Greetings Friends of Ground Zero Center,
As I sit here contemplating the seemingly endless cycle of global violence and the reactive, shortsighted reactions that continue this madness I find myself working hard to stay centered, and I am all the more grateful for the huge community of people who are working on many levels for a nonviolent world at peace with justice for all. We know that war is NOT the answer, and yet the rush to violent “solutions” and war has become the norm. Concepts like diplomacy become meaningless in such a context. We are continuously fed the false narratives that have evolved from our national mythologies, leading us like lemmings to follow in lockstep. The triple evils of Militarism, Racism and Economic Exploitation (that Dr. King warned us about) have helped build the false (and shaky) foundation of the American Empire that is leading not only our own nation, but the rest of the world along with it, toward the brink of disaster.
As we continue to pour all of our energy and capital into fighting the enemies of our own creation, the very real and existential dangers we face – principally global warming/climate change and nuclear war – continue to grow. Those who have the power to face these challenges are abrogating their responsibilities to their own nations, as well as to the rest of humanity. They are, as one infamous leader did in ancient Rome, “fiddling” while the fire burns. In the U.S. President Trump has called for a massive $54 billion military spending boost while gutting domestic programs, along with agencies and programs essential to creating alternatives to war.
Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda has said that “The real struggle of the 21st century will not be between civilizations, nor between religions. It will be between violence and nonviolence. It will be between barbarity and civilization in the truest sense of the word.” So we continue to rise up in speech and action, as civil society, speaking truth to power, calling on those with the power to find their conscience and their common humanity.
At Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, we continue to stay centered and focused on nonviolence and an end to the scourge of nuclear weapons. Join us (and those with whom we work), as you are able, as we continue in our work for a better world.
Click here to read the online April 2017 Ground Zero Newsletter. Thanks to our editor and all who contributed to this quarterly publication that keeps us all connected.
Putting Trident On Trial April 12th
The “Trident Three” trial is still scheduled for 1:30 PM on Wednesday, April 12th at the Tacoma Union Station Courthouse (1717 Pacific Avenue Tacoma). We will hold a vigil in front of the courthouse beginning at 12:00 PM, and a media conference at 12:30. Please check the GZ Events Calendar for more details.
Jump-Starting Earth Day on April 21st
Every day should be Earth Day, and Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and allies are organizing a big (pre) Earth Day event on Friday April 21, 2017 in Seattle. We will gather at Westlake Park at 11:00 am where prayer, drumming, singing, and a variety of speakers from different movements will engage us. From Westlake Park we will march to the Federal Building where we will continue the rally while a delegation meets with Senators Cantwell and Murray and/or their staffs to call for their leadership in the abolition of nuclear weapons. Click here for more information and to download the flyer to share with others.
GZ Mothers Day Event Update
Please plan to join us the day before Mothers Day to celebrate the original intention of Mothers Day for Peace on Saturday, May 13th. The event planners have the full day’s schedule up at the GZ Events Calendar.
The Nuns, The Priests, and The Bombs in Tacoma, April 30th
There will be a special screening of the new (and not yet released) documentary “The Nuns, The Priests, and The Bombs” on Sunday April 30th at 4pm at the Father William Bichsel SJ Hall (aka: The Bix), St. Leo Church, 710 S. 13th St., Tacoma. Filmmaker Helen Young will be present for the screening and post-screening conversation, as will some of the activists featured in the documentary. Please join us for this sneak peek of this much anticipated film.
Nuclear Insights: Survivor Stories and Action to Prevent Nuclear War on April 11th
All are invited to a special event, Nuclear Insights: Survivor Stories and Action to Prevent Nuclear War, on April 11th at University of Washington.This event will feature: Yukiyo Kawano, a third generation hibakusha (nuclear bomb survivor) and local artist; Fumi Groves, President of the local Hiroshima Club, incarcerated at a Japanese internment camp, and whose family members died in Hiroshima; Jim Thomas, a life-long peace activist who has traveled to Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and interviews from Hiroshima survivors. Yukiyo Kawano’s life-size soft sculpture of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Little Boy, will also be on display. Sponsored by the University of Washington Global Zero Chapter, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, From Hiroshima to Hope, and Earthcare not Warfare.
Where: The University of Washington, The HUB, Room 145
When: Tuesday, April 11th, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Contact: (206) 462-9238 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Food will be provided at the event.
RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/4qnfOWQcDZDAqpct2
Here’s the link to the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/273506446437182/
Tax Day Action in Seattle (April 18th)
Join Veterans For Peace (Seattle Chapter 92) on its annual Tax Day Action on April 18th from 11:30 to 1:30 PM at the Federal Building, 915 2nd Ave, Seattle to raise awareness of how our Government spends our tax dollars and the outrageous amount that goes to the military. This action is also part of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, which is a world wide effort to expose the enormous amount of money the U.S. and other nations spend on their military. Click here for the event page.
Take Action on Nuclear Weapons!
As citizens, there are many ways for us to get involved in reducing, and ultimately eliminating, the threat of nuclear war. We can start by writing to our governmental officials. Click here to take action on any of the more than two dozen current action alerts from many organizations. We also invite you to make personal contact with your members of Congress and/or their staffers. Right now is the perfect time to call your members of Congress as they are coming home for the Spring recess through April 23rd. Click here to find the contact information for The White House, and your members of Congress.
The first round of negotiations toward a treaty banning nuclear weapons is over and, to quote Ray Acheson of Reaching Critical Will, it was “transformative… not just in terms of banning nuclear weapons, but in terms of international relations and the United Nations more broadly. More than 130 states came together in the absence of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, also known as the “P5”. Even with the opposition of the P5, those present came together in a cooperative spirit, collaborating with civil society to build the elements that can lead to a successful outcome. The President of the conference will prepare a draft text for the treaty before the resumption of negotiations at the UN starting June 15th. This is a most ambitious and important effort, and it is an example of people coming together in our common humanity to build the world envisioned in the founding of the United Nations.
Dr. King reminded us that we have a “choice… nonviolent coexistence or violent coannihilation.” He also urged us to move to action. Above all he reminded us that those in positions of great power must have: compassion to anchor that power, morality to balance their might, and sight to guide their strength. May we continue to work together, as did those at the UN negotiations, toward the goals we seek and to speak truth to power with unified voice, and may the spirit of nonviolence and peace prevail.
For all of us at Ground Zero Center,