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WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE US PEACE MOVEMENT?
A brief report from Joseph Gerson*

Our recent work has five dimensions:

1 Thus far, we have blocked Congressional funding for a new generation of more “usable” nuclear weapons, so-called “Reliable Replacement Warheads” and for Complex 2030 - a $150 billion expansion of the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure.

2 In the first Presidential caucus and primary states, we are “Bird dogging” candidates, mobilizing activists to seek them out, educate them, and influence their policies.

3 We are working to prevent a catastrophic U.S. war against Iran. Reports are that the Pentagon has plans for a 3 day aerial blitz to eliminate Iran’s military as well as its nuclear infrastructure. We are pressing Congress and integrating this demand into organizing for the ten regional anti-war demonstrations on October 17.

4 We are preparing for the longer-term. Activists are supporting with Hiroshima Mayor Akiba’s campaign to send Hibakusha and poster exhibits to 101 U.S. cities. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is training young activists in “Think Outside the Bomb” conferences. And, those of us with recent books are speaking in community and university forums and through the media.

5 And, there is China. Arms controllers are working to prevent the sale of nuclear fuel and technology to India, and the AFSC plans to build U.S. movement capacity by taking leading figures in the U.S. peace movement to China.

Bird dogging successes include winning agreement from all Democratic presidential candidates to oppose the RRWs, and John Edwards has joined progressive Dennis Kucinich in repeatedly calling for complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

But nuclear terrorism remains the “cornerstone” of U.S. policies. When a New Hampshire activist asked Hillary Clinton if, when she said that “all options should be on the table” with Tehran, she meant that the U.S. should be threatening all of Iran’s women and children with genocide, the Senator answered: “I meant what I said.”

*Dr. Joseph Gerson is Director of Programs of the American Friends Service Committee in New England and author of Empire and the Bomb: How the U.S. Uses Nuclear Weapons to Dominate the World.

 
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