Today marks the 27th anniversary of the largest protest in NYC history. Upwards of one million people gathered on the Great Lawn in Central Park to rally against nuclear weapons while the UN held a Special Session on Disarmament. Two days later 1,600 demonstrators were involved in acts of civil disobedience at the consulates of five countries.
The Nation ran an editorial two weeks later heaping significant praise on the days’ events:
It was a good refresher course in the power of civil disobedience–deliberate, nonviolent violations of valid laws through which protesters invite punishment or injury to themselves in order to call attention to matters of overriding moral urgency. As carried out by the antinuclear protesters last week, the action was lawbreaking in the spirit of fidelity to law.
Seventy-five years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the anti-nuclear movement is taking big steps toward abolition.
“Prison By Any Other Name” authors Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law caution against quick-fix solutions and spotlight grassroots abolitionist movement building.
As the 19th Amendment turns 100 amid a summer of mass protest, it’s important to remember the decisive role nonviolent direct action played in hastening its ratification.