The Surge of the Eighties

… the nuclear arms race had not stopped in 1963 after all.
Deleted draft chapter from The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy (1996)

Self-absorption ended abruptly. Citizens around the world awoke from the seventies with a shock, suddenly understanding that the nuclear arms race had not stopped in 1963 after all. We had drifted into a crisis. Doomsday was at hand.

For many people the shock came in 1979 when NATO decided that, unless the U.S. and the Soviet Union negotiated an agreement, in 1983 it would place 108 Pershing II and 464 cruise missiles in Western Europe. This new “Intermediate Range Nuclear Force” (INF) would be able to take out all the Soviet cities and infrastructure within minutes after receiving orders. In fact, there might not be enough time to verify the warning or the command.

The explanation usually given for NATO’s crazy decision was that in the mid-1970s the Soviets had begun deploying a comparable new missile of their own, known in the West as the SS-20. However, NATO commander General Bernard Rogers told the U.S. Senate, “We would have modernized irrespective of the SS-20 because we had this gap in our spectrum of defence developing and we needed to close the gap.”1

This INF decision stimulated new surge of anti-nuclear protest throughout the world, especially in Europe. Many organizations began campaigns in preparation for the 1982 United Nations Special Session on Disarmament, where it was hoped that popular protest might prevent the missiles from being deployed.

The peace surge of the 1980s was global in scope. Soviet mothers began by marching in the thousands, pushing baby strollers, and by the end of the decade there were even protests against nuclear tests in Kazakhstan as well as in Nevada. Australians, New Zealanders, and the people of the South Pacific protested against the harmful tests conducted in the area by the French, who blew up the pesky Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior.

New and old organizations began to mobilize massive actions.2 CND, which still existed in Britain in an almost dormant state, aroused and held a rally in 1980 that drew between 50,000 and 80,000 demonstrators. Historian Edward P. Thompson organized a parallel international group, European Nuclear Disarmament (END) to create a forum for various national peace activists. In the Netherlands, Mient Jan Faber led the Interchurch Peace Council (IKV) in a campaign against accepting nuclear weapons on its soil. The West Germans collected 1.5 million signatures calling upon their government not to accept the new missiles. At Easter 1981 over 100,000 European attended a rally in Brussels and returned home to organize their own huge demonstrations. That fall there were about half a million marchers in Rome, Amsterdam, and Paris. When President Reagan visited Europe in June 1982, there were over a quarter-million marchers again in London and Rome. The marchers in Bonn and West Berlin totalled nearly a half-million. That same month, about one million gathered in New York and walked to Central Park.3 This was going to be a peace surge like none other before it.

As the time drew near for each of the NATO countries to give final approval to the deployment of missiles, rallies intensified. In the fall of 1983, there were rallies in West Germany that collectively attracted more than one million participants. One human chain (in some places six persons wide) stretched 72 miles, linking the NATO headquarters in Stuttgart to the proposed Pershing II deployment site in Neu-Ulm.4 The period immediately preceding the installation of missiles was the peak of disarmament activity. After the missiles went in, many citizens gave up, but nevertheless the movement remained strong until the early nineties and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Most Europeans were not opposed to NATO itself, but only to its nuclear weapons, which they believed harmed, rather than improved, their security. Since 1963, when the Partial Test Ban Treaty had been signed, only passing public attention had been devoted to the problem of nuclear weapons. It came as a surprise to most citizens in the NATO countries, therefore, that the arms race had not stopped, and that some 50,000 nuclear weapons existed on the planet. With the INF decision came a sudden recognition that something had to be done about the problem, although only a few would go so far as Britain’s CND, which remained committed to a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament. A more popular solution was the “freeze” proposal advanced first in the United States by Randall Forsberg.


The United States

The freeze campaign became the strongest of the nation-wide American political initiatives during the eighties. In Randall Forsberg’s paper, “The Call to Halt the Arms Race,” she suggested an immediate, verifiable, comprehensive, bilateral cessation of production, testing, and deployment of new nuclear weapons and delivery systems.5 Actual disarmament could be deferred. The strategy was originally developed by several East Coast disarmament and peace organizations in 1980, which included AFSC, FOR, Clergy and Laity Concerned (CALC), and a research organization headed by Forsberg, the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies. Among the key organizers of the campaign were Pam Solo (then a Loretto nun) and Randy Kehler. The freeze idea caught the imagination of the public and a national poll showed that in April 1982, 81 percent of the public approved it.6

The freeze movement faced a political dilemma: whether or not to work closely with such politicians as Senator Edward Kennedy and Congressman Ed Markey, who could improve the odds of turning the freeze idea into legislation but at the cost of narrowing the political demands. The organizers opted to work with the politicians, who introduced the Kennedy-Hatfield freeze resolution to the Senate, only to see the administration immediately try to stifle it. The freeze resolution in the House of Representatives passed in May, 1983, but some activists saw the votes in Congress as premature and ultimately counterproductive.7

Until March 1983 the antinuclear movement was focusing mainly on the INF missiles for Europe and the MX missiles for the United States. Suddenly a new set of problems was presented when President Reagan announced the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) program — known by the public as “Star Wars.” The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Federation of American Scientists launched a campaign against the project, calling the immensely costly project scientifically unworkable and strategically unsound. The most obvious immediate effect of the program was to terrify the Soviet leaders, who felt it necessary, above all else, to prevent a race for supremacy in these so-called “defensive” weapons.

The freeze campaign shared that ambition: to block Star Wars and all nuclear weapons. By the time the next presidential campaign began, the freeze organization was calling itself “Freeze Voter ’84.” The organizers met with all the candidates, of whom Walter Mondale and Alan Cranston were the most receptive. Gary Hart, who was a front-runner along with Mondale, placed an ad in the New York Times promising that, if elected, he would initiate a test ban. Mondale promised the same thing.8

In some ways, Freeze Voter ’84 was successful.It raised almost $1.5 million for the 1984 elections. Out of eight senate candidates whom it supported, four won. Out of the 37 House candidates it supported, 24 won. But the presidential race was another matter: Ronald Reagan was re-elected.9

However, the second-term Reagan was a different politician from the first-term Reagan, and this fact can largely be attributed to the success of the freeze campaign. He had learned to stop speaking loosely about “nuclear warning shots” or joking that “the bombing will begin in five minutes.” But freeze activists were hardly bouyed up by considering these changes as evidence of their success. On the contrary; by 1986, the freeze campaign found it necessary to merge with SANE, chiefly for financial reasons.

Although the freeze movement was the most prominent American political campaign of the eighties, its strength came from a variety of other supportive peace groups, many of them older organizations that also sustained their own projects. Existing disarmament groups multiplied in size during the mid-eighties and hundreds of other new groups came into existence and briefly played important roles. The historic peace churches continued active, of course. Then there were old grassroots organizations such as WILPF, Mobilization for Survival, and the War Resisters League, plus lobbying groups in Washington, such as SANE and the Council for a Livable World.10 Large newer organizations included Beyond War and Ground Zero,11 the latter locating itself among the groups that did not support the freeze proposal. (Opposition to the freeze also came from religious pacifists who conducted civil disobedience, for example, and who regarded a freeze as far too limited an objective.12) There were innumerable nonpolitical peace projects, such as the Great Peace March that crossed the continent (despite running out of money soon after leaving Los Angeles) and the peace ribbon, a ten-mile-long banner produced in segments one yard long that was finally unfurled in Washington.13

But besides these light-weight projects, there were many serious new participants in the antinuclear war surge. The Catholic bishops led the way as early as 1983 when 57 of the 280 American bishops issued a strong denunciation of nuclear weapons in their Pastoral Letter on War and Peace.14 A group of filmmakers produced a terrifying television show about nuclear war called “The Day After” that more than 100 million viewers watched just when the INF missiles were about to be deployed in November, 1983. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were asked to watch the film at the Pentagon and reportedly came away from it depressed.15 The press coverage of antinuclear protest events increased dramatically in the early eighties, peaking in 1982 and 1983.16

Some activists became extremely militant. For example, the Plowshares Eight (who included former priests Dan and Phillip Berrigan and Phil’s wife, Elizabeth) and Katya Komisaruk were among those who engaged in sabotage or the symbolic pouring of their own blood, and were imprisoned for terms lasting up to eighteen years. Brian Willson, who tried to stop a train carrying weapons by standing in front of it, lost a leg when it did not even slow down. At the Nevada test site, thousands of Americans (including Daniel Ellsberg, of Pentagon Papers fame) climbed over the fence and were arrested for getting in the way.

Although at the time it seemed to activists that their efforts were in vain, this was not the case. Changes were taking place, even in the White House. David Cortright, reviewing the changes in American policy during the Reagan years, points out that

overall, the tone of presidential declarations became more conciliatory. The transformation of rhetoric gradually led to a change of substance as well. These changes began well before the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev as leader of the Soviet Union. Some analysts have mistakenly ascribed the shifts in U.S. policy during the decade to Gorbachev’s arrival on the political scene in 1985. Although the influence of the Soviet leader was indeed profound, the United States was already beginning to adjust its approach in 1982 and 1983. The changes in rhetoric, the decision to begin negotiations, the rejection of certain hardline policies — all these occurred prior to Gorbachev’s rise to power.17


Canadians, who had decided never to produce or own nuclear weapons, were astonished to learn in the early eighties that their country was implicated in the nuclear arms race.18 When a factory in Toronto was found to be producing the guidance system of cruise missiles, a tent camp sprang up at its gate. British Columbians protested when they discovered that American submarine weaponry was being tested in an inland waterway, Nanoose Bay, through which American nuclear subs regularly travelled. Protesters took to the streets, outraged that cruise missiles were to be tested in Alberta.

The Liberal government of the early 1980s argued that testing the cruise seemed obligatory for Canada as a member of NATO. Canadian protesters made it clear they would prefer to quit NATO. Prime Minister Trudeau had been a peace activist in his days of youthful radicalism, and such criticism must have stung. In 1983 he launched his own personal peace initiative, traveling among the world capitals trying to find a solution to the nuclear impasse. He failed, but at least he rescued his own dignity.

Before leaving office in 1984 Trudeau also pushed a bill through parliament creating the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security (CIIPS), with an annual budget of $5 million. It was to fund military analyses, peace research, and organizing projects of the peace movement, such as conferences and publications. Initially directed by Geoffrey Pearson, formerly ambassador to the Soviet Union, CIIPS was supportive to the peace movement. However, Pearson’s successor, Bernard Wood, alienated so many peace activists that they barely complained when the Mulroney government shut CIIPS down.

As Canada’s Disarmament Ambassador, Douglas Roche convened a consultative group about twice a year for a weekend discussion of disarmament and security questions and invited numerous peace activists to the United Nations during special sessions. It cannot be said that the government implemented many of the recommendations arising from these conferences,19 but not because Roche failed to try. To a considerable extent, then, the Canadian government actually sponsored peace movement activities throughout the eighties, but the vast majority of disarmament events were independent and critical of the Conservative government. Only pressure from the peace movement kept Prime Minister Mulroney, who held power from 1984 to 1993, from increasing Canada’s military budget and buying nuclear submarines for patrolling the Arctic Ocean.

During the early 1980s Ottawa-based Operation Dismantle had 10,000 members. Its founder, James Stark, wanted to hold a world referendum to ask everyone whether they supported general and complete disarmament. He talked Gallup into putting his question on a Canada-wide poll. The result: 70 percent favored and only 16 percent disapproved of the statement that “the United Nations should be reorganized and given the authority to conduct referendums in each member country to assess public opinion on nuclear disarmament.”

Stark headed to New York to find a nation that would sponsor his world referendum idea as a resolution in the U.N. General Assembly. His lobbying lasted years, and Costa Rica almost agreed to do so. On a trip to Moscow, Stark presented his proposal to Vladimir Petrovsky, then the head of the Department of International Organizations, who would later be in charge of the U.N. office in Geneva, where disarmament questions are addressed. Probably as a result of Petrovsky’s approval, the Soviet Union came out in favor of his World Referendum idea, although the proposal never was adopted by the United Nations.20 Eventually, Stark returned to Ottawa and launched a legal action in the Supreme Court against the testing of cruise missiles. It failed.

In 1985 a number of Canadian peace groups formed an umbrella organization, the Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA). From the beginning there was an internal dispute over its purposes: Should it simply facilitate the work of local groups, or should it be a centralized organization, undertaking campaigns in its own right and speaking for the entire Canadian peace movement? The first director, Bob Penner, took the latter view and acted as a spokesman for the movement’s positions, creating some resentment among member groups, who perceived CPA as a competitor for scarce resources. The alliance could carry out fundraising campaigns that other peace groups could not afford, and pulled in money because it was known as “the” Canadian peace organization. Influential member organizations, including Operation Dismantle, Peace Magazine, and Project Ploughshares, dropped out.21 By the end of the eighties, Penner had quit his organization and, although CPA retained its place in the media limelight, its membership had dwindled.

In British Columbia almost everyone supported the peace movement in a moderate, non-political way. Every springtime End the Arms Race in Vancouver held a huge peace walk; a peace “march” sounded too military. Families, lovers, and school classes came together in droves, carrying flowers and balloons. But by the beginning of the nineties, attention had turned more toward environmental questions and the same people were going to jail in droves to protect the old-growth rainforest from loggers.

Four Canada-wide peace organizations have been especially active in the national movement: Project Ploughshares, the Voice of Women, Canadian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and Science for Peace.

Science for Peace holds weekly public lectures and writes briefs on government defence policies. Its founding president, physicist Eric Fawcett, was succeeded first by the acclaimed game theorist, Anatol Rapoport;22 then by a distinguished Canadian diplomat, George Ignatieff;23 then by Professor David Parnas, a computer scientist who quit his job with “Star Wars” and exposed it as bogus science;24 and then by physicist Derek Paul, who was also active in the Pugwash movement.

Project Ploughshares is the fourth and largest of the major Canadian groups. Sponsored by the Canadian churches, it concentrates on exposing Canada’s role in the international arms trade. Despite spending only about two percent of its GNP on the military (as contrasted to six or seven percent in the U.S. and around 20 percent in the Soviet Union) Canada has been heavily involved in producing components for American weapons, which are exported around the world. Canadian law forbids the sale of weapons to countries that violate human rights, but such rules were not easily enforced. Accordingly, Project Ploughshares demanded an international arms trade registry, to be kept at the United Nations, showing the destination of all exported weapons. This information is necessary for blocking the arms trade. Ploughshares researcher Ernie Regehr would be successful in turning the idea into a reality.

Ploughshares, along with other Canadian peace groups, lobbied to close the NATO training facility at Goose Bay, Labrador. A large swath of Canadian wilderness, home to the Innu Indians, was regularly overflown by planes barely above the treetops. The noise of these warplanes was unbearable to the Innu and to the wildlife of the region, yet their many attempts to defend themselves legally from these intrusions ultimately failed.



The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) had led Britain’s Ban the Bomb movement of the sixties and had never quite withered away afterward. It was quick to resume leadership of the resurgent movement of the eighties. By 1983, over 100,000 members were paying dues to it. The revived CND was led at first by Chairman Joan Ruddock until she quit to take a seat in Parliament, and by General Secretary Bruce Kent.

In all, about 250,000 people in Britain were active participants in the eighties surge at its peak.25 The upsurge was stimulated in part by the government itself, which published a civil defence pamphlet called Protect and Survive that offered patently futile suggestions for surviving a nuclear war. Peace activists responded by producing a counter-book, Protest and Survive,26 which suggested political ways of preventing a nuclear war. Easter marches to Aldermaston swelled again and church groups organized vigils.

Several designated nuclear installations became focal points for massive protests of varying degrees of intensity. CND was cautious about direct action, but it did orchestrate such forms of protest at Molesworth air base, which was not supposed to receive cruise missiles until 1988, but already had fences and its full quota of peace campers by 1984. The CND action involved cutting the fence and then marching up to the police to surrender for arrest. Other activists built a “peace chapel” on the grounds of Molesworth. The Ministry of Defence responded by erecting two fences around the base and keeping the area between them well patrolled. Some peace campers resorted to commando tactics, blackening their faces, carrying wirecutters, mapping hiding spots in drainage ditches, synchronizing their watches to evade the scheduled patrols, and probably having a lot of fun. No one was hurt, but when the whole peace movement read of these capers in the magazine Peace News, the ensuing discussion in letters to the editor indicated general disapproval of such guerrilla tactics.

Still, another entertaining sport developed as well: Cruisewatch. After the cruise missiles were deployed, the troops that were responsible for them ran training exercises every month or so. They loaded the missiles onto launchers at night and, well-guarded by soldiers in trucks, set out in convoys to their secret destination on Salisbury Plain, where on doomsday, the weapons pwould be launched. After their manoeuvres, the trucks and missiles returned to their home base. Such convoys were not supposed to stop en route for any reason. In fact, however, the peace activists set up a scheme for monitoring these excursions. Whenever the missile teams set out, a neighbor watching from her window would phone ahead, alerting the next watcher, and so on, and the whole expedition would be mapped. The Cruisewatchers’ objective was to stop the convoy, and they never failed to do so. At some point they would block the road, sometimes with a “disabled” vehicle. As soon as the trucks and launchers came to a halt, Cruisewatchers would climb on them and spray-paint the peace sign on the windshields while their friends snapped pictures as trophies. While this contest surely had its entertaining side, its objective was serious, and participants shuddered with horror when they got their first look at a real nuclear weapon.27

The most controversial British disarmament project was the women’s camp outside the missile base at Greenham Common. This too became a contest between the government and the campers and, although the women found the experience meaningful, on the whole it cannot have been fun.28 The protesters decided that no men could stay there overnight. They cultivated a kind of resilience that enabled them to live in cold, damp tents that were forever being torn down by the authorities, yet persistently putting them up again and staying on. Some of the women became radical lesbians. Others made a point of showing their special concerns as women, weaving ribbons and photos of their children into the fence, for example. They made a point of having no leaders and, when speaking to the press, did not always use their own names or the same name, so they could not become celebrities.29 The press was not always favorable, nor were all other British peace activists.

European Nuclear Disarmament (END) is a small group of intellectuals, originally led by the eminent historian Edward P. Thompson. It was created, not primarily for activities inside Britain, but to provide opportunities for the entire European peace movement to communicate and meet. It published END Journal and its affiliated national committees took turns hosting annual conferences in different locations throughout Europe, usually attended by 1,000 or more persons. A former Communist, Thompson minced no words in his criticism of the Soviet Union. He believed that the arms race would not end until the Cold War ended and the two halves of Europe were put back together again. Accordingy, he made several bold trips to Hungary and other Eastern European countries, attempting to forge alliances with the dissident human rights organizations of those countries. At first, his overtures were spurned; most dissidents, believing that their best hope lay in the might of the West, were as militaristic as Ronald Reagan. However, Thompson’s objectives would be realized in time, largely through the consistent efforts of other END leaders, especially Mary Kaldor in England and Mient Jan Faber in the Netherlands.

CND never shared END’s objective of allying with Eastern European dissidents, and the two organizations were not in complete agreement about the related problem: how to relate to Communists, both in Britain and abroad. END invariably kept Communists at arms length, whereas CND tended to include Communist participants in their activities. This disagreement, however, did not reach the high pitch of conflict that characterized the peace movement in some other countries (e.g. France) where issues of red influence and red-baiting seriously diverted attention from disarmament goals.

There was a close alliance between the British peace movement and the Labour Party. Indeed, CND’s executive council specifically included a delegate from the Labour Party. This bond created some awkward problems at times. Since 1960, CND’s official policy had been to favor unilateral disarmament, but the British electorate never wanted to go that far. For a long time the Labour Party was unable to abandon its position, despite the political risks it entailed. In 1984, Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock visited Moscow and received a promise that if Britain were remove all nuclear weapons from its territory, the Soviet Union would reduce its SS-20s in Europe by the same amount and would never use nuclear weapons against a Britain that lacked them. This pledge was not sufficient to enable Labour to win the next election, however, and eventually the party had to retract its commitment to unilateral nuclear disarmament. Most British people did not like nuclear weapons but, as polls showed, a plurality of citizens support deployment of INF missiles in Western Europe if the United States and the Soviet Union could not agree to limit them.30

There were, of course, alternatives to nuclear defence, but the British government never explored them. In 1980 an independent group, the Alternative Defence Commission, was founded to analyze the feasibility of the non-nuclear option. Chaired by Michael Randle,31 it included academic specialists and members from trade unions, churches, and all political parties except the Conservatives.32 Since the Conservatives continued to win elections, the commission’s proposals were never examined seriously.


The Dutch disarmament movement probably enjoyed more support, per capita, than any other European movement. Opinion polls showed that in a year when between 50 and 60 percent of the British, French, and German populations supported demonstrations against nuclear weapons, fully 79 percent of the Dutch did so.33 The movement was supported by the churches and the largest trade union, FNV, which in 1983 participated in organizing a massive demonstration in The Hague. The Dutch Railroad went so far as to halt an ongoing strike so people could travel to that same rally, where even Princess Irene spoke out, stepping beyond the royal family’s customary non-political role34The wide spectrum of opinion among activists ranged from a small anarchist group, “Weeds,” to Pax Christi, to Women for Peace, to the most conservative protestant churches.

The middle had by far the largest support. It was coordinated by Mient Jan Faber of IKV (the inter-church council), which provided ample funding and even assisted with the organization of disarmament events in Belgium, France, and West Germany.35 IKV supported a useful publication, Disarmament Campaigns, which was published from its headquarters in The Hague and covered the global events of the eighties surge better than perhaps any other journal.

Faber, the most prominent activist on the continent during the peace surge of the eighties, is a tall, genial mathematician who has been Secretary-General of IKV since 1975. Without even trying, he became a familiar figure on TV screens and his popularity was widely envied by other activists.

Faber called IKV “radical but not too radical.”36 Others did not call it radical at all. IKV discouraged direct actions that might seem extreme to the general population. For example, in 1982 it tried to prevent a Dutch group from blockading an American munitions train.37 Several smaller and more radical organizations formed a federation of their own, and competed unsuccessfuly for press coverage against Faber.

Another indicator of IKV’s moderate stance was its negative attitude toward unilateral nuclear disarmament by Britain or West Germany. It argued that such radical actions would be dangerously destabilizing in the larger NATO countries but safe in the Netherlands, since the Dutch arsenal would be so small. Indeed, it hoped that a disarmament gesture from the Netherlands might launch a cycle of reciprocal disarmaments (GRIT) on the part of NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization.38

Toward the end of the eighties, IKV and Pax Christi suggested that a safe form of disarmament on both sides would couple the removal of nuclear weapons with the removal of foreign troops from Europe. It stated that “In a Europe that is divided, the security of Western Europe is largely based on the presence of nuclear weapons, while in Eastern Europe the presence of Soviet troops and conventional weapons is the most significant factor. A real step towards overcoming the division of Europe would be made by combining further-reaching `zero options’ with the withdrawal of foreign troops from Europe.”39 This combination of nuclear and conventional disarmament was, in fact, what Gorbachev undertook by his decision in 1988 to take half a million troops and the best tanks back home to the Soviet Union from the other WTO countries.

The Dutch peace surge was only partially successful. It did win a delay in the deployment of weapons while other solutions could be sought. Eventually, however, over the objections of the entire Dutch left and the majority of public opinion, parliament approved the installation of the cruise missiles. Prime Minister Lubbers reportedly preferred a compromise that would bring cruise missiles only during a military crisis. Liberal Party ministers would not accept this compromise. The Christian Democrats in parliament feared that, if they voted against the missiles, they might bring down the government that they and the Liberals jointly formed. To bring about early elections would have risked being shut out of the next government.40 As a lame compensation for accepting the unpopular missiles, the Dutch government cut back on the number of missions that it would agree to undertake as its contribution to NATO.


The dual cultures of Belgium were reflected in a dual peace surge. The Francophone National Action Committee for Peace and Development (CNAPD) had its greatest strength in the southern, French-speaking region, Wallonia. The northern area, Flanders, was organized under the Flemish Action Committee Against Nuclear Weapons (VAKA), whose most prominent leader was a retired trade unionist, Robert De Gendt. The Flemings maintained an important archive and research center, the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) in Antwerp.

The two halves of the peace movement, unlike many other divided institutions in Belgian society, worked well together. Because Brussels was a centre for both NATO and the European Community, the Belgian movement was disproportionately important in the surge of the eighties. Belgian citizens were especially pessimistic. Polls showed that half of them believed the odds were that another total war would occur in the next decade.41 A larger proportion of Belgians than of any other European society (fully 84 percent) believed in 1983 that Soviet military power represented “some threat or a great threat” to Western Europe.42 Almost two Belgians in five wanted the U.S. to withdraw its troops and nuclear weapons from Western Europe.43

Despite these obvious misgivings, Belgium was slated to accept 48 cruise missiles on its territory. Most members of Prime Minister Martens’s party, the Flemish Christian Democrats, opposed the deployment but, to avoid embarrassing the government, left the decision up to parliament. In its turn, parliament also ducked the issue, deciding to leave the question up to the government. Belgian peace activists worked feverishly to find an alternative, but in the end, the government decided to carry out the deployment in stages, hoping that successful negotiations between the United States and Soviet Union would interrupt the process. On March 15, 1985, within 24 hours after the Belgian Council of Ministers consented to the deployment of the first 16 cruise missiles, the weapons arrived on Belgian soil. Gradually, the movement lost most of its members.

West Germany

Germany was the focal point of the whole arms race. The divide between East and West ran through Germany, splitting it in two, and in the zone between these two Germanys the first land battles of World War III were expected to take place. Moreover, the blame for the INF decision had to be placed on the West German government itself. Chancellor Helmut Schmidt had wanted those missiles — had asked for them. He was surprised in October 1981 when other members of the government, his own Social Democratic Party (SPD), joined in a national demonstration in Bonn against his INF decision. That rally was the first phase in the mobilization of a peace movement too popular for political parties to ignore.

The West German movement was enormous, democratic, and decentralized. There were literally thousands of informal local groups, and few of them wanted to work together. They were insistent on remaining democratic, and they were divided on so many issues that nation-wide joint actions were impossible. The only such demonstration was the one in Bonn; 600 people, representing 200 groups turned out to plan it, and they could agree on hardly anything. After that, groups and smaller coalitions organized their own events.

The best-known German peace groups included Action for Reconciliation, Pax Christi, the Green Party, Women for Peace, and the German Peace Society. The most extreme groups formed the “autonomous wing,” which was numerically small but dangerous to the reputation of the whole peace movement, since its members were willing to use violence.Because of the highly democratic structure of these disparate groups, few people became famous as leaders and even fewer could claim to represent a large number of citizens. Abroad, Petra Kelly and her lover and eventual murderer, the retired General Gert Bastian, were the most prominent members of the Green Party, for they were dynamic speakers, but in no sense were they leaders of the whole German movement. Guido Grunewald, the international spokesperson of the German Peace Society, recalls that few people in his organization wanted to know what was going on internationally. Only at the end of the meetings, when people were already leaving, could he get the floor for five minutes and offer his reports.44

A nation-wide coordinating committee, known as KA, was formed at the time of the Bonn demonstration in 1981 but the only statements it was allowed to make were ones that everyone could agree upon — which included opposition against NATO’s INF missiles but not against the Soviet SS-20s. However, KA was able to carry out one useful action — an unofficial referendum in the form of an exit poll during the August 1984 elections to the European parliament. About 18,000 of Germany’s 57,000 polling places were covered, and 58 percent of those voters were asked whether they supported the cruise and Pershing II deployments. Of those asked, 88 percent said that they opposed the deployments.45

Another effective type of action began in 1980, when two protestant organizations, Action for Reconciliation46 and the Action Community Service for Peace, organized peace weeks, requesting churches to consider how to have security without weapons. In 1983, this movement brought 200,000 people together in Hanover. They wore violet scarves with the slogan “No Without Yes,” which was a call for the unambiguous rejection of nuclear weapons.47

Although there were many people who opposed contact with the Communists, other activists made numerous trips to East Germany and built up trusting relationships with the local affiliates of the communist-sponsored World Peace Council. These contact evidently had useful results. There was, for example, the Olof Palme Peace March, which brought together activists from East and West in 1987, carrying banners and calling for a nuclear free corridor along the borderline between East and West Germany. For the first time, the East German authorities permitted unofficial, autonomous peace groups to participate in such an action, through their involvement in a protestant church committee. The march started in Stockholm, for symbolic reasons, and the Swedish government hosted a party with Palme’s widow, Lisbeth. On that same evening the leader of the East German unofficial movement, Rainer Eppelmann ran an unofficial demonstration of 3,000 people in East Berlin, which was not broken up by the police.48

Relations between the two Germanys was certainly the central issue for the peace movement. Every group had a position on the matter, and hardly any of the positions were the same. The whole complex of problems was called simply “The German Question.” One small goup in Berlin that included Herbert Ammon and Peter Brandt, the son of Willy Brandt, saw the best solution as a confederation between East and West Germany and a peace treaty, which had never been completed after World War II. Others regarded this proposal as a stealthy way of edging toward German reunification, which they opposed.49

On this question Ammon’s and Brandt’s group had allies among some East Germans (notably Stephan Bickhardt and Ludwig Mehlhorn) who in turn held meetings with other Eastern European dissidents, especially the Czech members of Charta ’77, Jiri Dienstbier and Jaroslav Sabata. The Czechs wrote a position paper called the “Prague Appeal” in 1984, which placed a high priority on reuniting Germany, or anyway forming a confederation between the two halves. This idea suited the Bickhardt-Mehlhorn group and the Ammon-Brandt faction. When I interviewed Dienstbier in 1986, he said, “It is not a question of Germany being divided. It is a question of Europe being divided in Germany, even by this demonstrative wall in Berlin. If this wall is not pulled down and there is a free flow between East and West Germany, nothing can be solved.”

However, besides these groups there was also another group of West Berliners, who were to have an influence. These were the “East-West Dialogue” group, fewer than a dozen Germans who included the former Green, Dieter Esche, and Marie-Louise Lindemann. They, too, were in touch with both Western and Eastern Europeans, and they did like any reunification proposal at all. According to Herbert Ammon, the East-West Dialogue group persuaded the Czechs who had drafted the Prague Appeal not to include the German Question in any of their future documents. In any case, when their next document — “Giving Real Life to the Helsinki Accords” — did appear and was circulated for comments throughout the non-communist peace movements, it did not include a proposal to reunite Germany or to form a confederation. At the END Conference of 1987 in Coventry, England, Ammon and his group were still promoting the idea in a special workshp on the German Question, and received an open-minded hearing from the few Eastern European activists who were there (notably the Hungarian, Ferenc Mislowitz) ;50 that may have been the last public peace event where the issue was discussed seriously. Ammon maintains that the failure of the German peace movement to address the reunification issue explains why those activists had little political influence after the wall came down. “In the critical moment of ’89,” argues Ammon, “there were not too many Alternatives [the title of the Green Party in West Berlin] who were prepared to head the movement for change by focusing on the current toward German unity. So in some way, these West Germans missed their chance to contribute.”

Besides the numerous grass-roots activists of West Germany, there were elite groups that probably had even more influence. The Bilderberg Circle was a small group of top-ranking statesmen and former politicians that met for private discussions that sometimes included Warsaw Pact diplomats. At Ebenhausen, on Starnberg Lake near Munich, there was an institute where a number of disarmament specialists worked, including Karl Friedrich von Wiesecker, a philosopher and brother of West Germany’s president. These researchers had some influence on the (then) Social-Liberal government, and indirectly on Soviet political policymakers. There was no consensus among the scholars there, nor were they all equally favorable to nuclear disarmament. Von Wiesecker, for example, promoted the idea of disarming the continental arsensal of nuclear weapons but relying on the sea-based system. Horst Afheldt, on the other hand, would have disarmed all nuclear weapons and abandoned that form of deterrence, relying instead of territorial defence by conventional weapons.51

In Hamburg, Egon Bahr headed a peace institute that promoted the notion of common security. Bahr was influential in the SPD, was especially close to Willy Brandt during his term of office, and was a member of the Palme Commission, led by the Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, and which proposed a nuclear-free zone in Europe. His work on that commission brought him into close touch with the Soviet delegates, especially Georgi Arbatov, and the consequences of their discussions will be described in a later chapter.52

The West German peace movement had some degree of impact on the policies of the state. For one thing, the SPD soon turned against the INF weapons, which had been proposed by their own Helmut Schmidt, though they did not form the next government, which did favor the missiles. Thomas Rochon has argued that the peace movement influenced German politicians so that they and the Dutch pressed the Reagan administration to adopt the “zero-option” policy. Rochon notes,

Given the resistance of many military experts to the idea that the cruise and Pershing II missiles were simply a response to the Soviet SS-20s, it was far from obvious that they could be traded for each other. The fact that the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to trade them for each other, to general applause from the other NATO allies, is due in large part to the peace movement, which focused its criticisms on nuclear weapons and reduced public acceptance of the idea of a continuous spectrum of force that runs from conventional to nuclear weapons.


Despite its importance as a base for U.S. military operations around the Mediterranean, Spain was not a major force in the peace surge of the eighties. The explanation for its low degree of activism must be identified in the timing of certain historic events. After the death of the dictator, Franco, public opinion favored entering the European Community. A peace movement was beginning to form, with two objectives: to get the U.S. troops and bases out of the country and to stay out of NATO. During their 1982 campaign, the Socialist government promised a referendum on joining NATO. In that referendum campaign in 1986 the government argued (probably wrongly) that admission to the EC was contingent on Spain’s willingness to enter NATO as well. The public accepted the package deal, agreeing to stay in NATO on three conditions: if the government kept nuclear weapons out of Spain; if the U.S. troops were reduced; and if Spain did not join NATO’s integrated military structure. These terms were sufficient to keep most voters satisfied and to prevent the emergence of a major disarmament movement.53


In France, alone among all the West European countries, there was there little opposition to the INF missiles. The indifference of the French can be attributed to their peculiar relationship to NATO, for they possessed their own deterrent nuclear force de frappe by which to defend themselves independently. However, even in France only 18 percent supported the use of nuclear weapons in actual battle. The majority regarded such bombs strictly as deterrents and would have relied on conventional weapons for warfare.54

Besides the popularity of the force de frappe, the French peace movement found its work hampered for another reason as well: the taint of association with the Communist Party. A few peaceniks tried to break that connection. The non-Communist movement was organized as Committee for Nuclear Disarmament (CODENE) in 1981 by 24 groups representing students, conscientious objectors, Christians and other groups.55 According to the END Journal, it constitute a weak coalition of “mutually suspicious minority groups and splinter factions.”56 CODENE won the support of the Christian-socialist union federation in 1983 but was less successful in winning over the churches.57 Despite the obstacles it faced and its limited membership, CODENE continued its struggle. Perhaps the most prominent members of the movement were Sylvie Mantrant and Bernard Dreano, who continued to participate in END. CODENE even hosted one of the END meetings at Evry, near Paris, in 1986. Also, a Pax Christi group, and a small group of French pacifists continued undaunted.

History sometimes takes a surprising course. Especially curious is the switch of French socialism from opposing to supporting nuclear weapons. In 1960 when the French first exploded a nuclear bomb, President De Gaulle was delighted but the French left denounced the weapon. When Francois Mitterand ran for President in 1965, his platform still opposed nuclear weapons, and this policy remained until 1977. It was the Communist Party that first made the switch, adopting De Gaulle’s policy of nuclear independence as a counter to President Giscard d’Estaing’s plan to integrate France into NATO. The French Socialist Party followed the Communists’ example a few months later. After that, the Communist-oriented peace movement, while proclaiming such simplistic slogans as “I love peace!”, did not oppose French nuclear weapons, nor did Mitterand’s socialists.58

In 1988 Mary-Wynne Ashford, president-elect of CPPNW, the Canadian affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) was an emissary to France for eight weeks. Her task: to better understand, and help overcome, resistance to the disarmament movement in France. At that time, the French branch of IPPNW had only 400 members out of 170,000 physicians. She visited both of the two major peace organizations, the communist-oriented “Mouvement de la Paix,” and CODENE, which she said barely existed at that time. Ashford found that the French press blocked discussions of the nuclear threat. For example, when IPPNW won the Nobel Peace Prize, one headline read, “KGB Wins Nobel Prize.” Whenever she brought up the issue of the arms race, people generally responded by saying, “We are more afraid of the Russians than we are of nuclear war,” or “There is no risk of nuclear war because no one would be so stupid as to start one. Certainly France would never use her nuclear weapons. They are there for deterrence only.” Audiences were shocked by the research Ashford described on the risk of accidental nuclear war or inadvertent escalation. This seemed to be the only kind of information that the French doctors regarded as persuasive.59


Foreign peaceniks first became acquainted with their Italian counterparts in Perugia, a beautiful old Renaissance town where an END conference met in 1984. There were a number of other peace groups in that country as well, especially in the northern Alpine areas, where people have old memories of terrible battles. On a hill is an immense bell made from a thousand melted-down guns. When it rings, the mountains tremble and people in the valley weep.

During the eighties Italians also supported a peace camp near a remote town, Comiso, where Italy had early agreed to deploy cruise missiles. Sometimes joined by foreign supporters, Italian activists pitched their tents at Comiso and kept up a steady, low-keyed protest. On the whole, however, the Italians were not very active in the international meetings of European peace activists.

One unusual peace group, War Tax Resisters, was popular in Italy. Unlike people in the countries that withhold income taxes at the source, Italian citizens must actively relinquish their taxes to the state. Thousands of protesters opened accounts in a special peace fund and began depositing that portion of their taxes into it that would have been spent for the military. These funds were spent on worthy projects. Of course, the state did pursued the money, thereby making war tax resistance into an ever more challenging sport.

Politics was generally an especially adventurous activity in Italy, where new governments were always being pieced together from numerous parties. There the Communist Party had long enjoyed substantial support but, as the leading Eurocommunist party, the Italian party was democratic and unsympathetic toward the Party in the Warsaw Pact. Italian Communists generally supported, and were regarded as legitimate partners of, the international nonaligned peace movement.

The Transnational Radical Party also enjoyed a measure of support. This group had members in a number of countries and, as soon as it became possible, also established an outpost in Moscow. Only in Italy was the party actually represented in parliament; elsewhere it functioned only as a peace group. Its orientation was pacifist and its program concentrated on a few simple objectives — to abolish the death penalty, to establish the right of conscientious objectors not to be conscripted, and to legalize the use of narcotics, thus eliminating many crimes associated with the drug trade.


Norway, Denmark, and Iceland were members of NATO. Finland and Sweden were neutral, though Finland’s government cultivated a careful, nonmilitaristic relationship with her neighbor, the Soviet Union, with whom there was considerable trade. Sweden, though neutral, was well-armed and maintained close economic ties with the West. There was considerable cooperation among the peace movements of all the Scandinavian countries, in which women played an especially important part.

The Swedish peace movement had a proud record of success. (The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS), founded in 1883, actually prevented a war in 1905, when Norway seceded from Sweden. In the 1980s SPAS was the Swedish section of War Resisters International (WRI). Women’s League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) was also prominent in Sweden. Moreover, a famous research organization, Stockholm Internation Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), supported by the Swedish government, provided vital comparative information about military activities around the world to peace activists and scholars.

The Swedish Green Party supported conscientious objectors who refused to be conscripted into the military. The party also sponsored work on alternative, non-violent defence60 and commissioned a book by the president of WRI, Jorgen Johansen.61 Then they held a referendum within the Green Party, testing the support for non-violent defence and also the concept of non-provocative defence. The members supported nonviolence, so this approach became the party’s official defence policy.

There was no chance, however, that it would be adopted by the Swedish parliament as the nation’s defence policy.62 The Social Democrats, who had long held power, were politically inconsistent. Until he was assassinated in 1986, Prime Minister Olof Palme was was probably the world’s leading statesman pursuing solutions to the East-West conflict. The Swedes also were prominent in the United Nations through their ambassadors, Inga Thorssen and Maj-Britt Theorin, who continued the work of their outstanding precedessor, Alva Myrdal. On the other hand, neutral Sweden remained heavily armed at home and was major exporter of arms to the world, especially to India.

In 1980 Danish non-communist groups formed a new organization, No to Nuclear Weapons. It had a decentralized structure without even formal membership, but with some 10,000 names on its mailing list. It organized Easter marches and demonstrations in Copenhagen in October, which attracted up to 150,000 participants.63 There was a small Danish section of War Resisters International called “No More War,” which published a good magazine. Especially important as well were a number of peace researchers at Danish Universities, such as Anders Boserup, who developed the theory and practice of non-offensive defence.

Finland’s nonaligned peace movement consists of two main organizations, the Peace Union and the Committee of Hundred. The former group (which was founded in 1920) became an umbrella group to which the latter group belonged. In 1983, its biggest demonstration attracted 230,000 people — approximately 5 percent of the whole population of Finland. This extraordinary turnout was accomplished with the cooperation of the pro-Soviet peace group, the Peace Committee.64 The most prominent Finnish activist, Thomas Hackman, worked with the Peace Union and also with the strong Union of Conscientious Objectors.

Norway’s largest peace organization during the 1980s was No to Nuclear Weapons. There were a national umbrella organization, the National Peace Council and also a section of WRI, which campaigned against conscription. Some of the peace organizations for professionals were important there, such as Journalists for Peace and a lawyers’ group that, with lawyers in other countries as International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), launched a long-term campaign to ask the World Court to rule on the legality of nuclear weapons.65 There is a peace research institute in Oslo, home of Norway’s most prominent peace activist, Johan Galtung, who is probably the most eminent peace researcher on the planet. Galtung does not spend much time in his native country but is forever on the move, teaching, writing, and giving public lectures and media appearances all around the world.

Scandinavian women collectively organized their famous peace marches for women. Throughout the eighties, Nordic women persuaded hundreds of women activists from other countries to join with them for months at a time in peace camps or long walks. Numerous women from the Soviet Union and other Eastern bloc nations were also chosen by their official peace committees to participate in these cross-country treks. Over their regular clothes the marchers all wore pink or blue caftans, each one decorated with its own unique design of embroidered butterflies or flowers. Carrying banners sporting zippy doves and cheery slogans, the women sang exuberantly as they walked. In 1986 I joined them for two weeks; we did not cross the continent that summer but stayed in Stockholm, where the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe66 (CSCE) was holding a disarmament conference to deal with Confidence-Building Measures. Every day we started from a different outlying district of Stockholm, marched to the centre, and held a rally on the steps outside the CSCE’s conference hall. Several of the Nordic women, such as Eva Nordland, were memorable speakers. I did not have very meaningful conversations with any of the Eastern-bloc women, but some other Western women said they did.

International Coordination in Europe

“Umbrella groups” exist to facilitate communication and coordination among other organizations. I have already introduced such examples as War Resisters International, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, and International Peace Bureau — all of them fairly old groups. Some organizations (e.g. the German Peace Society) belong to two or more of these umbrella groups.

The surge of the eighties brought to life another new umbrella group, the International Peace Coordinating Committee (IPCC). This organization was primarily European and from the beginning kept its membership small. Wim Bartels, the first director, believed that no one of its meetings should include more than about 25 people, and he selected those participants carefully. One or two persons came from each European country, usually representing the main coordinating comittee of that country. There was also some irregular participation from North America. The committee met about three times a year in various European cities and discussed the political aspects of the disarmament campaign. From the time the group was founded in November of 1981 until 1989, it was administered in The Hague by Bartels, international secretary of IKV. Thereafter it moved to Brussels.

Until 1986, the main concern of IPCC was to facilitate demonstrations against the INF missiles. Then the focus changed, and the group began to deal more with reviving d├ętente and the Helsinki Final Act, and how to put it into effect. This change was especially appealing to the Eastern European independent activists but was disliked by the pro-Communist groups, none of which had been allowed to join IPCC anyway.

By 1988 American participation had dwindled and, to give it a boost, IPCC held a meeting in Washington, D.C. Then Freeze and a few other groups organized a speaking tour. Bartels recalls having been sent to Texas and Massachusetts to make four speeches a day for ten days.

WIM BARTELS: But I’m not sure we made a lot of progress. In Europe people were saying to us, “We want you to help us overcome the blocs.” But most of the Americans didn’t know what the blocs were, or what the Helsinki Agreements were. They usually said that they were fighting against nuclear ships or B1 or B2 bombers or against very local things. That was good, but we wanted to have a global alliance of peace groups sharing basic political views, a new way of talking about security. If you don’t do this, you can easily be cheated by people who would say, “Okay, we give in,” but who would soon create yet another new weapon system. We must demilitarize our minds.That was a basic difference between the European movements and the American movements, with some exceptions.

Of course, inside IPCC there are also some groups that are also weapons-oriented. You can say this of CND in Britain or a group of French-speaking Belgians, or the Norwegians. The other groups in IPCC — such as IKV, the Danes, and also the Italians (though they have never been very active) stress the political aspect, the “detente from below” aspect.67



Although it neither confirms nor denies the fact, Israel is known to be a nuclear state. In 1953 its government signed a secret agreement with the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), which supplied itwith a nuclear reactor, fuel reprocessing facility, and uranium. In the Negev desert the Dimona plant was completed in 1961. Overflights are strictly prohibited, even to Israeli planes. When a stray Israeli Mirage III did so during the six-day war, it was shot down. When a Libyan civilian plane inadvertently flew new the area in 1973, Israeli fighters tried to force it to change course and, when this failed, shot the plane down, killing 108 of the 113 passengers.68 Israel collaborated with South Africa in developing its weapons and missiles.

Reportedly, Israel even came close to using its nuclear bombs during its October 1973 war with the Arab states.69 Its planes were loaded and ready to go, just when the tide of battle turned in Israel’s favor without resort to nuclear bombs.

Naturally, the larger part of the Israeli peace movement was concerned with Arab-Israeli conflict. This even included a group of soldiers called “Yesh Gevul,” who refused to participate in the Lebanon War of 1982 or to serve in the occupied territories, especially during the Intifada.70 However, most of the peace activists dealing specifically with the Middle East were, of course, civilians. The largest and most famous of those groups was Peace Now. Not everyone who was concerned about the conflict with the Arabs objected to Israel’s nuclear weapons.

But some did. Mordechai Vanunu certainly did, and would pay a heavy price for his exceptional bravery.71 Vanunu, a Moroccan Jew by birth, grew up in Israel, and worked for nine years at a secret underground nuclear weapon factory at Dimona. Growing increasingly disturbed about his work, he took a series of 57 photographs of the installation and of its bombs, then quit his job voluntarily. He traveled to Australia, converted to Christianity, and decided to tell his story to the press. The Sunday Times of London interviewed him for four weeks, then printed his story on October 5, 1986. Vanunu knew that his life would be in danger, so he flew to Italy, but he was kidnapped there and taken to Israel. There is a famous photo of Vanunu, then aged 35, showing the palm of his hand to photographers as he was taken away in from Rome. On it he had written, “Vanunu M. was hijacked in Rome Itl. 30.9.86 2100 Came to Rome by BA Fly 504.” Most Western newspapers published only minimal accounts of Vanunu’s revelations. For example, the Los Angles Times gave it a two-inch space beneath the obituaries. The trial was closed, of course, and Vanunu remains in solitary confinement as I write.

The United States government almost certainly knew about Israel’s nuclear program all along and did not block it. In 1980, according to Jane Hunter,72 Israelis began work on another underground plant to produce tritium, meant to enable them to produce a thermonuclear bomb. There has been little overt opposition inside Israel either to the existing or the planned weapons.


After World War II, by treaty, American military forces continued to use military bases in Japan, whereas, under the terms of the 1947 constitution, the Japanese renounced the right to maintain a military, or to fight wars. This clause was gradually redefined, however, at least to the extent of permitting the maintenance of a “self-defence force,” for which up to one percent of the country’s GNP was allowed to be spent. Public opinion favored keeping these restrictions, but the United States increasingly demanded that the Japanese government assume a larger part of the “defence burden” by buying more weapons from the Americans. The expanding military budget growth was a response to pressure, not from reactionaries inside Japan, but instead from the U.S. military-industrial complex.73 By 1986 the Japanese decided to participate in the Strategic Defence Initiative, and was participating in a U.S. in a military exercise off Hokkaido involving 13,000 troops.74 A country as rich as Japan could pay for a very impressive military force by spending only one percent of the GNP. Therefore, peace groups had to devote most of their attention to slowing this re-militarization.

The Japanese anti-nuclear movement had long been split into three major factions: the communist-affiliated Gensuikyo, the socialist-affiiated Japan Congress against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (called Gensuikin) and a smaller, more conservative group, the National Council for Peace and Against nuclear Weapons . Despite these splits, in the eighties these groups began to work together again on certain demonstrations; the ones in Hiroshima and Tokyo drew, respectively, 186,000 and 406,000 participants.75

A number of grass-roots movements also emerged, including the “ten feet campaign” of 1980-83. As soon as they entered the ruined cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Americans had shot approximately 85,000 feet of film showing the effects of the bombs. The films had never been released for public viewing, for obvious reasons. The “ten feet campaign” requested that individuals each pay 3,000 yen to buy ten feet of the film so it could be used in anti-war documentaries. Over 100,000 Japanese citizens participated in this project.76

South Pacific

The southern hemisphere was not left out when it came to nuclear activism in the 1980s — nor should it have been, since the southern Pacific has suffered greatly from nuclearism and was still involved in it. Australia, for example, was a uranium exporter and had at least twelve U.S. military installations on its soil. The Australian activists objected most to the base at Nurrungar, 500 km outside Adelaide. When they learned in 1986 that this communications centre was to become part of the Star Wars program, they held demonstrations there.77

In the Philippines, the largest organization was the National Organization Against Nuclear Power and Weapons, an alliance of 59 professional, trade, and peasants’ groups. It organized opposition to two of the largest U.S. bases in the Philippines, Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which were deploying air- and sea-based cruise missiles.78 The Filipinos objected, not only to the nuclear missiles, but also to the extraordinary prevalence of prostitution and sexual abuse of women in the vicinity of the bases.79 Their protests were partially successful, with the help of a local volcano, Mt. Pinatubo, which provided material incentives for the Americans to go away.

The South Pacific suffered the tragic effects of being a nuclear test site. The Americans had previously tested in Micronesia and the French continued to do so in Polynesia throughout the eighties. The Marshall Islanders had more radiation exposure than the people at Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Cancer rates and birth defects were high in the region, and women gave birth to “jellyfish babies” — masses of living tissue with no face or limbs, but which live as long as they are connected to the umbilical cord.80 People from these islands did not always understand the causes of their health problems and did not necessarily know how to protest and demand medical care for their injuries.Foreign activists came to their aid. Sister Rosalie Bertell, a scientist who specializes in the health effects of low-level radiation, did much to inform the island people about their environment,81 and intrepid Greenpeace activists visited the region to impede the French testing program. The French retaliated by sending secret police frogmen to blow up the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, while it was in a New Zealand harbor. The ship sank and one crew member was killed.82

This violation of New Zealand’s sovereignty enraged the citizens of that country, who were already mobilized in large numbers in the peace surge. Not only did they hound the French, but they notified the U.S. that none of its ships would be allowed into their ports except with formal assurances that no nuclear weapons were on board. Since the Americans refused to confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons on any ship, the New Zealanders quit the ANZUS military alliance and no longer permitted American ships to dock. The New Zealanders braced themselves for economic sanctions from the United States and peace activists around the world supported them with a “girlcott.” (You know what a boycott is. A girlcott is an effort to buy more of a product instead of less, as a gesture of support. Peacenik girlcotters bought large quantities of New Zealand kiwi fruit and frozen lamb.) In any case, the American economic pressure did not happen. Several U.S. Congressmen were aware of the possibility and would have exposed the slightest evidence of such retaliation.83


Several important new international peace organizations were formed during the surge of the eighties. Greenpeace, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Parliamentarians Global Action, and Women for a Meaningful Summit, especially, have made an impact.

Greenpeace has become famous throughout the world for audaciously challenging powerful forces, even nation-states. Many of its members are adventurers who love to engage in such actions as putting out to sea in dinghys to block the passage of nuclear submarines or to photograph illegal whalers and drift nets. The organization is spectacularly successful in gaining media attention. Where other groups try to get onto television by carrying prosaic banners or fake coffins in the street, Greenpeace people climb smokestacks to unfurl their banners or dangle each other from bridges and refuse to get down. In Alberta when the first cruise missiles were being tested, Greenpeace set up a big net in the expected pathway, and held it in place with barrage balloons, trying to snag a missile en route. (No luck.)

Greenpeace was a pioneer in one respect: before any other peace groups saw the connection, it was attacking environmental problems and militarism as if they were the same thing. Later, as the surge of the eighties diminished, other organizations would pick up the environmental theme also, but with less panache. Greenpeace does not seem to be much of a team player, for it does not participate in many peace coalitions or conferences. Perhaps it is because their members prefer outdoor actions instead of talk. Or perhaps when they do talk, it is mainly with other environmental groups.

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) was launched in 1980 by two eminent physicians, Bernard Lown of Boston, and Yevgeny Chazov, the personal physician to a whole series of decrepit Soviet General Secretaries. It was Lown who took the initiative. Twenty years before, he had launched another organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), which had dealt with the issue of nuclear war. Then it went dormant, as did so many other groups after the Partial Test Ban Treaty was signed. In 1979 an Australian-born pediatrician, Helen Caldicott, revived PSR and toured the U.S., moving many thousands of people to tears with her sensitive speeches about nuclear war.84 But Lown was the father of PSR, which, with the development of IPPNW, he recaptured and turned into the American branch of the new organization. After that, his relationship with Caldicott became less than cordial.

Lown had known Chazov professionally for many years (both were leading cardiologists) and chose him because, as a full member of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Chazov wielded authority. Yet Chazov needed to be convinced that nuclear war was a health issue. [85] In 1985 IPPNW was awarded the Nobel Peace. By the following year, the organization had national affiliates in 49 countries representing 150,000 physicians. The organization was holding huge summer congresses in various cities, and each such event became the subject of a documentary film.86

On the other hand, IPPNW has been the target of criticism as well, not just from hawks who love their nuclear weapons, but perhaps even more by dissident Soviet citizens whom the organization had not defended. Such charges are well-founded, but it is a mistake to discredit the positive accomplishments of the doctors because they also have faults. I shall return to Bernard Lown’s story later in the book.

Parliamentarians Global Action (PGA)87 was founded in 1977 by a few members of parliaments from Britain, France, Canada, and Japan, who wanted to cooperate on disarmament issues. The first Secretary General was Nicholas Dunlop, a New Zealander still in his twenties, who played the leading role in founding the organization, which is based in New York within walking distance of the United Nations.

Among PGA’s advantages is that it can help U.S. legislators get around the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S citizens (including Congressmen) from negotiating with a foreign country. Parliamentarian Olafur Grimsson, the president of PGA, explained: “As an Icelandic citizen, I am not bound by the American Logan Act. There’s no such act in my country — or that of my Dutch or Canadian colleagues. So you always have some elements inside the network who can do for you what other elements cannot do.”88

PGA soon accomplished three important breakthroughs. First, they established the Five Continent Peace Initiative, by persuading six heads of government to form a working group that would act as a “neutral third party” to intervene between the superpowers. These leaders were Raul Alfonsin of Argentina, Indira Gandhi of India, Miguel de la Madrid of Mexico, Julius K. Nyerere of Tanzania, Olof Palme of Sweden, and Andreas Papandreou of Greece.89 These six leaders asked the superpowers to stop the testing, production and deployment of nuclear weapns. They held three summits among themselves in Delhi, Mexico, and Stockholm and issued statements after each one.

A second activity of PGA involved the effort to develop a system for monitoring nuclear tests. With the Natural Resources Defence Council and a number of scientists in both superpowers, PGA was helpful in establishing a seismic monitoring project that allowed scientists to detect tests at a distance. This project also will be described more fully later.

Third was the Amendment Conference project. Aaron Tovish, the Executive Director of PGA, discovered that any one-third of the countries that had signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty could demand that a new conference be held for the purpose of converting the treaty to a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Tovish consulted a number of prominent diplomats and set to work lobbying at the U.N. for support to convene such a meeting. It took five years, and one inconclusive session of the Amendment Conference was held — but unfortunately during the first day of the Gulf War, when delegates were distracted from the work at hand.90 It is unlikely that the Amendment Conference will reconvene in the future, for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is expected to be forthcoming through the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

Women for Mutual Security (MFS — originally Women for a Meaningful Summit) was originally organized in 19__ by Margarita Papandreou, the American-born woman who was then the wife of the Prime Minister of Greece, Andreas Papandreou. The original name of the group reveals the plot: The organization consists of women who wished to encourage a significant dialogue between the Soviet Union and the United States. Several of the women would go to each summit and lobby the policy-making staff that accompanied the summiteers. At other times they went to other high-level gatherings, whenever possible, to give their input to the process. For example, they managed to set up separate meetings with both the NATO foreign ministers and those of the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Their reception by the two groups was not alike.

“Of course, only a few women at a time can travel to visit diplomats together,” explained Margarita Papandreou, “but the network is huge — 300 or more organizations. All of the women’s organizations in Eastern Europe belong to it. The Czechoslovakian Women’s Union, for example, has 3.5 million members. When we plan to meet with the NATO ministers in Brussels we ask them to send a representative.”91


Every Eastern European society had two peace movements: an official one and an independent one that the state considered illegitimate and threatening to its authority. Evidently this anxiety was well-founded. By 1989, the independent peace groups would be leading the way in sweeping away the legacy of totalitarian rule. How did they do it? And where did they come from?

The answer — or at least a clue — comes from examining what these societies all had in common. In country after country, the democratic movement had been preceded by a movement claiming the right to conscientious objection — the right to refuse military conscription on the basis of conscience. Poland had been the first of these countries to support conscientious objectors.92


In an attempt to put down the dramatic movement called Solidarity, the Communist government had declared martial law in 1981. Superficially, that repression was successful. The leaders of the movement went to jail and the streets became quiet again.

But people still gathered in churches to talk and form new groups. Solidarity had not identified itself as a peace movement, but its leaders had used peaceful, nonviolent methods. One of the new organizations, which formed in 1985, did include the word in its name: Freedom and Peace ( or WiP, to use its Polish acronym, which stands for Wolnosc i Pokoj). Its members did not think of themselves as pacifists, but rather as nonviolent resisters. An early event that pulled them together as a group came when they tried to honor a German soldier who had refused to shoot Poles during World War II and had himself, therefore, been killed. A small group of young people had quietly walked to the spot where the soldier had died, intending to place a flower there, but they were forbidden to do so.93

Experiences such as this inspire resoluteness. Soon afterward a young Pole, Marek Adamkiewicz, refused to take a military oath pledging brotherly cooperation with the Soviet Union. He was given a jail sentence of 30 months. In March 1985, students staged a hunger strike on his behalf and collected more than 1,000 signatures on a petition. The strikers conducted a seminar on human rights.94 This was the origin of WiP, which recognized from the outset that human rights struggles and peace struggles are identical.

Solidarity leaders were also addressing peace issues at about the same time, but their concern was international peace. Jacek Kuron proposed in April that Central Europe become neutral and demilitarized, and that all foreign troops and nuclear missiles withdraw, so that the two blocs would be 1000 km apart. (Little did he imagine that the plans of the new General Secretary of the CPSU might be even more utopian than this!)

A Canadian writer, Myrna Kostash, visited some Freedom and Peaceniks, who, she reports,

smuggled a very primitive printing press into the shipyards at Gdansk during the strikes of May that year and printed up newsletters in their inimitable anarcho-gonzo style, linking up the workers’ strike with workers’ traditional pacifism and calling on the militia to throw down their weapons and join WiP — a variation on the image of the American peaceniks plugging up the rifles of the National Guard with flowers.

The women students of the philology department of Gdansk University make a passive boycott of military training on campus: they refuse to take notes, answer questions or participate in drill. Naturally WiP supports them.95

The protesters developed an ethic of openness. As a matter of principle, they acted in public just as they asserted citizens had a right to act. WiP activists always announced their plans in advance, even writing to the police to provide all the details.96

Not only Freedom and Peace, but other groups of young Pole were committed to nonviolence. In 1986 I visited a priest in Krakow who had responsibility for several hundred parishioners in their teens and early twenties belonging to a Catholic youth organization, Light and Life. On about their twentieth birthday, he said, he calls each one in for a talk and reminds them of their duty to their country; Solidarity’s defeat is but one moment in the struggle for freedom. “I was not sure that the next phase would be nonviolent,” he added, “but now I think it will be. My young people have seen how the Filipinos brought Cory Aquino to power nonviolently, and they are impressed.” He invited me that night to speak about nonviolence to a meeting of the young heads of sections of Light and Life, who seemed nationalistic but committed to peace. They sang a hymn about “Mary, Queen of Poland.”

German Democratic Republic

The East Germans had faced the C.O. issue far earlier and had won, more or less. In 1962, there had been a refusal of conscription, and the regime had given in. Instead of training for war, young men with ethical scruples might opt to become “bausoldaten.” Those special units of construction soldiers, wearing special uniforms, were conspicuous and identifiable. The program brought young men with nonviolent ideals together and kept them together a long time, while they discussed their philosophies and formed their identities. An ideal training camp for peaceniks!

Besides this peaceable construction army, there was another place of refuge from East German militarism: church. The communist regime did not interfere with activities occurring in places of worship. (This respectful custom was not observed in the other Communist states as it was in the GDR.) Churches held how-to-do-it workshops on nonviolence. Protestand ministers became the main leaders of political protests.

In 1982 a pastor who specialized in working with young people, Rainer Eppelmann, collaborated with a critical Marxist, Robert Havemann, in writing the “Berlin Appeal.” They called for the creation of a European nuclear weapon free zone, negotiations by the two German states for the removal of all nuclear weapons, the withdrawal of all foreign troops from both countries, and guarantees of future nonintervention by foreign states. Within weeks, over 2,000 persons signed this appeal, which became famous and controversial. Havemann, who had been a founder of the GDR Peace Council, was able to witness the growth of an independent peace movement during the final two years of his life.97 And seven years later, after the Berlin Wall came down, Eppelmann would become Germany’s Minister of Defence!

A month later after the launching of the Berlin Appeal, 5,000 young people gathered in a Dresden cathedral to commemorate the firebombing of the city 37 years before.98 When conservative church officials spoke, criticizing the Berlin Appeal, the audience rose, filed out, and walked to the ruins of another church, where they sang for hours with their arms linked.99

Many of the demonstrators had sewn a cloth patch onto their sleeves. It represented a statue that the Soviet Union had given the United Nations: a man beating a sword into a ploughshare.The young protesters chose this badge, with its biblical motif, as their peace symbol, which infuriated the authorities, who prohibited the badge. The young people instead sewed blank patches to their sleeves, or wore Soviet postage stamps showing the ploughshare statue. One soldier was sentenced to a 42 month jail term for owning a Solidarity badge.100

Those peaceful demonstrations in Dresden prefigure the larger demonstrations that would take place in Leipsig seven years later, when no church was large enough to hold the crowd, so people spilled out into the street. After the street in front of the church was full the crowd started to march around the city. Night after night the demonstrations grew larger until at last the Communist boss, Honecker, realizing that it was the end for his kind, resigned.


In Hungary also, an early sign of resistance was expressed as a demand for the right to conscientious objection. Contrary to the case of GDR, however, the Hungarian law did not allow for it, but provided for sentences of up to five years in jail for those who refuse military service. Members of some small sects, but no Catholics, were permitted to do unarmed military duty, since the Catholic bishop stated that conscientious objection is contrary to Catholic doctrine. (Other theologians abroad disagreed.) Hungarian Catholics’ response to this rigidity paralleled that of Latin American Catholics: they formed “base communities” — networks of families who worshipped together in their homes and supported each other in their religious and social commitments.

By 1986, according to Amnesty International, about 150 conscientious objectors were in prison, most of them Jehovah’s Witnesses, who refused to perform any type of military service.101 In 1987, Zsolt Keszthelyi, a young samizdat editor,102 became the first political (not religious) conscientious objector in Hungary and was given a lengthy prison sentence. Keszthelyi was an editor of Between the Points of the Compass. I had interviewed him and another one of the editors, Gyula Bartok, shortly before his arrest and they had described how they continued to publish their magazine, despite numerous raids and confiscations. Zsolt was probably drafted as punishment for his editing and his independent mind.103 (Bartok, the other samizdat editor, was half expecting to go to prison. He had hoped to become a political science instructor in the gymnasium, but had been kicked out of the Party for his samizdat work; still, he was optimistic, since by then Hungarian law permitted small private businesses. He was setting up a muesli factory and would continue his magazine publishing.) Zsolt’s case became a rallying point for protesters, both inside Hungary and beyond; in Poland WiP lobbied on his behalf.

Such Hungarian peace activists had to be courageous in 1986; I interviewed one girl named Olga, who had been assaulted for uttering an unconventional phrase while marching in a legal parade. These activists were also environmentalists. Many belonged to a group called the “Blues,” which resembled the Greens of Western Europe except that their objective was to keep the blue Danube blue. It was not only pollution they worried about but also the dam that was being built upstream.

On the other hand, not every peace activist in Budapest was assaulted, jailed, kicked out of university, or drafted. Many came to terms with the Party, which — far more tolerant than in other Communist countries — granted considerable freedom to independent peace groups that cooperated with the official movement, the Hungarian Peace Council. Dialogue, an independent peace group, was organized in September 1982 by university students and recent graduates, especially Ferenc Koszegi.104 The group did not last long, but it was briefly able to stage a peace march and invite E. P. Thompson to deliver a lecture. Thompson wrote that they were well informed about the surge in the West and were searching for “a third way.”105 Soon, however, the Hungarian Peace Council’s attempt to coopt Dialogue created a split within the organization. Some members, including Koszegi, formed a new splinter group, called 4-6-0, which respectively represented the length, in years, of World Wars I, II, and III. Koszegi wrote in 1988 that “nuclear warheads have never been a real issue in Hungary wound which activists could gather and mobilize people. Economic and political liberalization and ensuring conscientious objectors’ legal status are the issues which raise interest.”106

A year later, Hungary would make a move fateful for its own future and that of its other communist neighbors. When peaceful demonstrations took place, the police would refuse to crush them. By March 1989 the marchers in Hungary had increased to 80,000. The government then began dismantling the “iron curtain” — the barbed wire fence on the Austrian border. There was unrest in Bulgaria too, and the Turks there began to flee, many of them to Hungary. A stream of others came from East Germany, pouring westward through the hole Hungary had punched in the iron curtain. Throughout the autumn, one communist regime after another toppled. It was the end of the Cold War — and it was nonviolent.


The most famous independent group in Eastern Europe was a human rights movement, Czechoslovakia’s Charta ’77. It was easy to become a member; one simply signed the document. The hard part started immediately afterward, when one might go to jail and would almost certainly lose any professional job. Chartists’ children were not admitted to university. Life was hard, yet by 1986 more than 1,300 persons had signed the charter. Many members of the group were intellectuals, and they produced papers on a variety of topics, including human rights abuse, law, ecology, and religion.

Yet besides Charta ’77 there were also other independent peace groups in the country. Jazz Section, for example, was a group of musicians who were mostly arrested in 1986. They issued this message, “Peace gives music all possibilities for further development — war needs only brass military marches.”107

Young people were also restive, as I learned from my first interview with Jiri Dienstbier in 1986.

JIRI DIENSTBIER: The decay is more visible now and lots of young people have discussion groups. There was even a demonstration in December here—an anniversary of the death of John Lennon. For the first time, several hundred young people marched through the streets of Prague and police didn’t stop them. Afterwards many of the them were interrogated. They wished to form a new peace group. They even signed during this demonstration an appeal against the medium range missiles in Europe in West and East. After all this interrogation they didn’t succeed in forming this group.

Why not?

DIENSTBIER: When they get in touch with the secret police for the first time, they are not prepared for it and after the talk at police headquarters, the majority of people prefer not to get into another contact of that kind.

According to estimates, there were over 1,000 “Lennonists” in Czechoslovakia. About 600 of them had been present on the fifth anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination, chanting such slogans as “We want freedom, we want peace,” and “Do away with the army.”

Charta ’77 responded by issuing a statement demanding more space for the youth, calling for a reduction in the length of compulsory military service from 24 onths to 18 months, and the introduction of a right to conscientious objection. In June of 1987, a month after participating in a seminar hosted in Warsaw by WiP, Charta formed a working group for peace issues. Its purpose was to address “questions of peace and theri connection with human and civic rights, as well as on demands concerning the observance of civic rights in the army during compulsory service.”108

Charta 77 boldly issued an invitation to those engaged in the East-West peace dialogue to attend a major conference to be held in Prague. We have already mentioned the West German members of the East-West Dialogue group, which was behind these plans. A preparatory committee set to work, planning to found a new organization, which would later come to be called the Helsinki Citizens Assembly (HCA). Unlike END, which concentrated on peace and disarmament questions, this new organization would also include commissions working on democracy and citizenship, the environment, human rights, the economy, gender, and national minorities. The preparatory committee knew that the first meeting would almost certainly be broken up by the police (a few months before, the Prague police had broken up a much smaller gathering of theirs) so they developed a back-up plan to re-assemble in Budapest, where they would probably be able to function.

However, before the founding meeting of HCA took place in 1990, the “Velvet Revolution” took place in Czechoslovakia. The most prominent Charta ’77 activists (who had spent years in jail for their activities) were astonished to find themselves taking charge of the government, as the Communists threw up their hands and quit. The dissident playwright Vaclav Havel was the president of Czechoslovakia. Jiri Dienstbier had to ask a friend to cover his last shift as a stoker on the subway so he could go get sworn in as foreign minister of Czechoslovakia. Instead of being arrested, the participants in the founding meeting of HCA were given the city’s beautiful civic auditorium and the keynote address was delivered by President Havel. For many people, this was the peak experience of their lives, the moment of greatest euphoria.

There were only a few signs of the trouble that lay ahead. The HCA meeting was attended by several nationalistic groups, some of them dressed in ethnic costumes and waving home-made flags. In subsequent months and years, the main political issues facing Europe would no longer be seen as the INF missiles, but rather the spread of nationalism and the partition of states and empires.


The peace surge of the 1980s was created by the decision of NATO to install nuclear missiles in Europe, whence they could reach the Soviet Union in a few minutes. Protests spread around the world and politicians could not ignore them. Yet the movement did not immediately win and, despite the political organizing of peace activists, it was not party politics that brought victory or that sent the INF and SS-20s missiles away from Europe. The peace movement had its effect, but not in the way it expected.

In the West, the disarmament movement focused largely on weapons systems, not political change. Some Western groups, however, did work on the underlying question — how to put Europe back together again, how to overcome the blocs. In this they were joined by Eastern activists who had begun their activities with a focus on democracy and human rights, not on opposing nuclear weapons, not even on opposing militarism in general.

The Eastern Europeans never did become totally engaged in the fight against the INF missiles. Their peace movement had much more to do with permitting conscientious objection, and learning nonviolent ways of struggle. The convergence and harmony between Eastern and Western movements was reached only as a result of great patience and an effort to understand the other views. It was a splendid human accomplishment, and it is still worth celebrating.

For all its mobilization as a peace movement, Europe could not have liberated itself, had the Soviet Union been determined to continue its repression. Mikhail Gorbachev created an opportunity. He did not know what that opportunity would bring, and today he cannot be fully satisfied with the outcome.

But then, no one knows the outcome yet. The outcome is always tomorrow. 17,317 words**


1 General Bernard Rogers, as cited in Generals for Peace and Disarmament, A Challenge to US/NATO Strategy (New York: Universe Books, 1984), p. 4.

2 Elise Boulding, “The Early Eighties Peak of the Peace Movement,” in Sam Marullo and John Lofland, Peace Action in the Eighties (New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 1990) pp. 19-36.

3 Thomas R. Rochon, Mobilizing for Peace: The Antinuclear Movements in Western Europe (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1988), pp. 3-5.

4 Rochon, p. 6.

5 For a review of the development of these proposals, see Pam Solo, From Protest to Policy: Beyond the Freeze to Common Security (Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1988), especially chapter two. Solo’s book is unusual for its candor in describing the internal battles beteen freeze campaign organizers.

6 ABC News/Washington Post poll taken 21-25 April, 1982.

7 This is David Cortright’s summation of Pam Solo’s conclusions. See his Peace Works: The Citizen’s Role in Ending the Cold War (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1993), p. 21. Cortright had headed SANE and SANE/Freeze during the critical years of the eighties.

8 Solo, p. 152-53.

9 Solo, p. 169-70.

10 Elise Boulding, “The Early Eighties Peak of the Peace Movement,” in John Lofland and Sam Marullo, eds. Peace Action in the Eighties: Social Science Perspectives (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990) p. 35.

11 The organizers, Earl A. Molander and Roger C. Molander, contributed a paper “A Threshold Analysis of the Antincuclear War Movement,” in Lofland and Marullo, pp. 37-52

12 David S. Meyer, “Peace Movement Demobilization: The Fading of the Nuclear Freeze,” in Lofland and Marullo, p. 55.

13 Meyer, p. 57.

14 May 3, 1983, The Challenge of Peace.

15 Cortright, pp. 71-72.

16 David Meyer, A Winter of Discontent: The Nuclear Freeze and American Politics (New York: Praeger, 1990), pp. 124-27.

17 Cortright, p. 99.

18 For the history of an earlier period of the Canadian peace movement, see Thomas P. Socknat, Witness against War : Pacifism in Canada, 1900-1945 (Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1987).

19 In fact, James Stark, the head of Operation Dismantle, quit attending the conferences in 1984 after concluding “that these meetings were mostly a vehicle for keeping the non-governmental community under control by pretending that we had a consultative role to play in policy formulation. It was a real sham and a real shame.” T. James Stark,Cold War Blues: The Operation Dismantle Story (Hull, Que.: Voyageur, 1991), p. 55. I do not see the matter in the same light, having served on the consultative group for about five years in the latter half of the eighties. In any case, whether the government took our advice or not, the meetings were wonderfully useful networking opportunities for the leaders of Canadian peace organizations.

20 On his meeting with Petrovsky, see Cold War Blues, pp. 226-31.

21 See Stark, Cold War Blues , p. 239 for one instance of the many problems caused by this organization for the grassroots peace groups.

22 Past the age of retirement, Rapoport has continued to contribute his services as professor of peace studies at the University of Toronto and to publish almost one wise book every year. See his The Origins of Violence (New York: Paragon, 1989) and Peace: An Idea Whose Time Has Come (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992).

23 See his memoirs, The Making of a Peacemonger (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985) and a fascinating account of the family’s history by his son, Michael Ignatieff, A Russian Album (London: Penguin, 1987).

24 Al Rycroft, “David Parnas: Star Warrior Turned Canadian Peace Activist,” Peace Magazine April, 1987, pp 24-27.

25 Michael A. Krasner, “Decline and Persistence in the Contemporary Danish and British Peace Movements: A Comparative Political Analysis,” in Katsuya Kodama and Unto Vesa, Towards a Comparative Analysis of Peace Movements (Aldershot, Hants: Dartmouth, 1990), p. 170.

26 E. P. Thompson and Dan Smith, eds. Protest and Survive Rev. ed. (Harmondsworth, Middlesex and New York: Penguin, 1980)

27 Krasner, p. 181.

28 See Lynne Jones, “On Common Ground: The Women’s Peace Camp at Greenham Common,” in Diana E.H. Russell, ed. Exposing Nuclear Phallacies (New York: Pergamon, 1989).

29 Rochon, pp. 82-83.

30 Rochon, pp. 28-29. He provides comparative poll data for the other European countries as well.

31 Alternative Defence Commission, Defence Without the Bomb (London and New York: Taylor and Francis, 1983). Michael Randle is better known for a different kind of peace action. While in prison for civil disobedience, he became acquainted with another prisoner, a George Blake, who was serving a 42 year sentence for espionage for the Soviets. Randle concluded that Blake had been acting on the strength of moral convictions, and that he should be freed. In 1962 he and two friends helped Blake scale the prison walls and spirited him out of Britain to East Berlin and thence to Moscow. For this, Randle remodeled a van, creating a hidden compartment in which he hid Blake. In 1971 he began using the same van for quite different purposes: smuggling forbidden literature into Czechoslovakia for Jan Kavan, an exiled dissident who published Czech samizdat in England. The person to whom he delivered these publications was Jaroslav Sabata. He made many trips to Prague before an informer spoiled the game. He recounted these experiences to me in an interview in Bratislava in 1992.

32 Michael Randle get citation. (Is it Defence Without the Bomb????) _________________.

33 Rochon, p. 104.

34 Rochon, pp. 139, 141-42.

35 Rochon, p. 129.

36 Andrew Pakula, “Aftermath: An Interview with MientJan Faber,” Peace Magazine March/April 1992 p. 16.

37 Rochon, p. 89.

38 Mient Jan Faber, Laurens Hogebrink, Jan ter Laak, and Ben ter Veer, eds. Zes jaar IKV Campagne (Amersfoort: De Horstink, 1983), pp. 25-30.

39 “Foreign Troop Withdrawal Issue Controversial,” in Disarmament Campaigns section of__Peace Magazine__ Oct./Nov. 1988, p. 30.

40 Rochon, pp. 168-69.

41 Luc De Smet, “The Belgian Peace Movement Polled,” in Kodama and Vesa, p. 236.

42 De Smet, citing Time of October 31, 1983, p. 32.

43 De Smet, citing De Standaard, Mar. 8, 1982, p. 7.

44 Guido Grunewald interview, Toronto, 1991.

45 Rochon, p. 106.

46 The original objective of Action for Reconciliation was to send conscientious objectors abroad as an alternative to conscription for duty in military service. Many of them worked in places such as Israel or at Auschwitz, in construction or charity work. Andreas Zumach was one of the most active participants in this group.

47 Rochon, pp. 93, 128-29.

48 Grunewald interview.

49 Hans Sinn, “Toward an Alternative to NATO and the Warsaw Pact,” Peace Magazine, April/May 1987, pp. 32-34.

50 Herbert Ammon interview, Berlin, summer of 1990 and a subsequent interview by phone, April, 1994.

51 Ammon interview, Berlin, April 1994.

52 Egon Bahr interview by phone, Hamburg, February 1994.

53 “Spanish Peace Movements,” in Disarmament Campaigns section of Peace Magazine, Oct. 1989, pp. 27-28.

54 Rochon, p. 49, citing a Louis Harris poll published in La Vie, 18 November 1982.

55 Christian Mellon, “Peace Organizations in France Today,” in Defence and Dissent in Contemporary France, ed. Jolyon Howarth and Patricia Chilton (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984), pp. 202-110.

56 John Bacher, “How Socialist France Embraced the Bomb,” in Peace Magazine, June/July, 1986, pp. 13-14.

57 Rochon, pp. 140 and 149.

58 Bacher, “How Socialist France Embraced the Bomb,” pp. 13-14.

59 Mary-Wynne Ashford, “French Doctors and the Bomb,” in Peace Magazine, Oct./Nov. 1988, pp. 18-19.

60 Nonviolent defence should be distinguished from the type of military preparedness that is variously called “defensive defence,” “non-provocative defence” or “non-offensive defence.” These policies will be described further in chapter ___

61 Social Defence and Non-violent Revolution. Much of the information about the Scandinavian countries that I report here are from an interview with Jorgen Johansen, the president of WRI, whose forays into civic affairs are sometimes startling For example, when certain Norwegian conscientious objectors were sentenced to prison for refusing military service, Johansen and some of his friends conducted a “jail-in” action. They climbed into the jail with ropes and ladders and insisted on being imprisoned, since they were just like the prisoners who were already there. Either all should leave together, or none would leave. The police (and the television crews) arrived, and still the intruders refused to leave. Eventually the police carried them bodily out of the jail. They did not bring them to trial, because the only punishment would have been imprisonment, which would have been no punishment at all, since it is exactly what they sought.

62 Interview with Jorgen Johansen, Toronto, September 1991.

63 Katsuya Kodama, “A Comparative Study on Peace Movements in Japan, Denmark, and Finland,” in Kodama and Vesa, p. 206.

64 Katsuya Kodama, “A Comparative Study on Peace Movements in Japan, Denmark, and Finland,” in Kodama and Vesa, p. 207.

65 Interview with Frederick Heffermehl in Toronto, Sept. 1991.

66 In 1994 the CSCE would become the OSCE by changing from a “conference” to an “organization.”

67 Wim Bartels interview, aboard ship in the Gulf of Finland, summer, 1990.

68 Zdenek Cervenka and Barbara Rogers, The Nuclear Axis (New York: Times Books, 1978), p. 318. The authors cite Wehrtechnik, June 1976.

69 David P. Barash, Introduction to Peace Studies (Belmonst, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1991), p124.FIND THE TIME MAGAZINE ARTICLE.

70 Meir Amor, “A Soldier’s Limit,” Peace Magazine (Nov./Dec. 1993), pp 6-7.

71 Metta Spencer, “Nuclear Treason,” in Peace Magazine, August/Septemer 1987, pp. 9-10.

72 Jane Hunter, Israeli Foreign Affairs (Nov. 1980) p. 24.

73 Ohtori Kurino and Katsuya Kodama, “A Study on the Japanese Peace Movement,” in Kodama and Vesa, p. 122.

74 “Japan’s New Militarism,” in Peace Magazine, april/May, 1987, p. 28.

75 Glenn D. Hook, “The Anti-Nuclear Discourse in Japan: Implications for Praxis,” in Kodama and Vesa, pp. 105 and 108.

76 Kurino and Kodama, pp. 123-24.

77 Peace Magazine, October/November, 1986, p. 10.

78 Peace Magazine, October/ November 1986, p. 11.

79 Lani T. Montreal, “Women: Part of the Loot,” in Peace Magazine March/ April 1993, pp. 12-14.

80 Metta Spencer, “Rosalie Bertell on Species Death Syndrome,” Peace Magazine, May, 1985, p. 20.

81 “Interview with Rosalie Bertell,” in Diana E. H. Russell, ed. Exposing Nuclear Phallacies, (New York: Pergamon, 1989), pp 16-25.

82 Metta Spencer, “Greenpeace: The Protest in Paradise,” Peace Magazine, Nov. 1986, pp. 16-18.

83 Interview with Olafur Grimsson, Budapest, 1986, published in Peace Magazine, Dec. 1986, p. 18.

84 A Canadian film about Caldicott, If You Love This Planet, was immensely popular during the early years of the eighties. Organizations would show the film, then speakers would address some new aspects of the nuclear problem and field questions and a discussion. I probably participated in at least thirty such events.

85 Gale Warner and Michael Shuman, Citizen Diplomats: Pathfinders in Soviet-AmericanRelations — and How You Can Join Them (New York: Continuum, 1987) p. 50.

86 Warner and Shuman, p. 54.

87 The original name of the group was Parliamentarians for World Order, but the title has changed twice.

88 Olafur Grimsson interview.

89 Prime Minister Trudeau was invited in 1983 to join the group, but chose instead to attempt a peace initiative of his own.

90 For a thorough account of the Amendment Conference project, see Philip G. Schrag, Global Action: Nuclear Test Ban Diplomacy at the End of the Cold War (Boulder, Colorado: Westview, 1992).

91 Metta Spencer, “Margarita Papandreou: Feminist Summitry,” Peace Magazine, Dec. 1989, p. 16.

92 Michael Randle, __People Power: The Building of a New European Home (__London: Hawthorn, 1991).

93 Discussion of a group of Freedom and Peace activists and Metta Spencer at the home of Jacek Czaputowicz, Warsaw, 1986.

94 Helsinki Watch, From Below: Independent Peace and Environmental Movements in Eastern Europe and the USSR . Research director: Catherine Fitzpatrick (New York: Helsinki Watch, 1987) p 74.

95 Myrna Kostash, Bloodlines: A Journey into Eastern Europe (Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas and McIntyre, 1993) p. 148-49.

96 Randle, People Power, p. 168.

97 Bruce Allen, Germany East:Dissdent and Opposition (Montreal: Black Rose, 1989) p.102.

98 John Sandford, The Sword and the Ploughshare: Autonomous Peace Initiatives in East Germany (London: Merlin Press/END, 1983), p. 67.

99 John Bacher, “The Independent Peace Movements in Eastern Europe,” in Peace Magazine, Dec. 1985, pp 8-9.

100 Bacher, “Independent…” p, 9.

101 Helsinki Watch, From Below. p. 54.

102 Metta Spencer, “TwoTalks in Pugwash, Hungary,” in Peace Magazine, Dec. 1986, p. 12.

103 This opinion is also expressed by Catherine Fitzpatrick in From Below , pp. 58.

104 Miklos Haraszti, “Dialogue— Hungary’s Independent Peace Movement,” Across Frontiers, Winter-Spring, 1985.

105 E. P. Thompson, Double Exposure (London: The Merlin Press, 1985).

106 Ferenc Koszegi, “An Eastern View,” in Peace Magazine, June/July 1988, p. 30.

107 “Jazz Section Suppressed,” END Journal, No. 25, December 1986-January 1987.

108 Anna Faltus, Czechoslovak National Council of America, Charter 77 document #40, July 16, 1987.

The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, by Metta Spencer, published by Lexington Books