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This week at a glance.

Oct 5

•Nuclear plant accident in Detroit
•No Uranium mines in Black Hills
•Raoul Wallenberg Day

Oct 6
•Pacifist colonists arrive in Pennsylvania
•Allen Ginsberg howls
•Struggle against Black Fox nuclear plant
•Struggle against Seabrook nuclear plant

Oct 7

•House the homeless
•Hate crime in Laramie

Oct 8
•U.S. to share nuclear secrets
•Solidarity banned in Poland

Oct 9
•Fellowship of Reconciliation founded
•Women in Black
•Imagine Peace Tower
Oct 10
•Limited Test Ban Treaty
•Outer Space Treaty
•Nuclear installation protested

Oct 11
•Civil rights for gay Americans

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October 5, 1966

A sodium cooling system malfunction caused a partial core meltdown at the Enrico Fermi I fast-breeder nuclear power reactor in Monroe, Michigan, on Lake Erie near Detroit.
While conducting a power test, two fuel assemblies overheated and two others partially melted, but there was no release of radiation. The public did not find out until one of the engineers who witnessed it wrote the book, “We Almost Lost Detroit.” The event inspired the Gil Scott-Heron song of the same name.

The Fermi plant

Read the lyrics What actually happened

No Nuclear
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October 5, 1979

2,000 activists demonstrated against development of uranium mines in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This followed the Department of the Interior’s releasing its final environmental impact statement, endorsing the North Central Power Study's plans to turn the Black Hills into a "national sacrifice area." The plan was to devote nearly 200,000 acres to mineral extraction and energy production with up to 25 nuclear power plants.

Uranium Mining in the Black Hills

"We shouldn't be exporting uranium because you're exporting cancer."
- Dr. Helen Calldicott/Sydney Morning Herald, July 2006

October 5th

Raoul Wallenberg Day, honoring the Swedish diplomat who saved as many as 100,000 Hungarian Jews from deportation and probable death in concentration camps during WWII.

He did this through bargaining with Nazi officials, establishing safehouses, distributing false passports, disguising Jews in Nazi uniforms and setting up checkpoints to avert deportations. He had attended the University of Michigan.

Read more about Raoul Wallenberg

Peace quote

"How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
- Anne Frank


October 6, 1683

Thirteen Mennonite families from the German town of Krefeld arrived in Philadelphia on the ship Concord. Having endured religious warfare in Europe, the Mennonites were pacifists, similar to the Society of Friends (often known as Quakers) who opposed all forms of violence.
The first Germans in North America, they established Germantown which still exists as part of Philadelphia.

Modern Mennonite peace activism:

More about the Mennonites in America


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October 6, 1955

Poet Allen Ginsberg read his poem "Howl" for the first time at Six Gallery in San Francisco. The poem was an immediate success that rocked the Beat literary world and set the tone for confessional poetry of the 1960s and later.
"Howl and Other Poems" was printed in England, but its second edition was seized by customs officials as it entered the U.S. City Lights, a San Francisco bookstore, published the book itself to avoid customs problems, and storeowner (and poet) Lawrence Ferlinghetti was arrested and tried for obscenity, but defended by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Following testimony from nine literary experts on the merits of the book, Ferlinghetti was found not guilty.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti outside City Lights
Working on Howl in San Francisco,
circa June, 1956
continued (info, photos, links). . .

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October 6, 1978

346 protestors were arrested at the site of the proposed Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant in Inola, Oklahoma. In 1973 Public Service of Oklahoma announced plans to build the Black Fox plant about 15 miles from Tulsa. It was also near Carrie Barefoot Dickerson’s family farm. She became concerned as a nurse and a citizen about the potential health hazards.
Carrie Barefoot Dickerson

Through her group, Citizens’ Action for Safe Energy (CASE), and the consistent opposition of informed and persistent allies, the project was canceled in 1982. There are no nuclear plants in the state of Oklahoma, and no nuclear plant has been built in the U.S. since then.

Carrie Dickerson Foundation

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October 6, 1979

Over 1400 were arrested at Seabrook, New Hampshire, the construction site of two new nuclear power plants.
The occupation was organized by the Clamshell Alliance.

Clamshell history
Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant protest - late 1970s
another shooting to
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October 7, 1989

Tens of thousands (estimates ranged from 40,000 to 150,000) from all over the country marched on Washington, lobbied Congress and Housing Secretary Jack Kemp to provide affordable housing for the homeless. Some of the signs read, “Build Houses, Not Bombs.”
Kemp signed a letter committing the George H.W. Bush administration to several steps to help the homeless, including setting aside about 5000 government-owned single-family houses for them.

from the '80s


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October 7, 1998

Matthew Shepard

Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten, robbed and left tied to a wooden fence post outside Laramie, Wyoming; he died five days later. His death helped awaken the nation to the persecution of homosexuals and their victimization as objects of hate crimes.
A play about the incident, and later an HBO movie, “The Laramie Project,” has been performed all over the country.

Watch a preview

Matthew's Story


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October 8, 1945

President Harry S. Truman announced that the secret of the atomic bomb would be shared only with Great Britain and Canada.

October 8, 1982

The Polish Parliament overwhelmingly approved a law banning Solidarnos´c´ (Solidarity), the independent trade union that had captured the imagination and allegiance of nearly 10 million Poles.

Solidarnosc leader Lech Walesa, 1982

The law abolished all existing labor organizations, including Solidarity, whose 15 months of existence brought hope to people in Poland and around the world but drew the anger of the Soviet and other Eastern-bloc (Warsaw Pact) governments. The parliament created a new set of unions with severely restricted rights.

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October 9, 1919

The International Fellowship of Reconciliation was founded in Bilthoven, the Netherlands. Its members have since been active in promoting programs and activities for reconciliation, peace-building, active nonviolence, and conflict resolution. 

More about FOR

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October 9, 1991

Women In Black in Belgrade (Zene u Crnom) began regular weekly silent vigils in Republic Square. They stood to protest the nationalist violence that had erupted in the disintegration of Yugoslavia. They encouraged men who refused to serve in the military, and engaged in many educational efforts.
They were initially encouraged by “Women Visiting Difficult Places,” a group of Italian women who encouraged women on both “sides” in conflict-ridden countries to communicate. They in turn were inspired by Israeli Jewish women who organized in 1988 during the first intifada to protest their country’s occupation of Palestinian territories, and held vigils in as many as forty locations, later joined by Israeli Palestinians.

A Short History Of Women In Black

Women In Black • New York City

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October 9, 2007
The Imagine Peace Tower, a work conceived by Yoko Ono and dedicated to John Lennon’s memory, was dedicated on the island of Videy, within sight of Reykjavik, Iceland. The LennonOno Grant for Peace will be awarded there each year.
Iceland was chosen because Iceland has no standing army and it is a world leader on the environment.
The installation bears the inscription, Imagine Peace, in 24 languages.

more photos
The Tower is lit the first week of Spring, on October 9 and December 8 (the dates of Lennon’s birth and death) and on New Year’s Eve. The electricity comes solely from the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant.
The Imagine Peace Tower  live feed
Note: A few peace buttons from were buried in a time capsule at the base of the Imagine Peace Tower. < get some for yourself and friends

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it." - John Lennon

John Lennon
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Peace quote

"The problem of an atomic war must not be confused by minor problems such as Communism versus capitalism. An atomic war would kill everyone, left, right, or center."

Linus Pauling
February 13, 1950


October 10, 1963
The Limited Test Ban Treaty—banning nuclear tests in the oceans, in the atmosphere, and in outer space—went into effect. The nuclear powers of the time—the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union—had signed the treaty earlier in the year.
In 1957, Nobel Prize-winner (Chemistry) Linus Pauling drafted the Scientists' Bomb-Test Appeal with two colleagues, Barry Commoner and Ted Condon, eventually gaining the support of 11,000 scientists from 49 countries for an end to the testing of nuclear weapons. These included Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, and Albert Schweitzer.

Pauling then took the resolution to Dag Hammarskjöld, then Secretary-General of the United Nations, and sent copies to both President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev. The final treaty had many similarities to Pauling’s draft. It went into effect the same day as the announcement of Pauling’s second Nobel Prize, this time for Peace.

Linus Pauling

October 10, 1967
The Outer Space Treaty (Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies) demilitarizing outer space went into force.

It sought to avoid "a new form of colonial competition" as in the Antarctic Treaty, and the possible damage that self-seeking exploitation might cause. Discussions on banning weapons of mass destruction in orbit had begun among the major powers ten years earlier.

1949 painting by Frank Tinsley of the infamous "Military Space Platform" proposed by then Secretary of Defense James Forrestal in the December 1948 military budget.

The text of the treaty plus the signatories Read more

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October 10, 1987

Thirty thousand Germans demonstrated against construction of a large-scale nuclear reprocessing installation at Wackersdorf in mostly rural northern Bavaria.


October 11, 1987
More than half a million people flooded Washington, D.C., demanding civil rights for gay and lesbian Americans, now celebrated each year as National Coming Out Day.
Many of the marchers objected to the government's response to the AIDS crisis, as well as the Supreme Court's 1986 decision to uphold sodomy laws in Bowers v. Hardwick.
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was first displayed there, bringing national attention to the impact of AIDS on gay communities, a tapestry of nearly two thousand fabric panels each a tribute to the life of one who had been lost in the pandemic.
The AIDS quilt, first displayed in 1987 in Washington, DC

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Publisher, Carl Bunin • Editor, Al Frank Detroit, Michigan

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