1980’s

In 1981, we provided education materials that led to 18 towns voting to establish themselves as a Nuclear Freeze Town during their town meeting.

On June 12, 1982 nearly 2,000 Vermonters attended the No Nukes Rally in NYC at which over 1 million people attended in total. Vermont had the highest per capita in attendance. We coordinated the Burlington contingent of 6 buses, 6 vans and many car loads. We also organized US House and Senate candidates forum on peace and national security issues and educational events / speakers on nuclear issues, economic conversion and Burlington GE’s Gatling Gun production.

In 1984, the Peace & Justice Center was opened and we reopened the Peace On Earth Store to be a fundraiser for the Center. The Winooski 44 civil disobedience action took place in Senator Stafford’s office over US involvement in Central America (although this was not organized by the Burlington Peace Coalition).

1985 saw local organizing around economic conversion at the GE plant in Burlington. Civil disobedience trainings continued as well as non-violent actions at the GE Firing Range in Underhill. We organized another Central America Week with speakers and films and local organizing and demonstrations took place around apartheid in South Africa.

1986 and 1987 saw even more Central America solidarity activity, especially as more of our members traveled to various countries in that region of the world and then returned with new energy and insights and wrote articles for the Peace & Justice News.

1988 was a big year for cross cultural exchanges — with a number of communities in Central America and in the Soviet Union. The PJC welcomed the Peace Wave to Burlington — a tour of Hibakushas (atomic bomb survivors) from Japan who were calling for nuclear disarmament. A large action was staged at the Underhill Firing Range to protest the GE Gatling Gun.

In 1989, the Burlington Peace Coalition turned 10 years old and celebrated with a name change — to the Peace & Justice Coalition — and a birthday party that included a slide show / theater piece of our history and development. Bruce Cockburn gave a benefit concert for the PJC and One World Tour (a two year bicycle tour around the world by a past Center coordinator). More research was conducted on economic conversion at the GE Factory. In the Fall, we conducted a Building Ecological Security Conference which drew over 400 people for speakers, workshops and music.

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