Across the country, Peace Action affiliates are celebrating 50 years of mobilizing citizens to create a foreign policy based on human rights, nuclear disarmament and international cooperation. The Nation’s Katrina Vanden Heuvel, who will be honored at an upcoming anniversary event in New York City, posted a tribute to Peace Action on her blog:
But if George W. Bush has achieved little else, he has unwittingly demonstrated to the public why we need a vibrant and vigilant peace movement to chart sane alternatives. With his administration’s shredding of long negotiated bipartisan arms control agreements, including withdrawal from the ABM treaty; the deploying of a national missile defense system (Bush’s Star Wars); blocking treaties on biological and chemical weapons; refusing to support the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the treaty to ban land mines; unilaterally invading and occupying Iraq under false or manufactured pretenses; halting nuclear disarmament talks and supporting the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons. All in all, the Bush administration’s unilateral militarism and new arms race has been a disaster for world peace. As Schell summarized, "The nuclear danger is ripe and overripe for public rediscovery, which has in fact already begun."
Signs of that rediscovery are clear as Peace Action celebrates its 50th anniversary with a membership that has once again reached 100,000; a Student Peace Action Network that brings antiwar activism to campuses across the nation; a Campaign for a New Foreign Policy based on supporting human rights and democracy, reducing the threat of weapons of mass destruction, and cooperating with the world community. Perhaps The Reverend Dr. Andrea Ayvazian – who helped forge the merger of SANE and Freeze – put it best in writing in Peace Action, "Although movements are full of eager activists who want to see significant, permanent change happen quickly, we must remember that real social change takes decades. If we… remember the years that movements from the 19th and 20th centuries struggled until they achieved their goals, we can settle in for the long haul…."
There is no doubt Peace Action is in this fight for the long haul, and we are a better Nation and nation for it.
Peace Action West already hosted one inspiring anniversary event earlier this year in Oakland, honoring Shigeko Sasamori, survivor of the Hiroshima bombing and adopted daughter of SANE founder Norman Cousins. We will gather again to celebrate in Los Angeles this Saturday, October 27. We will be honoring Representative Maxine Waters and hearing from visionary activist Tom Hayden, with comedian Dave Foley serving as emcee. Click here to learn more about attending the event. We look forward to seeing you there.
Categories: Peace Action West News