Texas Anti-Nuke Activist Murdered


Fifth Estate # 298, June 19, 1979

The ambush-style shooting death of an anti-nuclear activist in Houston, in April, has sent waves of alarm through the Texas anti-nuclear community. The victim of the assault was 28-year-old Michael Eakin, who was formerly the editor of the University of Texas newspaper and founder of the Austin Sun, a weekly alternative paper.

Eakin and a colleague of his, Dila Davis, were gunned down when an unknown assailant pumped six bullets into their car while they were parked in a quiet residential neighborhood. Davis sustained serious wounds, but survived the attack.

Though there is no hard evidence to connect the assault with the victims’ anti-nuclear activities, Davis and other activists believe that Eakin’s death was a “Nuclear murder,” and they’re comparing the incident with the mysterious 1974 death of nuclear worker, Karen Silkwood.

Nuclear opponents in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth have reported nearly a score of beatings, tire slashings, threatening phone calls and other acts of intimidation in recent months. At the time of his death, Eakin was reportedly looking into allegations of faulty inspection procedures at a twin nuclear power plant under construction in Bay City, Texas.