This report summarizes work done in the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security’s 2020 fiscal year. Except as noted otherwise, the work was done by Joseph Gerson, CPDCS president.
- CPDCS is now fully independent, with 501c3 charitable status from the IRS and Massachusetts state authorities.
- Our data base includes 10,200 contacts in the U.S. and internationally, and the CPDCS Facebook page has 500 “friends.” We post news, analysis, and action alerts to each on a weekly basis.
- We partner with numerous U.S. and international organizations, coalitions, and networks.
- We are developing a broader, if still limited, fund raising base.
- We have a new board chair and new board members
- Board members are leading No First Use and Raytheon Working Groups
World Conference: Our major project was serving as the lead organizer for the “World Conference: Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Resist and Reverse the Climate Crisis, for Economic and Social Justice”. We shepherded a broad coalition of U.S. and international disarmament, climate, and justice organizations in planning the conference to be held in April at the Riverside Church in New York on the eve of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCom) at the U.N. We also took the lead in organizing a rally and march to the U.N. where 12 million nuclear weapons abolition petition signatures were to be presented the U.N. High Representative for Disarmament and the President of the RevCom . Our goals were to impact governmental nuclear weapons policies, build intersectional movement relationships and collaborations, and identify actions and strategies for the future. In addition to an extraordinary array of speakers, we had arranged 24 workshops & forums before the pandemic forced us to cancel the conference.
We quickly moved the conference online, with 11 speakers including Japanese A-bomb survivors and movement leaders, the U.S. Co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (Australia, ITUC has 200+ million members), Co-President of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (Uruguay), the lead indigenous and youth organizer of the New York First Friday climate strike, the Iranian co-founder of the Middle East Treaty Organization, and Joseph Gerson.
The online conference, which made links to pandemic issues, was a major success. More than 2,000 people from 37 countries participated (most from the U.S. and Japan), joined the conference. It provided analysis, vision, models for organizing and an important boost for our movements midst the pandemic. We engaged people from the Global South who could not have travelled New York.
The conference was recorded ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKUYU6xefhQ.), and it has been posted on U.S., European and Japanese web pages. The conference was featured on NHK, Japan’s leading broadcast network and by other Japanese press. Joseph Gerson’s speech about the changing world disorder was published by the online news journal Common Dreams
World Conference accomplishments include:
- Built intersectional & international coalition that will endure
- 2,000+ participants in 37 countries
- YouTube video is being widely circulated, especially in U.S., South Asia, and Japan
- Online conference provided encouragement and model for online Japanese August 75th World Conference events
- Japanese partners also wrote that the success of our intersectional model gave them confidence to integrate other issues into their nuclear disarmament organizing
- Spawned international youth network that held online conference of 300 people, with future online events planned
- Built strong relationship with U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs, which has offered future cooperation
- The coalition is now planning future activities, including preparations for the rescheduled NPT Review Conference
- Recorded two extended interviews with Noam Chomsky on the Nuclear and Climate existential threats for the Nobel Peace Prize recipient organization the International Peace Bureau (IPB) of which Joseph Gerson is Vice-President
OTHER DISARMAMENT ACTIVITIES
- Participation in Princeton-Tsinghua seminars on U.S.-Chinese nuclear weapons polices, disarmament and strategic stability possibilities
- With the NPT Review Conference now rescheduled for August, I initiated coalition planning for the RevCom now scheduled for Aug. 2021. Space has been reserved at the Judson Memorial Church in New York for July 31; the Saturday before the Review Conference begins. The initial plan is to hold a hybrid (in person & online) event which will be much more modest that were our ambitions for this past April
- Leading initial planning for NGO events on the eve of the rescheduled NPT Review Conference in August 2021
- Participation in European Nuclear Disarmament Coalition planning meetings
- Participation in Mass. Peace Action (MAPA) Nuclear Disarmament Working Group
- Organized & chaired MAPA webinar on Middle East WMD-Free Zone with Emad Kiyaei (Iran) and Sharon Dolev (Israel.)
- Chaired planning for Boston area Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemorations
- Organized MAPA Health Care Not Nuclear Warfare webinar with Bill Hartung (Center for International Policy), Elaine Scarry (Harvard & CPDCS), and Shally Gupta Barnes (Poor People’s Campaign.)
- Assisted the drafting of IPB Iran statement & recorded Iran-related interview with Noam Chomsky for IPB
- Assisted planning for Boston No War with Iran protest
- “Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” – Akahata (Japan) and Inter Press News Also published by Eurasia Review
- New START for (British) Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
- Article on Hiroshima/Nagasaki World Conference for MAPA newsletter
- “No to Disastrous War with Iran” – Common Dreams
- “Full Spectrum Dominance from White Supremacy to Hiroshima and Nagasaki” – Pressenza and the Poor People’s Campaign
- “Empire, US Military Spending, and Campaigning for a Moral Budget”, Chapter in Military Spending and Global Security: Humanitarian and Environmental Perspectives (Routledge Publisher)
- Online World Conference – April
- Ithaca College webinar on geopolitics and the pandemic – April
- Hiroshima/Nagasaki World Conference against A- & H- Bombs – August
- Keynote, Online World Conference – August
- Speaker – Australia Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration – August
- Deadly Connections power point presentation on nationwide 75th anniversary webinar – August
- Speaker, Greater Manchester (England) webinar (focus on Yamaguchi-san & Taniguchi-san) – August
- Speaker Equentro Cinquo H & N Memorial webinar (Boston) – August
- Finnish/Russian webinar on militarization of Baltic Sea Region & Common Security Alternatives – November
- Convergence Salon performance of Earl Kim’s compositions (focus on Sumiteru Taniguchi) – December
- MAPA Healthcare not Warfare webinar
- Nuclear Disarmament Breakout Session – Where Do We Go from Here Conference
- Co-founder with Prof. Michael Klare of Committee for a SANE U.S.-China Policy. The Committee’s appeal for no new cold war with China, with the signatures of nearly 100 U.S. scholars and analysts will be released in early January. Its web page will be a source of valuable resources, and the committee will host discussions and webinars
- Initiated the Asia-Pacific Working Group. Composed of Asian-American, African-American and Caucasian-Americans with expertise and deep peace movement connections. It will seek to build a peace movement foundation to press for demilitarization of U.S. Asia-Pacific policies. Month webinars will begin in January
- January 12: Introduction to the History and Dynamics of U.S. Asia-Pacific Policies on with Tobita Chow, Mark Seldon and Cora Fabros (Philippines) – Gretchen will be emcee
- February 9: Asia-Pacific Political Economic Dynamics and Their Implications with Achin Vanaik (India), Walden Bello (Philippines), and Juliet Lu (Cornell)
- Participation in Massachusetts Peace Action’s “Great Powers” working group. CPDCS took the lead in organizing its first webinar.
- Participate in U.S. national Korea Peace Network & Boston area Korea Peace Network
- “South China Sea Provocations & Meeting China Halfway” – Inter Press News
- “Our Real Security: Preventing a New Cold War with China” – Common Dreams
- There have been two major breakthroughs. Having won the International Peace Bureau’s support for Common Security advocacy, it in turn has engaged the Olaf Palme Foundation in Sweden and prompted it to decide to launch a major Common Security initiative for its 2022 40th anniversary of the seminally important 1982 Common Security report. This will include a series of 12 webinar with international figures from governments, civil society and analysts and the issuance of a new report based on the webinars. Joseph Gerson will be involved in this process
- In addition, IPB is now drafting its own independent Common Security for the Asia-Pacific region report. Joseph is involved with its writing and has recruited readers for the initial draft from across the Indo-Pacific
- Organizing Common Security workshop for IPB’s Barcelona World Conference, October 2021
- Organized IPB webinar on racism in the U.S. and the resistance following George Floyd’s murder
- Liaison between IPB and Movement for Black Lives for Sean McBride Peace Prize
- Article – Facing History and Ourselves: Full Spectrum Dominance from White Supremacy to Hiroshima & Nagasaki
- Initiated Authoritarianism Working Group within Massachusetts Peace Action. Its work included three webinars to discuss a series of readings about the history and practice of authoritarianism and three webinar which attracted people from across the U.S. and as far away as Australia and Japan. Webinar speakers included Noam Chomsky, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (ret. – Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff), Ty dePasse, Cathy Hoffman, Beth Huang, Kristina Mesnik, Mic Krenshaw, Van Gosse.
- With Emily Rubino of CPDCS and IPB. Organized an IPB webinar: The Biden White House: What it Will Mean for Peace”
- “Defending Democracy and Our Future – Biden’s Victory and the Struggles Ahead” – In Depth News
- “Nightmare of an October Surprise” – Common Dream
- First and third Authoritarianism webinar
- Mouvement de la Paix (France) webinar on the U.S. election
- Participated in planning for coalition organized conference: Where Do We Go from Here: Preparing Our Movements for the Next Four Years. Speakers included Senator Markey, Bill McKibben, Gladys Vega, Bill Fletcher, Jr., State Rep Erika Uyterhoven
- Member of the planning committee for IPB World Conference, Barcelona, October 2021
- Extended interview with KBOO radio – Portland, OR
- Three extended interviews with Radio with a View – WMBR, Cambridge, Ma
- Extended Interview – Buffalo, NY public radio
- Two extended interviews, Central Vermont Public Radio