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Protest as Terrorism: The Potential for Violent Anti-Nuclear Activism
American Behavioral Scientist
  • Robert Futrell, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Barbara G. Brents, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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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.
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Citation Information
Robert Futrell and Barbara G. Brents. "Protest as Terrorism: The Potential for Violent Anti-Nuclear Activism" American Behavioral Scientist Vol. 46 Iss. 6 (2003) p. 745 - 765
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