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This week at a glance.

Monday
March 30

Farmers ally for self-preservation
•Cold War critique
•Germans resist nuclear industry

Tuesday
March 31
•The other 1492 event
•Berkeley anti-draft action
•Easter march for peace
•Aegis Plowshares

Wednesday
April 1
•Attempt at utopia
•Chicago kids march
•Parents and students resist in S. Africa
•Human Peace Chain

Thursday
April 2
•A woman
in the House
•Vietnamese march against war
•Massachusetts legislates against war

Friday
April 3
•1st Aldermaston march
•AL-projects C+B
•King's tragically prescient speech
Saturday
April 4
Brits keep marching
•King links justice and peace
•King brought down by assassin
•Success censored

Sunday
April 5
•Socialist US mayor
•Salt March Ends
•Harrisburg 7 mistrial
•Solidarity legal
•Massive rally for choice

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Monday


March 30, 1891
Signaling a growing movement toward direct political action among desperate western farmers, "Sockless" Jerry Simpson called on the Kansas Farmers' Alliance to work for a takeover of the state government.
"Sockless" Jerry Simpson Simpson was one of the most well-known and influential leaders among Populist-minded western and midwestern farmers of the late 19th century.
Angered over low crop prices, high-interest bank loans and unaffordable shipping rates, farmers began to unite in self-help groups like the Grange and the Farmers' Alliances. Initially, these groups primarily provided mutual assistance to members while agitating for the regulation of railroads and grain elevators. Increasingly, though, they became centers of support for more sweeping political change by uniting to help form the nationwide third-party movement known as the Populists.

Readers comment

"I want to say that this button company is the only one I know where you can order a small number of buttons for a reasonable price.  Many companies require that you order a certain amount of merchandise and that amount is often too high for a very small peace organization. Thank you for doing this. . . . Thanks again for the work you do and for supporting so many good organizations with your profits.  I much prefer to buy from real peace activists rather than regular commercial button companies.  And the weekly history notes are terrific."
-Cathy, Terra Haute, IN




March 30, 1948
Henry Wallace, former vice-president (under Franklin D. Roosevelt) and then Progressive Party presidential candidate, lashed out at the Cold War policies of President Harry S. Truman. Wallace and his supporters were among the few Americans who actively voiced criticisms of America's Cold War mindset during the late 1940s and 1950s.
Read more on his warnings about American fascists


Liberal: n. One who is generous; one who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; one free from prejudice or narrow thinking.
Antonym: stingy, mean, bigoted, or CONSERVATIVE
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March 30, 1980
80,000 demonstrated against construction of a commercial nuclear reprocessing plant in Wackersdorf, Germany.
The project was ultimately abandoned.

Tuesday


March 31, 1492
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ordered the expulsion from Spain before August of all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity under penalty of death.




March 31, 1970
The Oakland, California, Induction Center revealed that over the prior six months, half those drafted for the Vietnam War had failed to appear, and 11% of those who reported then refused induction into the U.S. Army. Later that Spring 2500 University of California-Berkeley students at once turned in their draft cards to the Oakland Center.

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March 31, 1972
Protesters – singing, blowing horns and carrying banners – launched the latest leg of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's 56-mile Easter march from London to Aldermaston, Berkshire, England.
The banner used in the 1960s Aldermaston marches.

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March 31, 1991
Before dawn on Easter, five Plowshares activists boarded the USS Gettys-burg, an Aegis-equipped Cruiser docked at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. They proceeded to hammer and pour blood on covers of vertical launching systems for cruise missiles.
"We witness against the American enslavement to war at the Bath Iron Works, geographically near the President’s home." They also left an in-dictment charging President George H.W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, the National Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff with war crimes and violations of God’s law and international law, including the kill-ing of thousands of Iraqis.

Remembering Aegis Plowshares




Wednesday


April 1, 1841

Brook Farm, perhaps history's most well-known utopian community, was founded by George and Sophia Ripley near West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Its primary appeal was to young Bostonians who were uncomfortable with the materialism of American life, and the community was a refuge for dozens of transcendentalists, including authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Following four days of demonstrations against the Military Services Act that devolved into rioting in Quebec City, Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden sent in troops from Ontario to stop the violence. Orders from the soldiers were read only in English to the mostly Francophone demonstrators, and when the they didn’t disperse, the troops fired, killing four and wounding 70.
[see March 28, 1918]

A memorial in Quebec to those who died
protesting conscription into World War I
More about Brook Farm

Readers comment

"I want to say that this button company is the only one I know where you can order a small number of buttons for a reasonable price.  Many companies require that you order a certain amount of merchandise and that amount is often too high for a very small peace organization. Thank you for doing this. . . . Thanks again for the work you do and for supporting so many good organizations with your profits.  I much prefer to buy from real peace activists rather than regular commercial button companies.  And the weekly history notes are terrific."
-Cathy, Terra Haute, IN





April 1, 1932
500 schoolchildren, in the depth of the Depression, paraded through Chicago's downtown section to the Board of Education offices, demanding that the school system provide them with food.


April 1, 1955
The African National Congress had called on parents to withdraw their children by this day from South African schools in resistance to the Bantu Education Act. That 1953 law transferred education of the Bantu (blacks) from religious missions to state-controlled schools. Mission education, argued then-Minister of Bantu Education Dr. H.F. Verwoerd, not only tended to create “false expectations” amongst the natives, but was also in direct conflict with South Africa’s racially separatist apartheid policies.
Whites, who were in complete control of government and society, comprised only 14% of South Africa’s population. Verwoerd presented to Parliament:
"When I have control of native education, I will reform it so that natives will be taught from childhood to realize that equality with Europeans is not for them. There is no place for him (the black child) in European society above the level of certain forms of labour…What is the use of teaching a Bantu child mathematics when it cannot use it in practice?"

The colors of
AFRICA

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April 1, 1983

Tens of thousands in the United Kingdom formed a “peace chain” 22.5 kilometers (14 miles) long to express their opposition to nuclear weapons. The chain started at the American airbase at Greenham Common, passed the Aldermaston nuclear research center, and ended at the ordnance factory in Burghfield.

At the same time 15,000 people took part in the first of a series of anti-nuclear marches in West Germany. They were protesting the siting of American cruise missiles on West German territory.
Contemporaneous coverage of the Peace Chain

No Nuclear Weapons
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from the '80s
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Thursday


April 2, 1917

Jeanette Rankin, a Republican from Montana, took her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The first woman ever elected to Congress, she became the only member to vote against U.S. entry into both world wars. Though American women weren’t granted the right to vote for three more years with passage of the 19th amendment, women in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Washington had full voting rights before statehood.

Rankin was instrumental in passing laws that made married women citizens in their own right.

Peace quote


"There can be no compromise with war; it cannot be reformed or controlled; cannot be disciplined into decency or codified into common sense;
for war is the slaughter of human beings, temporarily regarded as enemies, on as large a scale as possible."
-Jeannette Rankin, 1929



Peace Dove
lapel pin


The dove from the
'68 & '69 Vietnam Moratorium
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April 2, 1966

One hundred thousand Vietnamese demonstrated in DaNang against both the U.S. and their South Vietnamese governments. Civil unrest spread also to Hue and the capital, Saigon.


April 2, 1970

Massachusetts, in the midst of the Vietnam war, enacted a law which exempted its citizens from having to fight in an undeclared war.
The U.S. Congress had never formally declared war on North Vietnam
as required by Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.


Friday



April 3, 1958

10,000 British joined a rally in advance of a three-day, fifty-mile peace march from Trafalgar Square, London, to Aldermaston, Berkshire. Berkshire was the site of the AWRE (Atomic Weapons Research Establishment). This march marked the beginning of many protests against Britain's devel-opment of nuclear weaponry. Thousands made the march along the same route for many years.

Some 10,000 people joined the 1958 rally.

David and Renee Gill at the first Altermaston march 1958 (left)
and at the April 2004 march (right)

...still protesting for

nuclear disarmament.

Their story


Gerald Holtom,
the designer of the peace symbol at work

read more




April 3, 1963

Black residents of Birmingham, Alabama, sat in at several lunch counters seeking to be served as customers. It was part of "Project C" (for Confrontation) on "B Day" (for Birmingham) organized by Reverends Fred Shuttlesworth of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). They issued a Birmingham Manifesto: “. . . the patience of an oppressed people cannot endure forever.”




April 3, 1968

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I've been to the mountaintop" speech in Memphis, Tennessee. King was there to support sanitation workers striking to protest low wages and poor working conditions.

“. . . I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!And so I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”
King was assassinated the next day.
Read the speech ...or listen
Watch an excerpt of his final and prophetic speech

Did you know
in 1959 Martin Luther King travelled to India to learn about peace non-violent resistance



MLK Jr
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Saturday


April 4, 1958

Four thousand began the first of eleven consecutive annual Easter protest marches. It took three days on foot from London to Aldermaston AWRE (Atomic Weapons Research Establisment) base in England.


Aldermaston March, 1st Day, 1958.

Watch one of the marches

Interviews with participants

Did you know
the first peace symbol buttons were made in 1958 using white clay . . .

keep reading




April 4, 1967

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, in a speech to Clergy and Laity Concerned at the Riverside Church in New York City, called for common cause between the civil rights and peace movements. The Nobel Peace Prize winner proposed the United States stop all bombing of North and South Vietnam; declare a unilateral truce in the hope
MLK delivering the important speech
that it would lead to peace talks; set a date for withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam; and give the National Liberation Front a role in negotiations.
" . . . this war is a blasphemy against all that America stands for . . . ."
Read the speech or listen | Impact of the speech

Peace quote


"Our scientific power has outrun our
spiritual power.
We have
guided missiles and misguided men."
- Martin Luther King, Jr





April 4, 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr., 39, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had come to help with a strike by sanitation workers.

Riots in reaction to the assassination broke out in over a hundred cities across the U.S., lasting up to a week; cities included Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Cincinnati, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toledo, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. The federal government deployed 75,000 National Guard troops. 39 people died and 2,500 were injured.

Reverends Ralph Abernathy, Jesse Jackson, and King on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel
shortly before he was shot.

In Indianapolis, Indiana, Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-New York) was campaigning for president. Learning about the assassination just before speaking to a large rally, he said, “we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.”
Indianapolis experienced no rioting that night.
Senator Robert Kennedy speaking to a large, mostly African-American rally
about the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
continued (info, photos, links). . .

Are you still dreaming?

graffiti seen in Detroit
now as a button tribute to 
Martin Luther King"s famous 
1963 speech

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April 4, 1969

CBS cancelled “The Smothers Brothers' Comedy Hour," a television show which featured edgy political satire and such rock bands as the Beatles, the Who, Jefferson Airplane and the Doors.

Smothers brothers

The brothers had refused to censor a comment made by Joan Baez. She wanted to dedicate a song to her husband, David, who was about to go to jail for objecting to the draft during the Vietnam War.

David Harris and Joan Baez

More about the show
Joan Baez and the Smothers Brothers sing Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released”

Peace quote


"The only thing that's been a worse flop than the organization of non-violence has been the organization of violence"
- Joan Baez


Joan Baez
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Sunday


April 5, 1910

Emil Seidel was elected mayor of Milwaukee and became the first socialist mayor of a major city in the United States. During his administration the first public works department was established, the first fire and police commissions were organized, and a city park system came into being.
In 1912, the Socialist Party nominated Emil Seidel as their vice presidential candidate to run with Eugene Debs.

Emil Seidel
Read more about Emil Seidel Milwaukee's Socialist Era


April 5, 1930

Mohandas Gandhi and his followers reached the end of their 400 km (240 mile) march to the Indian Ocean coast at Dandi. He had left his ashram with 78 satyagrahis (“soldiers” of peaceful resistance), but the procession grew over the 23 days of traveling on foot until it stretched more than 3 km (2 miles).
When they arrived at the seaside, Gandhi made salt by allowing seawater to evaporate. This simple task was an act of civil disobedience because the British Raj, the governing colonial authority, had made salt-making a monopoly and a crime for others; additionally, there was a tax on salt, a necessary element of the Indian diet.
Gandhi picking up salt.
continued (info, photos, links). . .

Gandhi
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April 5, 1972

The Harrisburg Seven case ended in mistrial after 11 weeks.

The Seven were charged with plotting to kidnap Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, among other alleged crimes. The defense attorney, recent former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, asked by the presiding judge to call his first witness said, "Your Honor, the defendants shall always seek peace. They continue to proclaim their innocence.

Elizabeth McAllister and Philip Berrigan, two of the Harrisburg Seven
The defense rests." Only Philip Berrigan and Sister Elizabeth McAllister were declared guilty—of smuggling letters in and out of prison.
They later married, co-founding Baltimore's Jonah House.

Visit Jonah House


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April 5, 1989
Solidarity (Solidarnosc in Polish) became the first independent labor union given legal status in Poland.


It started out as a strike committee among shipyard workers advocating democratic reforms during the summer of 1980 in Gdansk (FKA Danzig). A very high percentage of the Polish workers, a broad representation of the political and social opposition to the communist military regime, became members despite the union’s having been declared illegal in October of 1982.

Solidarity’s legacy


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April 5, 1992
The March for Women’s Lives, in support of women's reproductive rights and equality, drew several hundred thousand people to Washington, D.C. There were students representing 600 college campuses.
One of the largest protests ever in the nation's capital, the pro-choice rally occurred as the U.S. Supreme Court was about to consider the constitutionality of a Pennsylvania law that limited access to abortions.
Part of the huge turnout taking part in the March for Women's Lives
Many abortion-rights advocates feared that the high court, with its conservative majority, might find the Pennsylvania law constitutional,
or even overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortion legal.
Read more about this march

Support Pro-Choice with this simple button.
Stop attacks on freedom to choose.
No need for a lot of words here.
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