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The Courage to Start

 My thoughts on nonviolent direct action are mainly about community building. To put myself on stack with today's subcommittee mobilizing awareness for the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons--addressing nonviolent direction in just minutes:

Most of our divisions will come from the concern of risk, but equally, whether or not a visionary message can be concretized at a specific site.
For instance, I have seen that Diane Turco pointed out from Bruce Gagnon's St. Patrick Day zoominar on War in Space, that on Cape Cod, next to the Saginaw Bridge, Space Radar PAVE PAWS, pictured 16:00 and part of poster 27:00
"an instrumental role in helping to direct missile warfare systems" he says minute 16:00,

It isn't immediately grabbing as having traction for this committee on the TPNW, but makes me feel that there is a kind of geographic responsibility as being an actor in this region to name and resist targets in this vicinity.

I point to the transformative example of Robert Aldridge who worked 16 years as an aerospace engineer for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. When he resigned because of conscientious objection to war, he was group leader responsible for design on the MK 500 MaRV (Maneuvering Re-entry Vehicle), a type of missile with multiple warheads ....he wrote in Fellowship, April 1976, "I'm beginning to understand what Daniel Berrigan called "the dark night of resistance" and what Thomas Merton meant when he wrote, "Divine light of faith is thick darkness to the soul."

--from Robert C. Aldridge's "The Courage to Start" reprinted in The Risk of the Cross, eds. J. Christopher Grannis, Arthur J. Laffin, Elin Schade. New York: The Seabury Press, 1981. p46-50.

newly republished: see here

So much work is to be done on multiple intersecting paths: planning an April TPNW/Abolition Conference, working with Back from the Brink, Mass Peace Action state bills for a Citizens Commission and Divestment,  shareholder activism, and of course there is prep to be done for an upcoming event with Beatrice Fihn, rallying legislators to take the ICAN pledge. Meanwhile, how to engage youth? The popular education subcommittee. The Entry-into-force on 22 January 2021, 160 organizations worldwide endorsed a joint inter-faith statement coordinated by the Faith Communities Concerned About Nuclear Weapons, of which the Soka Gakkai International Office for UN Affairs is a part.

"At a time when the world desperately needs fresh hope, the TPNW inspires us to continue to work to fully eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons, and to create conditions for peace, justice, and well-being."--Joint interfaith statement on the EIF of the TPNW

Their are many pressure points--CEOs of nuclear weapons profiteers. The weapons industry: Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Department of Defense, L-3 Harris, General Dynamics, Northrup Grummon, General Atomics to name a few of the industrial profiteers who tell families:
"This is why you can't have nice things" as Maj. Danny Sjursen told us yesterday

"Militarism is a kitchen table issue." 


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