The Golden Rule Shall Sail Again!
We aim to advance VFP’s opposition to nuclear weapons and war, and to do so in a dramatic fashion. We have recovered and are restoring the original peace boat, the Golden Rule, that sailed in 1958 to stop nuclear testing in the atmosphere, and which inspired many peace makers and peace ships that followed. The restored Golden Rule will voyage once more, to show that a nuclear peace is possible, and that bravery and tenacity can overcome militarism.
In 1958, a crew of anti-nuclear weapons activists set sail from San Pedro, California, in an attempt to interpose themselves and the boat between the U.S. Government and the testing of nuclear weapons in the air and waters of the Marshall Islands. They were twice boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard, and the crew were arrested, tried, and jailed in Honolulu. But far from being defeated, their example helped to ignite a storm of world-wide public outrage against nuclear weapons that resulted in the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, and which has continued down to the present in the many organizations working to abolish weapons of mass destruction. The Golden Rule and her crew helped set in motion many environmental and peace voyagers and craft that came after including the Phoenix of Hiroshima, and later Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherds, among others.
The use of nonviolent direct action as a basic guiding principle of the Golden Rule’s crew would also influence future generations. Two of her crew would later be among the original Freedom Riders in the American south. It is in the memory of the crew, and the causes for which they sacrificed, that the Veterans For Peace have vowed that the Golden Rule shall again ride the waves of peace.