“Thirteen Walkers Leave for Europe; Others Join Polaris Action Project” & “‘Protect Us from Pacifists,’ Navy Asks” (1961)
As closely allied organizations, the CNVA and the Peacemakers often collaborated on projects and cross-promoted to each others’ respective audiences. As highlighted a few weeks ago, the New England CNVA newsletter Polaris Action Bulletin in 1961 was strongly promoting the Peacemaker Summer Training Program.
Similarly, in June 1961, The Peacemaker newsletter celebrated the conclusion of the first part of a massive CNVA project: the San Francisco to Moscow Walk for Peace. At the end of May 1961, the Walkers had completed their trek across the width of the continental United States. As the brief but informative article mentions, thirteen of the Walkers flew across the Atlantic to continue their journey to Moscow. In the UK, where the Team was to begin their European journey, a British movement against nuclear weapons had been gaining momentum for years. In another article in the same newsletter, The Peacemaker reports that the US Navy had recently requested the British government for extra security “against harassment by pacifist demonstrators” — a particularly ironic statement when considering the vast differences in resources and applications of force between the military and antiwar activists. Meanwhile, three of the Walk participants headed to Europe were only able to join the team at the last minute due to a sudden influx of funding — a reminder of how so many antiwar campaigns and actions were conducted on shoestring budgets even as they opposed the beginnings of the modern military-industrial complex.
Much of the rest of the participants who remained stateside continued the Walk eastward across Long Island to reach the ferry that would take them up to New London, Connecticut. The destination was a significant landmark for the Walk: not only was it the site of the New England CNVA, a major direct action antiwar organization, but it was also the place where the idea for the Walk formed in the first place. And it looked like the team would make it to New London for another major protest: this time against the launching of the Thomas Edison nuclear-weapon submarine.
(Click the images below to download the PDF version of the original clipping)
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“‘Protect Us from Pacifists,’ Navy Asks.” The Peacemaker. 3 June 1961. (Vol. 14, #8).
“Thirteen Walkers Leave for Europe; Others Join Polaris Action Project.” The Peacemaker. 3 June 1961. (Vol. 14, #8).
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