City Builder: Dorothy and Irving Stowe

John Burns

It was October 16, 1970, and 10,000 beautiful freaks and squares sprawled around Pacific Coliseum, listening to Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, Phil Ochs and Chilliwack. The organizers of the famed Amchitka concert, Irving (Rhode Island lawyer turned activist) and Dorothy Stowe (the breadwinner: a social worker), had plans for the funds raised. The dough would help a nascent environmental movement they co-founded with Marie and Jim Bohlen, and initially named the Don’t Make a Wave Committee, to send the Phyllis Cormack to Alaska to “bear witness” (a Quaker term-the Stowes had adopted their last name in honour of noted Quaker Harriet Beecher Stowe) to U.S. nuclear testing.

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