Please mark your calendars for Saturday, June 11, 4-6pm at the White House when the Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Area and several other community groups (including Gray Panthers, Prevent Nuclear War Maryland, The National Black United Front, and Maryland Peace Action) will observe the 40th anniversary of the June 12, 1982 Nuclear Disarmament March and Rally in New York City. On that day, more than a million people are estimated to have participated in what is still the largest nuclear disarmament demonstration in U.S. history. This event, along with thousands of others world-wide, is credited with leading to the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which resulted in the elimination of 2,692 nuclear missiles.
We will gather that day at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC (south of Lafayette Park) to commemorate the 1982 event in the context of the present, growing nuclear danger. The rally will feature local organizers and participants in the 1982 event, including Reverend Herbert Daughtry, Dr. Arjun Makhijani, Professor Peter Kuznick, Jasmine Owens and Dr. Gwen Dubois. In addition, younger activists will speak about the importance of nuclear disarmament in the struggle for peace, justice, and the environment. We hope to have the event Zoom-linked for online participation. (Please stay tuned for further information.) With conflicts raging in Ukraine, Yemen, and other places, the threshold to nuclear war is lower today than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. (For example, see https://www.economist.com/briefing/2022/03/19/the-risk-of-escalation-past-the-nuclear-threshold ) Please join us on June 11 to again raise our voices in saying “No” to Nuclear Weapons and the drivers of militarism, and “Yes” to a just and sustainable future.
This event is part of a virtual national event on Sunday, June 12, noon – 4:00pm organized by The June 12 Legacy Committee. You can register for the June 12 event at https://www.june12legacy.com
Forty years ago, coinciding with the UN General Assembly Second Special Session on Disarmament, a large march and rally in New York City was planned by activists from the United States and globally. The focus was to be on nuclear disarmament, but for many, the issue of nuclear weapons intersected other issues of the day, most notably, the slow pace of social uplift for the marginalized, and the diversion of government funding away from their communities.
Reverend Herbert Daughtry, Chair of the Black United Front and leader of the Third World Organizing Committee for June 12, called the Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Committee about racist efforts to block Black and other marginalized communities from full participation in the June 12 Organizing Committee. The Committee arranged for Rev. Daughtry to address several dozen DC area activists, representing a range of community organizations, about the situation in New York. Out of that meeting, the Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Committee, the Washington Peace Center, The Malcolm X Center, Gray Panthers, and others united to create the DC Area Third World and Progressive Peoples’ Coalition to organize for the June 12 Rally. As a result, the Committee organized 31 buses!
The 1982 organizing effort ultimately brought together a wide range of community groups who continued to work together over the next thirty years, most notably for the 1983 “I Have A Dream” 20th anniversary rally and the 1984 April Actions for Peace and Justice. What unites our community, then and now, is the understanding that the movement for peace and disarmament is inextricably linked to the movements for social justice, human dignity and environmental respect and restoration. We are inextricably bound to each other in our common quest for a peaceful, just and sustainable future. And the struggle must continue until the dream is made real.
United In Struggle,
John Steinbach for the DC Area June 12 Organizing Committee
Endorsement List (In Formation)
• Gray Panthers of Metro Washington
• Prevent Nuclear War Maryland
• The National Black United Front
• Maryland Peace Action
• Chesapeake PSR
• Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Committee
• All Souls Church Heiwa Peace Committee