A Quaker’s Ceaseless Quest for a World Without War

September 7, 2014 ( from Street Spirit)


During a long lifetime spent working for peace and social justice, David Hartsough has shown an uncanny instinct for being in the right place at the right time. One can almost trace the modern history of nonviolent movements in America by following the trail of his acts of resistance over the past 60 years.

His life has been an unbroken series of sit-ins for civil rights, seagoing blockades of munitions ships sailing for Vietnam, land blockades of trains carrying bombs to El Salvador, arrests at the Diablo nuclear reactor and the Livermore nuclear weapons lab, Occupy movement marches, and international acts of peacemaking in Russia, Nicaragua, Kosovo, Iran and Palestine.

It all began at the very dawn of the Freedom Movement when the teenaged Hartsough met Martin Luther King and Ralph David Abernathy at a church in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 as the ministers were organizing the bus boycott at the birth of the civil rights struggle.    Read more…


Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist

Waging Peace--book by David Hartsough

Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist
Publication Date: November 1, 2014 

Authors: David Hartsough with Joyce Hollyday • Foreword by John Dear • Introduction by George Lakey • Afterword by Ken Butigan
Publisher: PM Press  —  ISBN: 978-1-62963-034-2
Paperback  —  $20.00

David Hartsough knows how to get in the way! He has used his body to block Navy ships headed for Vietnam and trains loaded with munitions on their way to El Salvador and Nicaragua. He has crossed borders to meet “the enemy” in East Berlin, Castro’s Cuba, and present-day Iran. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines.

Waging Peace
 is a testament to the difference one person can make. Hartsough’s stories inspire, educate, and encourage readers to find ways to work for a more just and peaceful world. Inspired by the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Hartsough has spent his life experimenting with the power of active nonviolence. It is the story of one man’s effort to live as though we were all brothers and sisters.

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David Hartsough Interviewed on KPFK — June 2014

Dear Friends,

Thought you might be interested in my recent radio interview on KPFK about my trip to Vietnam, the World Beyond War movement and my book, Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist.

A U D I O   P L A Y E R


From Jeju and Afghanistan, an Asia Peace Pivot

By Dr Hakim

“Don’t you touch me!” declared Mi Ryang.

South Korean police were clamping down on a villager who was resisting the construction of a Korean/U.S. naval base at her village. Mi Ryang managed to turn the police away by taking off her blouse and, clad in her bra, walking toward them with her clear warning. Hands off! Mi Ryang is fondly referred to as “Gangjeong’s daughter” by villagers who highly regard her as the feisty descendant of legendary women sea divers. Her mother and grandmother were Haenyo divers who supported their families every day by diving for shellfish.
Since 2007, every day without fail, Mi Ryang has stood up to militarists destroying her land.


Mi Ryang, in white cap on the right, challenging a construction truck driver at the naval base gate

read more…


David Hartsough on a World Beyond War



War and Peace in Korea and Vietnam — 2014 Report

A Journey of Peace by David Hartsough in 2014

I have recently returned from three weeks in Korea and Vietnam, countries which have in the past and are still suffering from the ravages of war.

Korea – North and South are caught in the tragic cold war mentality with a divided country imposed on them by the United States (and not opposed by the  Soviet Union) back in 1945 and solidified in 1948. Ten million families were separated by the division of North and South.  People in South Korea cannot phone, write or visit relatives or friends in North Korea and vice versa. One Catholic Priest from South Korea I met spent three and a half years in prison in South Korea for visiting North Korea on a peace mission. The border between North and South Korea is a battle zone where hot war could break out at any moment. The US and South Korean military regularly do full scale live fire war games invoking up to 300,000 troops simulating both defensive and offensive war including armed war planes right up to the border of North Korea. North Korea regularly makes threats of war as well. The Soviet Union is no more and it is time for the United States to ask forgiveness of the people of South and North Korea for imposing this state of war on the two countries, sign a peace agreement with North Korea to officially end the Korean war,recognize the government of North Korea and agree to negotiate all differences at the conference table, not on the battlefield.

read more…


Peace Paradigm Radio interviews Gilda Bettencourt about Nonviolence Peaceforce

Peace Paradigm Radio, October 18, 2013:


Randy Kehler: Personal Reflections on the State of the World

Talk by Randy Kehler at the Nipponzan Myohoji Peace Pagoda,  27th Anniversary Celebration, Leverett, Massachusetts, September 29, 2012 (PDF version)


Greetings, friends.  It’s wonderful, as always, to be here with all of you, and an honor to have been invited to share some thoughts with you.

The title of my talk (“Personal Reflections on the State of the World”) was meant to be general enough to give me plenty of leeway to talk about almost anything, because, frankly, when I was asked what the title would be, I hadn’t yet had much time to think about what I wanted to say.  At this point, having given it more thought, I think I would at least amend the title by adding this subtitle: “Randy’s Ongoing Meditation on Fear.”  I think you’ll see what I mean.


But let me start with the state of the world and a brief recap of what appear to me to be 5 of the most serious, most threatening, most daunting crises we face – crises that many of us here have devoted significant portions of our lives attempting to address – and few, if any, with more faithfulness, perseverance, and equanimity than the monks and nuns of Nipponzan Myohoji. 

First, the crisis of nuclear power.

This is from The Economist, of March 10, 2012 (one year after Fukushima):  “The triple meltdown at Fukushima was the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.  The damage extends far beyond a lost power station, a stricken operator (the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO), and an intense debate about the future of the nation’s nuclear power plants.  It goes beyond the trillions of yen that will be needed for a decade-long effort to decommission the reactors and remove their wrecked cores, if indeed that proves possible, and the even greater sums that may be required for decontamination (which one [Tokyo University expert] thinks could cost as much as 50 trillion yen, or $623 billion).  It reaches into the lives of the displaced, and of those further afield who know they have been exposed to the fallout from the disaster….For parallels that do justice to the disaster, the Japanese find themselves reaching back to the second world war, otherwise seldom discussed….And, of course, to Hiroshima.”

There are roughly  [400-?] operating operating nuclear power plants in the world today.  104 of them are in the U.S., most of them old and approaching, or already having exceeded, their 40-year design life.  Many of them, including the Vermont Yankee nuke, on the Conn. River 20 miles north of here and the Pilgrim nuke in Plymouth, 40 miles south of Boston, have been given permission by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate for an additional 20 years, and at 120% of the power output they were designed to produce.  23 of the U.S. reactors, including both Vermont Yankee and Pilgrim, are of almost the identical make and flawed design (courtesy of General Electric) as the nukes still melting down in Fukushima.

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January 2013 — Peaceworkers Report from the Front Lines

Palestine West Bank / Bahrain / Burma / MST / Iraq

By Nicholas Sismil, Peaceworkers Intern – PeaceWorkersUS.org

Palestine, West Bank
In recent news, Palestinian actions in the West Bank have moved more towards
constructive programme in the last month or two. Palestinians and international activists
have built a total of three protest villages thus far. Two have been destroyed but the
recent village is still standing.
The first camp was constructed on Friday, January 11th. By noon, the Palestinians
announced to the world that the village of Bab-al Shams (Gateway to the Sun) had been
established. A day later, there were approximately 250 residents, a village council, a
health clinic, a media center, a communal kitchen, and the beginnings of a library. The
majority of the residents were students, activists, and popular committee leaders.
However, residents of various locations in Palestine and even those from 1948 were
living there as well.

Click here to read the entire report in pdf format.  which will take you to:



How can you resist the age of drones?

by   | January 10, 2013

A protest outside of the arraignment of the Beale 5 on January 8, 2013. (Photo: Guarionex Delgado)

A protest outside of the arraignment of the Beale 5 on January 8, 2013. (WNV/Guarionex Delgado)

On Monday President Obama nominated his counterterrorism chief, John O. Brennan, to head the Central Intelligence Agency. Though some civil liberties groups and other critics have raised questions about Brennan’s involvement in the CIA’s practice of torture during the Bush administration, relatively less has been said about his primarily responsibility during President Obama’s first term: accelerating and institutionalizing the U.S. drones program and its  “disposition matrix”  — as the government’s sanitizing parlance puts it — which has included setting weekly drone kill lists.
Click here to read more.