This interview was recorded at the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center during a weekend of activities commemorating the 1978 demonstrations at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant. Daniel Ellsberg is asked to explain his personal knowledge of U.S. military policy in general, and nuclear weapons in particular, which came to bear on his participation in the Rocky Flats sustained civil disobedience. Ellsberg describes his fears of nuclear proliferation, the neutron bomb, and the possibility of an accident that would have planet-threatening repercussions. He becomes emotional discussing the death of a close friend – attributed to radiation exposure – and correlates that loss with what transpired in 1978’s year-long occupation of the train tracks leading into Rocky Flats. Much of the second half of this recording explores Ellsberg’s recollection of how the blockade moved from a short symbolic action to one of extended protest.
Listen to CD and view transcript at Carnegie Branch Library.