Swords to Plowshares at the national weapons labs: Late 70’s/early 80’s

Poster from July 1979 protest at University of California Regents meeting
Poster from July 1979 protest at University of California Regents meeting

In the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, I was part of a movement to convert the nation’s premier nuclear weapons developing labs (Lawrence Livermore in California, and Los Alamos in New Mexico) from labs that primarily focused on research in nuclear weapons to ones that focused on human needs.

The UC Nuclear Weapons Labs Conversion Project (UCNWLCP) was born as a coalition of Berkeley Students for Peace, the Ecumenical Peace Institute/CALC, and the War Resisters League West.  Livermore and Los Alamos were managed by the University of California (and still are). Our goal was to use the university’s management influence to press for “swords to plowshares.” We lead teach-ins, held direct actions, brought petitions to the Regents, and build coalitions with University and lab employees and scientists. Continue reading “Swords to Plowshares at the national weapons labs: Late 70’s/early 80’s”

Memorial Service for Diane Thomas January 17th 2009

Diane Thomas died December 1st at her Berkeley home after a long struggle with cancer. The celebration of Diane’s life will be held on Saturday, January 17th at 10 a.m. at Pacific School of Religion (MAP), where she was on staff for nine years. The public is invited.

I worked with Diane in the UC Nuclear Weapons Conversion Project and other peace groups in the late 70’s, and continued to see her over the years, including a few times at parent nights when her kids where at Berkeley High School during the years I was teaching there.

“Diane was a shining person. She was loving and loveable, fully committed and conscientious in her activism, and dedicated to helping make a better life for all people. Those who knew her thought of her as one of the best human beings any of us had ever encountered. She was one of my heroes.”
-Daniel Ellsberg, anti-war activist and long-time friend of Diane Thomas.

Donations can be made in Diane’s name to the Iraq Initiatives Project, a major new effort for peace in Iraq that Diane supported and helped start in the last year of her life. Visit the Ecumenical Peace Institute web site to donate.

Mt. Diablo beacon to be lit in commemoration of Pearl Harbor attack

This Sunday, December 7th, 2008 (and each year on December 7th), the beacon atop Mt. Diablo will be lit at dusk in commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. After the attack, blackouts in the Bay Area caused the beacon to be turned off, and after the war it was not turned back on.

“Since 1964, the Diablo Valley Pearl Harbor Survivors Association has lit the old aircraft beacon atop Mt. Diablo every Dec. 7 in remembrance of those lost on that “day of infamy” and throughout World War II. Sunday at dusk, look to Mt. Diablo for the beacon that was turned off on Dec. 7, 1941, and not relit until the first memorial ceremony at the top of Mt. Diablo in 1964.” From http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/localnews/ci_11102595

A bit more info on the beacon can be found here: http://www.savemountdiablo.org/DiabloWatch/2003FallDiabloWatchSP.pdf

War Resister support protest at Peace Arch

Photo of protestOn my way back from Canada, I stopped for my usual visit to the Peace Arch on the Canada/US border. This year I was pleasantly surprised to find a protest in favor of US war resistors, and Robin Long in particular. For more details, see http://resisters.ca/index_en.html. Click the photo on the right for more photos.

Robin LongIn short, Robin Long is a US Army soldier who fled to Ontario in 2005. He has been in Canadian courts as one of the test cases for deportation. While the Canadian Parliament votes (non-binding) to allow US soldiers who have left the US to stay, the Prime Minister has different politics.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal article on Long’s deportation.

I was interviewed by GlobalTV, so I might appear in an online story there.