»The state is a social relationship, a certain way of people relating to one another. It can be destroyed by creating new social relationships; i.e., by people relating to one another differently.« — Gustav Landauer *1
Nonviolent movements or campaigns aim to change society – or even for revolution. In doing so, they will most likely come up against existing power structures which do want to prevent the change. An understanding of power – of different forms of power – is therefore crucial for any movement for (...)
Bill Moyer was a street-wise, working class white boy from rowhouse Philadelphia, who — in the turbulence of the 1960s — went to Chicago to work for an anti-racist housing campaign. He wound up joining Martin Luther King Jr.’s national staff as an organizer. I played tag football more than once with Moyer, catching his grin as he mercilessly overwhelmed his opponents through daring and smarts. He might have been the most joyfully aggressive Quaker I’ve known. By the time he died in 2002, Moyer had given significant leadership on multiple political issues, including the national anti-nuclear movement.
In California, Moyer went to graduate school to study social movement theory and indulge his love of analytical thinking. He became best known for identifying eight stages of successful social movements, which he named the Movement Action Plan, or MAP. I found activists using MAP as far away (...)
"I DON’T THINK I WOULD HAVE EVEN CONSIDERED SUCH STEPS HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR DAN BERRIGAN" — William Davidon, leader of the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI
A friend said this morning that the death of Daniel Berrigan yesterday (30 april 2016) is the end of an era. I hope not. Dan (...)
Vandana Shiva is an internationally renowned voice for sustainable development and social justice. She spoke in New Delhi with David Barsamian, founder of Alternative Radio, during his December 2008 trip to India and Pakistan. Some say terrorism makes Gandhi irrelevant. Vandana Shiva, farmer, seed saver, and global justice activist, says we need him more than ever. Gandhi’s three pillars of freedom are now the keys to our survival. Here then are her thoughts on why Gandhi’s philosophy is still relevant—even in a world where terrorism is on the rise.
In the wake of the attacks on Mumbai in late November 2008, there was a piece in the (London) Sunday Express, “The Irony Gandhism Presents in Today’s Terror-Infested India.” The writer said, “It is time the government became doubly stern about its steps to combat terrorism. India (...)
On an unusually balmy autumn day in 2013, a small group of women gathered outside the nuclear base at Aldermaston and began to sing. All of them had wide smiles and the words came easily.
She goes on and on and on,
You can’t kill the Spirit
She is like a mountain
Old and strong
She goes on (...)
Given what we’re seeing in the election’s aftermath, photographer-filmmaker Lucian Read clearly picked a prescient title for his recent mini-doc series on inequality in the United States: America Divided, which aired on EPIX in October and November, took us to corners of a nation still hurting (...)
In the middle between the Saxon cities of Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz an international anti-nuclear summer camp will take place to gather anti-nuclear activists, organizers and interested people. Due to our impression that in the last few years we lacked such a kind of inter- national (...)
CLIMATE JUSTICE ACTION
Newsletter #3 January 2017
4 February - Edinburgh, Scotland
Scottish Communities Climate Action Network - Annual Gathering
4 February - Lisbon, (...)
FRESNO, Calif. — FIFTYtwo years ago today, on March 15, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced plans to submit a new voting rights bill before a joint session of Congress. His speech came after several weeks of violence in and around Selma, Ala., that had taken the lives of two civil rights (...)
On March 26, nuclear disarmament activists in Germany will launch a 20-week-long series of nonviolent protests at the Luftwaffe’s Büchel Air Base, Germany, demanding the withdrawal of 20 U.S. nuclear weapons still deployed there. The actions will continue through August 9, the anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan in 1945.
For the first time in the 20-year-long campaign to rid Büchel of the U.S. bombs, a delegation of U.S. peace activists will take part. During the campaign’s “international week” July 12 to 18, disarmament workers from Wisconsin, California, Washington, DC, Virginia, Minnesota, New Mexico and (...)
For the first time in the 20-year-long campaign to rid Büchel of the U.S. bombs, a delegation of U.S. peace activists will take part. During the campaign’s “international week” July 12 to 18, disarmament workers from Wisconsin, California, Washington, DC, Virginia, Minnesota, New Mexico and Maryland will join the coalition of 50 German peace and justice groups converging on the base. Activists from The Netherlands, France and Belgium also plan to join the international gathering. The U.S. citizens are particularly shocked that the U.S. government is pursuing production of a totally new H-bomb intended to replace the 20 so-called “B61” gravity bombs now at Büchel, and the 160 others that are deployed in a total of five NATO countries.
Under a NATO scheme called “nuclear sharing,” Germany, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, and The Netherlands still deploy the U.S. B61s, and these governments all claim the deployment does not violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Articles I and II of the treaty prohibit nuclear weapons from being transferred to, or accepted from, other countries.
“The world wants nuclear disarmament,” said US delegate Bonnie Urfer, a long-time peace activist and former staffer with the nuclear watchdog group Nukewatch, in Wisconsin. “To waste billions of dollars replacing the B61s when they should be eliminated is criminal — like sentencing innocent people to death — considering how many millions need immediate famine relief, emergency shelter, and safe drinking water,” Urfer said. Although the B61’s planned replacement is actually a completely new bomb — the B61-12 — the Pentagon calls the program “modernization” — in order to skirt the NPT’s prohibitions. However, it’s being touted as the first ever “smart” nuclear bomb, made to be guided by satellites, making it completely unprecedented. New nuclear weapons are unlawful under the NPT, and even President Barak Obama’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review required that “upgrades” to the Pentagon’s current H-bombs must not have “new capabilities.” Overall cost of the new bomb, which is not yet in production, is estimated to be up to $12 billion.
Historic German Resolution to Evict US H-bombs
The March 26 start date of “Twenty Weeks for Twenty Bombs” is doubly significant for Germans and others eager to see the bombs retired. First, on March 26, 2010, massive public support pushed Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, to vote overwhelmingly — across all parties — to have the government remove the U.S. weapons from German territory.
Second, beginning March 27 in New York, the United Nations General Assembly will launch formal negotiations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons. The UNGA will convene two sessions — March 27 to 31, and June 15 to July 7 — to produce a legally binding “convention” banning any possession or use of the bomb, in accordance with Article 6 of the NPT. (Similar treaty bans already forbid poison and gas weapons, land mines, cluster bombs, and biological weapons.) Individual governments can later ratify or reject the treaty. Several nuclear-armed states including the US government worked unsuccessfully to derail the negotiations; and Germany’s current government under Angela Merkel has said it will boycott the negotiations in spite of broad public support for nuclear disarmament.
“We want Germany to be nuclear weapons free,” said Marion Küpker, a disarmament campaigner and organizer with DFG-VK, an affiliate of War Resisters International and Germany’s oldest peace organization, this year celebrating its 125th anniversary. “The government must abide by the 2010 resolution, throw out the B61s, and not replace them with new ones,” Küpker said.
A huge majority in Germany supports both the UN treaty ban and the removal of US nuclear weapons. A staggering 93 percent want nuclear weapons banned, according to a poll commissioned by the German chapter of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War published in March last year. Some 85 percent agreed that the US weapons should be withdrawn from the country, and 88 percent said they oppose US plans to replace current bombs with the new B61-12.
U.S. and NATO officials claim that “deterrence” of makes the B61 important in Europe. But as by Xanthe Hall reports for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, “Nuclear deterrence is the archetypal security dilemma. You have to keep threatening to use nuclear weapons to make it work. And the more you threaten, the more likely it is that they will be used.”
For more information and to sign a “Declaration of Solidarity,” go to:
Additional information about the B61 and NATO’s “nuclear sharing” at Counterpunch:
“Wild Turkey with H-Bombs: Failed Coup Brings Calls for Denuclearization,” July 28, 2016: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/28/wild-turkey-with-h-bombs-failed-coup-raise-calls-for-denuclearization/
“Undeterred: Amid Terror Attacks in Europe, US H-bombs Still Deployed There,” June 17, 2016: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/17/undeterred-amid-terror-attacks-in-europe-us-h-bombs-still-deployed-there/
“Nuclear Weapons Proliferation: Made in the USA,” May 27, 2015: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/27/nuclear-weapons-proliferation-made-in-the-usa/
“US Defies Conference on Nuclear Weapons Effects & Abolition,” Dec. 15, 2014: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/15/us-attends-then-defies-conference-on-nuclear-weapons-effects-abolition/
“German ‘Bomb Sharing’ Confronted with Defiant ‘Instruments of Disarmament’”, Aug. 9, 2013: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/09/german-bomb-sharing-confronted-with-defiant-instruments-of-disarmment/
John LaForge is on the staff of Nukewatch a peace and nuclear watchdog group in Wisconsin
In french language
Camp d’action international 12-18 juillet 2017 à Büchel, Allemagne