Committee for a Nuclear Free Island

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In the summer of 1983 the United States Navy announced it was seeking an East Coast location for a Surface Action Group. Several proposed sites were mention, including Staten Island, New York. In response a small group of anti-nuclear and peace activists organized the Committee for a Nuclear Free island, with most doubting a site in New York Harbor would actually be selected. However, with a former Staten Island Borough President, Robert Connor, lobbying within the Defense Department, and support from the local daily newspaper, the Staten Island Advance, as well as most elected officials, a site on Staten Island's north shore in the community of Stapleton was selected. The Committee for a Nuclear Free Island rapidly expanded its membership, and formed a coalition with anti-nuclear and peace groups in the rest of New York City to oppose this. Members distributed over thirty thousand pieces of literature throughout Staten Island over the next few years, and issued highly critical detailed analyses of the Navy's various Environmental Impact Statements, much of which was printed in Staten Island's weekly newspaper, the Staten Island Register. They even went so far as to contact the colleges and universities that authors of the Environmental Impact Statements claimed to have attended, and broke up one public hearing with a letter from the University of Michigan disavowing a claim of a doctoral degree. (Staten Island Register report, August 12, 1985, page 1) With the announcement of cutbacks in military and naval numbers, a Base Realignment and Closing Commission determined that the naval station on Staten Island was excess, and it was canceled before ever being completed. The site subsequently was briefly used to manufacture bagels, and later housed a civil court.