Greens mourn a founding member

Greens mourn a founding member

Guy Chichester of New Hampshire dies

Guy Chichester, a founder of the Green Party in the United States and a champion against nuclear energy passed in February at aged 73, surrounded by family and friends in Rye, New Hampshire. He helped initiate the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance in 1976. Chichester participated in the national meeting in St. Paul, Min≠ne≠sota, in 1984, which was the start of the Green Party in the U.S. and ran for governor in New Hampshire on the Green Party ticket. Chichester was also a carpenter and served in the Navy in the Korean theatre in addition to being a dedicated and longtime activist who was willing to put himself on the line with civil disobedience and numerous arrests for his cause.

Guy Chichester, a founder of the Green Party of the United States died in February.
Guy Chichester, a founder of the Green Party of the United States died in February.

Two peers share their sentiments of a man who has given much as a guardian of the world.

ìGuy was no plaster saint, but†a real American hero.î
óRoy Morrison

Howie Hawkins, Green Party of New York State

Guy always looked for ways to bring people together around common ground and practical actions when philosophical abstractions were dividing people who were in 95 percent agreement. In the Greensí many internal squabbles, Guy made friends of people who thought they opposed him. Guy won over several anti-nuclear and then Green Party activists who had been vilifying him a few years before, when the Clamshell Alliance splintered in 1978. Once they began to work directly with him, they had a hard time remembering what their beefs with him were a few years before.

My most vivid early memory of Guy was picketing Amoskeag Bank in Man≠ches≠ter with the Peopleís Energy Project of the Gran≠ite State Alliance over its proposed financing for Seabrook in 1974 or 1975. A picket line with Guy was a picket line you wouldnít want to miss. He would make it fun.

Guy played a big role in developing the Green Party in the 1980s and 1990s. He ran for New Hampshire Governor in 1990, and got the Greens more engaged in anti-nuclear activism, from the big wave of post Cher≠nobyl demonstrations to an anti-nuclear demonstration in conjunction with Green national meetings in Minnesota in 1992.

Guy was the only guy to successfully use the New Hampshire Constitutionís 200+ year-old ìright of revolutionî clause to convince a jury to find him innocent in a civil disobedience action.

Guyís many legacies will live on. No Nukes!

Roy Morrison, Director of the Office for Sustainability at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester

Guy Chichester was the man who †recruited me at the Rochester, New Hampshire, library in 1976, after showing a film, Love≠joyís Nuclear War, and invited me to a meeting that began fourteen years of struggle through the Clamshell Alliance. Guyís forthright cour≠age gave me courage.

It was Guy who blocked off Route 1-A with saw horses. Guy wearing a multi-colored African National Congress beret that sent a Seabrook warning siren pole toppling as the police drove up. It was Guy who convinced a jury his civil disobedience was no felony or no crime because of the twenty-year history of resistance to the violation of our democratic rights. After≠wards, the jury asked in the Superior Court parking lot what they could do for the cause.

It was Guy who didnít suffer fools gladly, who spoke his mind, who stood up and invited others to come along.

Guy was an American tough guy, practicing non-violence and active resistance to: the designs of Governor Thomson and the bully Sununu; the Public Service Com≠pany and their lackeys in places high and low; the Judges of the Nuclear Regulatory Com≠mis≠sion; and Onassis and his oil refining plans.

Guy was a Long Island carpenter who moved to the New Hampshire seacoast where the struggle found him. A man with a big house, big family, elegantly gracious Maddy at his side, a man with open arms, big in≠sights and appetites, open doors and courage.

A man who became my long-term friend and an old comrade of many actions from affinity groups occupying the board room of the First National Bank to Seabrook occupations with thousands of Clams.

A man picked from all of us as one of the 100 New Hampshire notables of the 20th century, in the mediaís nod to activism. Guy was no plaster saint, but a real Amer≠ican hero. He was a man thousands of Clams and history will not forget. My brother in years of dedicated action, triumphs and defeats, nonviolently fighting the good fight, a life well lived.

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