"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Power of Direct Action: Lessons to be learned.


As we watch events unfolding on Wall Street (which could easily be renamed War Street), that financial heartland of companies that make up the vast military-nuclear-industrial complex, we see the power of direct action - of people taking to the streets and speaking truth to power.  Of course, it doesn't get much more visible than on Wall Street.  Even then, the corporate news media does its best to tone down events such as these.

Even less visible are the decades of countless direct actions undertaken by generations of peace activists attempting to shine a light on the massive waste of human and financial capital by military planners, politicians and the corporations with whom they dance and whose stocks are traded on Wall Street.

One of those recent direct actions that registered a blip or two on the national (corporate) news scene was last May's gathering at the new Kansas City bomb plant.  This was a wonderful example of citizens speaking truth to power when those who claim to represent them sell out to the Military-Industrial Complex.

The struggle to stop the Kansas City bomb plant has received at least more national attention from the press than other local struggles against nuclear weapons-related activities.  It's definitely one for us to study and learn from.

Here's some related reading on Kansas City:

52 arrested protesting nuclear weapons plant, by Joshua McElwee, in National Catholic Reporter

Kansas City Here it Comes: A New Nuclear Weapons Plant! by Lawrence Wittner, in the Huffington Post

Up Against the War Machine, by John LaForge, in Common Dreams

Together in the struggle,


Friday, September 9, 2011

U.S. Desecrating the very idea of Peace

Update (9/16/2011): The US Air Force has just announced that this test [referred to in this post] will not take place on the International Day of Peace. They have not yet announced a new date for the test. In the meantime, please consider sending a message opposing continued reliance on the theory of nuclear deterrence.


In an incredibly blatant act of hubris the US Air Force (NOT IN MY NAME) is planning to test-launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile on September 21, the International Day of Peace.

That day is officially recognized each year by the United Nations General Assembly as a day for “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”  In 2005, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for the worldwide observance of a 24-hour cease-fire and day of nonviolence to mark the Day. 

It is hard to imagine that scheduling a missile test launch - the armed Minutemen in their silos carry 170 kiloton nuclear warheads and can be launched within one minute of receipt of the launch order - on September 21st is by pure chance.

Should that be the case (or in any case for that matter) President Obama should order the launch  cancelled!  Scheduling a test launch of weapon that is expressly designed to incinerate tens of thousands or even millions of people and cause massive long-term suffering of survivors, and if ever used would very likely result in an omnicidal nuclear exchange, is unconscionable and sends a dangerous message to the rest of the world.

We must send a clear message to President Obama and urge him to cancel the launch and (I would add) call on the President to re-dedicate himself to his original call for nuclear abolition stated in his now famous Prague speech on April 5, 2009.

Please visit the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's action page and send your own personalized message to the President today!

And please - Spread the word!