Title: Oral History Interview with Edward S. Johnson, October 28, 1985. Interview K-0012.
Interviewer: Sloan, Patricia E.
Interviewee: Johnson, Edward S.
Subjects: Cane Creek (N.C.) Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) Conservation
Abstract: In this relatively brief but rich interview, Edward S. Johnson describes one group's efforts to prevent the construction of a reservoir on Cane Creek. Johnson describes the emergence of a coherent grassroots opposition to the project, directed by the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA), and describes how the opposition worked. This grassroots movement was still working to prevent the project at the time of the interview—by proposing alternatives and attacking OWASA in court—but Johnson is resigned that the project will go forward. Developers certainly thought so and were already building in hopes the reservoir will raise property values. This interview is useful for its explanation of grassroots opposition to disruptive projects and for its discussion of the need for absolute solidarity in a successful movement.