fuel, (radioactive)with
a forward by Mike Gravel, Alaska Senator who agreed nuclear pollution is
certainly a most serious threat to life.
of course his co-author were defunded at the Lab. The message of the book laid
out the danger of nuclear energy. Gofman insisted that all such radiation was a
health issue - there was no threshold of acceptable exposure. The federal
government needed acceptability of some radiation to make nuclear produced
electricity palatable to the general public. A further argument can be made that
nuclear energy was the plus side to acceptance of nuclear weapons as a tool of
time of Chernobyl Gofman extrapolated his numbers showing the damage was far
greater than published by the experts. He has for years worked out the numbers
on a medical basis. Years later fruit from
Turkey was banned - radioactive, as was Scandivanian reindeer meat. When Gofman
spoke in the old MID auditorium in April 1975 there was a full house, the
opposition failed to show.
the Abalone Alliance blackballed Gofman though he had spoken at a rally Diablo
Canyon, San Luis Obispo. His error was to still distrust the Soviet Union when
it came to nuclear weapons. His crime was a failure of political correctness in
our moral eyes.
Wesley and I kept in contact. Memory says we were out front at the Lab
leafleting as usual and he would accept them. He would also hand out stuff to
us. They were also taking license plate numbers. Saturday Night group, Keplers
East Bay visited the lab to leaflet Easter 1958, Easter, 1959, once the city of
livermore was leafleted, door to door, with the walk-in of Kepler, Stallings,
Tyson and Wheeler in 1960.
his sabbatical but lost his clearance not long later, taught in Missouri, ended
in Germany had a new family and was the house husband. Whereas ie could do well
as a painter what is in him is physics especially.
Some years ago he wrote his ecophysicis. His outlook is that physics is
an orthodox religion. One might say that of much of science. He feel Einstein
needs correction way back in American he was by-passing the Atomic Energy
Committee by having papers published abroad, a no-no
as things were to be cleared by Atomic Energy Commission and published in
for Nuclear Responsibility has for 30 years been publishing John Gofman’s
comments on medical aspects of exposure to nuclear radiation.
for Nuclear Responsibility, P.O. Box 421993, San Francisco, Ca. 94142 as of
Gofman Medical Physicist, 1963-69, Associate Director of Lawrence Livermore Lab,
co-discoverer of U 232 , Pa232 , Pa233
and of slow and fast neutron fissionability.
Pauling gave back speakers fee in November, 1957
John Gofman returned his fee to Stanislaus Safe Energy Committee, April, 1957.
Danny Glover returned his much larger fee in January, 2002.
Memories: The Modesto Peace/Life CenterSamuel R. Tyson
time the Peace Center came into being the Saturday Night Group had disappeared
when so many people went to Canada. The remnants were available for the new
effort though it was originally limited to draft counseling. The draft work had
been ongoing in an ad hoc sort of manner by individual volunteers. Vietnam took
counseling from the theoretical to the hard facts of realty. Lives were very
much in jeopardy.
organizing work of the 1970s was not by or through the Peace Center with it’s
limited vision. Something different popped up - nuclear power. The proposal to
site nuclear energy facilities east of Waterford brought opposition. It became
necessary to take on at various times Pacific Gas & Electric, General
Electric, Livermore, Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation
District. It was a new learning experience to do under pressure. Stanislaus Safe
Energy came into existence to block, refute and deny any such facility. Of
course government bodies and Farm Bureau were all for it.
the Modesto Bee did it - a half page story with pictures of the half dozen up
front for Safe Energy. Public meetings, Dr. John Gofman, the pancake breakfast a
3 month net picked Notice of disintent was created and in time the Harvest
Supper was started as a second fund raiser. Safe Energy’s last major public
event was at the County Fair 1987 in the midst of the super conductor-super
collider protest. The proponents of this super welfare program were the
University of California, Livermore, liberal Democrats, Chambers of Commerce as
usual, school systems and of course government agencies.
between came the farm workers to Modesto, 8000 on foot or car to add to the 1000
or so already at Graceada. Vietnam was over so released a lot of energy
to work on farm worker issues. Gallo's far and above the great villain as a
large outfit interested in being limited by a Union. What was Modesto to do with
such an invasion with it’s inflammatory possibilities.
done crowd control by invitation several times in San Francisco’s anti-war
marches, it was an interesting challenge,Organizer Chuck Gardenier and I agreed
it would be useful to have a non-violent presence on March 1, l975. Since there
had been joint meetings with California Highway Patrol, sheriff deputies of
several counties, Modesto Police, Chuck and I were known to them at least. There
had been violence along with the march in Merced County. So in the blue jeans
and jacket with red arm band I was a presence all along to the side to take
(block) intersections or along the front as Modesto was cut in half from Gallo
to Graceada Park. Holding half of Needham for the crowd was traffic messy but
there was no violence. Modesto police backed off and left the crowd it's own
Latin Americas group decided to sit in Tony Coehlo’s office during the
Nicaraguan Contra imbroglio I was brought in to do the non-violence organizing.
Now with the people ready to sit it could be done all at once, a big bang. It
appeared more useful to split into three groups for larger impact. So poor Jane
Jackson, who knew many of us, had to be at her desk three days to watch people
be arrested. It was not that Coehlo was a poor congressman but as one in a
leadership position position more needed to be done to end the conflict.
organizational skills there may be, it cannot work without other people.
Foremost were Howard Washburn and Howard TenBrink who was there from the
beginning at the monthly Fellowship of Reconciliation Meetings. He was in
Nevada,Self Help Housing (SHE) (Visalia), Everyman building, Coehlo offices and
in late years collating Stanislaus Connections.
Washburn - Rural Life Conference(1940-50s), first director of SHE(1960s) tax
resister at Fresno, Livermore, Vandenburg. Tragically, with
his family he was killed in an automobile accident. Jake Kirihara(Livingston)
SHE board, Livermore, Coehlo, United Technology Missile plant (Merced Co)
was of this breed Nevada, arrested for leafleting IRS Modesto (I was not ready
for arrest, nor was Betty Tillotson or Frank Muench), Oakland Induction Center
1967. Mary Harvey upon the Everyman sentencing in 1960 went to Nevada, crossed
the line, given 30 days - the only woman in the Tonopah jail, (second floor).
These folks were there; open, allowing, available for joint action over a period
of many years.
time slot Safe Energy found Dan Pollack (Ecology Action) a stalwart. Jim Higgs
came along in the 1970s but did not break out until the 1980s with more than one
visit to Livermore and residence in Santa Rita. Involved with the United
Technology vesture and sit in at Coehlo’s - a long time Peace Center board
member. He could be frustrating certainly but did hang in with Peace Center
activities as long as possible. Kay Barnes who overcame her military raising to
come to look at Peace. For nearly 20 years she did the little things to keep the
Center going, .as a volunteer. As usual there was little thanks.
doing in public does not mean the service is worth less.
One does not relish the value of such help until it is gone. A venture to
Livermore was not her thing. An example of her commitment: When coming out of
the Stanislaus County jail for sitting in at Coehlo’s office I was totally
disoriented. It had been a hot day, the air conditioning broke down leaving the
inmates dripping, half clothed. For once Zane Clark, or whoever was running the
place arranged for mates to shower out of regulation. Mine was at midnight but
the cell was crowded with most on the floor. Next morning I was pushed out the
door after minimal sleep. But there was my guardian angel, Kay, to transport the
carcass to Waterford. Christmas This
was a service more than once was provided at the Choose Life Christmas-blockings
at Livermore. My going number there is under 1000 as one of the lags(1960)
though they can have 10,000 entices to Santa Rita in a year. No organizer can do
it without help. When one is lucky there are those who can be leaned upon for
who dare to follow conscience under fear but refuse to allow it to dominate or
paralyze action and are in this sense free. After exposure to various situations
there is an esprit which may well appear to be arrogance. Experience has taught
certain lessons. There are probabilities of behavior and results. However,
planning based on effectiveness tends to backfire as the means become distorted
by the desire.
are long term. It is ludicrous to expect change of a useful nature in under five
years. Patience is not a virtue much cultivated, our ego demands
from Roots and Fruits, a publication of the Stanislaus Peace-Life Center and the Stanislaus Safe Energy Committee
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