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This week at a glance.

May 22

Prison for labor leader
•Sanctuary for war resisters
•Protest against new weapons
•POPS treaty

May 23
1st step on Trail of Tears
•400K for peace in Tokyo
•400M for Peace in

May 24

No vote, no tax
•Presidential candidate says nukes OK
•Soldiers speak out on war
•Women's Day for Disarmament
•200M+ in Tokyo "NO NUKES"

May 25
Arrest for teaching science
•Declaration of individual sovereignty
•Hands Across America
•Hammers for weapons

May 26
Battle of the Overpass
•H-bomb patent
•Bed-in for Peace #2
•Arabs and Jews for peace

May 27
•"Blowin' in the Wind''

May 28
•Lovers of wilderness organize
•Human rights defenders organize
•Civil rights advocates attacked
•Women fast; rights in the balance

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May 22, 1895

Eugene V. Debs, president of the American Railway Union, was imprisoned in Illinois for
his role in the Pullman Palace Car Company strike and boycott, which had stalled most rail traffic west of Detroit.

Read more about the Pullman strike

Eugene Debs
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May 22, 1968

Federal marshals entered Boston’s Arlington Street Unitarian-Universalist Church to arrest Robert Talmanson, who had been convicted of refusing induction into the U.S. Armed Forces. He had been offered sanctuary there by the leaders of the church who shared his opposition to the Vietnam War.
When the marshals tried to remove him, access to their car was blocked by 200-300 nonviolent sanctuary supporters.

Draft resister Robert Talmanson dragged by authorities
from Arlington Street Church.
The story from Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War by By Michael S. Foley

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May 22, 1978

Four thousand protesters occupied the site of the Trident nuclear submarine base in Bangor, Washington. The base was built for the maintenance and resupply of Ohio-class submarines.
Though built as part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, they were perceived by some as giving the U.S. a nuclear first-strike capability with their ability to each deliver 24 missiles with multiple warheads from very close to the borders of other countries. The 14 vessels are at sea 2/3 of the time and can travel as deeply as 800 feet for a time limited only by its food supply
Read more about Ground Zero  

"I receive your daily "peace and justice updates" every morning.  I use many of your postings to put up on our Ethnic Studies facebook page.  And, I just enjoy your publication.  Keeping peace and justice up close and personal on a daily basis – thanks!"
- Leonora Rianda
Ethnic Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
SEIU 503
Oregon State University

May 22, 2001

Delegates from 127 countries formally voted approval of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS), a treaty calling for the initial elimination of 12 of the most dangerous manmade chemicals, nine of which are pesticides.
POPS are often toxic at very low levels, resist degradation and thus persist for decades or longer, because they become concentrated in living tissue, are readily spread by atmospheric and ocean currents.

Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, lauding the agreement, said,
“. . . we have to go further. Dangerous substances must be replaced
by harmless ones step by step. If there is the least suspicion that new chemicals have dangerous characteristics it is better to reject them.”

POPS background  


read about the design and history
of this symbol


May 23, 1838

U.S. General Winfield Scott began the forced removal of the Cherokee Indians from North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, and their detention in forts built for that purpose. He was implementing the Treaty of New Echota, signed by a few members of the tribe relinquishing their lands for a payment of $5 million, under orders from President Martin VanBuren.

16,000 Cherokee were then driven on foot to “Indian Territory” (what is now Oklahoma). Of those who set out on the forced march known as the “The Trail of Tears,” nearly one-quarter died along the way or as a result of the relocation.
Detailed history of the Trail of Tears
 Cherokee letter protesting the Treaty of New Echota from Chief John Ross

“In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”
- Deganawidah
and a founder of the
Iroquois League

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May 23, 1982

10,000 marched in London protesting British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Falklands War. The Falklands are islands off the coast of Argentina (known there as the Malvinas), and Great Britain was fighting to maintain colonial control over them, which they originally claimed in 1833.

an anti-war demonstration in Argentina

from the '80s


May 23, 1982

400,000 demonstrated for peace and disarmament in Tokyo, Japan.


May 24, 1906
Dora Montefiore
British suffragist Dora Montefiore protested the lack of women’s right to the vote by refusing to pay taxes, and barricading her house against bailiffs sent to collect.
Dora Montefiore biography

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New York, NY

May 24, 1964 


Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona), running for the Republican Party nomination for president, gave an interview in which he said he would consider the use of low-yield atomic bombs in North Vietnam.

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May 24, 1971

At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, an anti-war newspaper advertisement, signed by 29 U.S. soldiers supporting the Concerned Officers Movement, resulted in controversy.
The group had been formed in 1970 in Washington, D.C. by a small group of junior naval officers opposed to the war.
The newspaper advertisement at Fort Bragg was in support of the group's members, who had joined with anti-war activist David Harris and others in San Diego to mobilize opposition to the departure of the carrier USS Constellation for Vietnam. No official action was taken against the military dissidents, though many were forced to resign their commissions.

GI resistance to the Vietnam War

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May 24, 1981 (since 1981)

International Women's Day for Disarmament was declared, calling for the peaceful resolution of conflict, and an end to the horror and devastation of armed conflict.

IFOR's Women Peacemakers Program

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May 25, 1925

John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution. Scopes, a football coach and substitute high school biology teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, agreed to be arrested and put on trial for teaching evolution. He was challenging the legitimacy of a four-day-old state law barring Darwin’s theory from the public school curriculum.

The Scopes "Monkey Trial"

"If a state is allowed to dictate that a teacher must teach a subject in accordance with the beliefs of one particular religion, then the state can also force schools to teach the beliefs of the person in power, which can lead to suppression of all personal and religious liberties."
John T. Scopes

Charles Darwin
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May 25, 1948

Garry Davis, formerly a member of the U.S. military, renounced his American citizenship to become a Citizen of the World. Davis continued to promote "world citizenship" for over 50 years; 400,000 have, at one time or another, joined the movement.     

Read more about a World Government of World Citizens   

May 25, 1986

An estimated 7 million Americans participated in Hands Across America, forming a line across the country from Los Angeles to New York to raise public awareness of the issues of hunger and homelessness in the U.S. Participants paid ten dollars [almost $20 in 2009]to reserve their place in line; the proceeds were donated to local charities to feed the hungry and help the homeless.

Water is a
Human Right

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May 25, 2003

Four activists, members of the Catholic Worker movement and known as “Riverside Ploughshares,” were arrested for pouring blood and hammering on the USS Philippine Sea's Tomahawk cruise missile hatches. The ship was visiting New York City for the annual “Fleet Week.”

pouring blood and hammering..

“With hammers we have initiated the process of disarming this battle ship, of transforming this carrier of mass destruction into a vessel for peace...

Details of the Riverside Ploughshares action


May 26, 1937

United Auto Workers organizers and Ford Service Department men clashed in a violent confrontation on the Miller Road Overpass outside Gate 4 of the Ford River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan. It became known as “The Battle of the Overpass.” Henry Ford announced: "We'll never recognize the United Automobile Workers Union or any other union." Though General Motors and Chrysler signed collective bargaining agreements with the UAW in 1937, Ford held out until 1942.

More background and photos Read more

The Ford Servicemen (goons) approach Walter Reuther and Richard Frankensteen, third and second from right, and the other unionists.

UAW official Richard Frankensteen being beaten

by Ford goons

"There is no power in the world that can stop the forward march of free men and women when they are joined in the solidarity of human brotherhood."

– Walter Reuther

Walter Reuther
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May 26, 1969
John Lennon and Yoko Ono (along with her 5-year-old daughter Kyoko) held their second Bed-in for Peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. A late-night rendition of “Give Peace a Chance,” recorded in the hotel room with their visitors singing and accompanying, reached No.14 on the Billboard pop music charts.

John and Yoko meet cartoonist Al Capp in their hotel room

John Lennon
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May 26, 1991

20,000 Israeli Jews and Palestinians participated in a peace rally in Israel’s capital, Tel Aviv.


May 27, 1940

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled a sit-down strike was not a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act even if it interfered with interstate commerce. The company had sued for treble damages (triple their financial loss) under the Act. The Court said that if the strike were found to be a restraint of trade, then “practically every strike in modern industry would be brought within the jurisdiction of the federal courts under the Sherman Act.”
The American Federation of Full Fashioned Hosiery Workers under its president, William Leader, had declared a strike at Apex Hosiery Co. in Philadelphia, and had organized support among other workers in the city. When Apex refused to recognize the union, he declared a sit-down strike and led an occupation of the factory which lasted for
seven weeks.
Unlike the UAW sit-down at the GM plant in Flint, however, violence was committed against the management personnel and significant damage was done to manufacturing equipment.

Summary and full text of the Supreme Court decision

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May 27, 1963

The record album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, which featured the song “Blowin' in the Wind,” was released. The song warns of the perils of nuclear war.
“ many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?”
The song and the lyrics

Bob Dylan
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May 28, 1892

The Sierra Club, America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, was organized in San Francisco with wilderness explorer John Muir as its first president. The organization’s initial effort was to defeat a proposed reduction in the boundaries of Yosemite National Park.
Muir introduced President Theodore Roosevelt to Yosemite the following year, inspiring him during his presidency to establish the U.S. Forest Service, create 5 national parks, and sign the 1906 Antiquities Act, under which he proclaimed 18 national monuments.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”
– John Muir, The Yosemite (1912)
The Sierra Club today
John Muir

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May 28, 1961

Amnesty International (AI) was founded on this date in Great Britain.
It is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights, particularly as laid out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Members of AI help maintain a media focus on political prisoners, and organize public pressure to afford them their legal rights and obtain their release.

Visit Amnesty International

Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Amnesty International projects

May 28, 1963

Black and white civil rights advocates were attacked as they sat-in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi. They were defying state laws against serving “colored” citizens at “whites-only” public facilities.
According to John Salter, AKA Hunter Bear, one of those who sat in:
“This was the most violently attacked sit-in during the 1960s and is the most publicized. A huge mob gathered, with open police support while the three of us sat there for three hours. I was attacked with fists, brass knuckles and the broken portions of glass sugar containers, and was burned with cigarettes. I'm covered with blood and we were all covered by salt, sugar, mustard, and various other things.”
Attacked for trying to eat at Woolworth’s
(L to R): John Salter (Hunter Bear), Joan Trumpauer (now Mulholland), and Anne Moody.
More photos and the story of the struggle against segregation
 A bibliography of the Civil Rights Movement

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May 28, 1982

Seven women fasted for 10 days in Springfield, Illinois, in support of ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment by the Illinois state legislature. The amendment had already been ratified by 35 other states of the 38 required.

button from the 70's

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