chapter  7
23 Pages

Networking: direct action and collective refusal

Empirically the chapter explores some of the network multipliers flowing from the ‘failed’ direct action phase of opposition to nuclear power in the UK based upon the Torness Alliance (Rudig 1990). The chapter is based on participant observation, movement newsletters, and a range of media sources and claims that the success or failure of NSM mobilisation phases cannot be judged purely in terms of the declared instrumental objectives. By adopting a time frame longer than that typically associated with movement analyses it is possible to trace some of the intended and unintended consequences of particular movements. Whilst the prevailing political opportunity structure exerts considerable influence, the social and cultural dimensions of movements cannot be entirely reduced to formal instrumental expressions. For analytical purposes, however, the chapter identifies three particularly important movement networks which are treated as if they were discrete entities.1 The three movement networks’ instrumental appellations sufficient for these purposes are the nuclear waste transport campaign, save Druridge Bay and Luxulyan PWR campaigns, and the women’s peace camp at Greenham Common. Taken together these apparently diverse networks illustrate how the processes of regional affiliation, networking, gender politics, and non-violent direct action consolidated at Torness impacted at local, national and international levels.