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History

For more than fifty years, Peace Action has organized successful campaigns to end the nuclear threat, to create a more peaceful economy, and to support nonviolent resolutions to international conflicts. Peace Action originated in two accomplished disarmament and antiwar organizations that were founded during the Cold War and which merged in 1987.

Peace Action

In 1987, SANE and the Freeze merged to form SANE/FREEZE. In 1993 the organization changed its name to Peace Action. Peace Action has become the country's largest grassroots peace and justice network. Peace Action's affiliate and chapter network organizes in local communities throughout the nation to educate the public and activate constituents in order to create more responsible U.S. policies.

Peace Action's efforts are currently focused on building a broad political base for a new U.S. foreign policy based on a commitment to disarmament and resolving international conflict peacefully while upholding international cooperation and human rights. In addition, Peace Action has led successful issue advocacy efforts in congressional districts throughout the nation as part of its Peace Voter Campaign.

Peace Action's membership of over 100,000 has achieved victories in successful campaigns to ban landmines, end nuclear weapons testing, cut funding for Star Wars and new nuclear weapons and stop arms transfers to nations that abuse human rights.

Our continued success depends on a strong movement of concerned citizen members who represent key Congressional districts throughout the Nation. Help us build this movement by becoming a member TODAY.

The Freeze

The Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, initiated by Randall Forsberg’s call to “freeze and reverse the nuclear arms race,” was born in the early 1980s. The Freeze was a grassroots-based confederation of groups spanning the country. Many original
Freeze chapters and affiliates that formed in the 1980’s still exist as leaders in the Peace Action Network today.

Freeze leaders included Randall Forsberg, Pam Solo, and Randy Kehler. Elected officials such as Rep. Patricia Schroeder and Sen. Ted Kennedy helped to lead the movement in Congress. The Freeze’s grassroots network pushed for nuclear reductions through ballot initiatives in towns and cities across the nation.

The Freeze was a prolific grassroots organization as the arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States was heating up. Two significant movements spearheaded by the FREEZE had major impacts on the 1982 election. On June 12, 1982 750.000 people took to the streets of New York City to march against the use of nuclear weapons. It was the largest public mobilization of it's time and even measured against today's standards it was quite an event.

Also in 1982 in the run up for the election the FREEZE issued a binding resolution demanding the U.S. stop nuclear testing and proliferation. The resolution was voted on in all 50 states with 30 million people voting to adopt the resolution in their state legislator.

SANE

The Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy (SANE) began in 1957. SANE's founders, inspired by Albert Schweitzer's Call too Conscience which stirred public action about the dangers of nuclear radiation, included Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins, American Friends Service Committee member Clarence Pickett, and poet Lenore Marshall, among others. The committee’s mission was to “develop public support for a boldly conceived and executed policy which will lead mankind away from war and toward peace and justice.”

SANE grew to be an effective national voice for nuclear disarmament.

Spokespeople for SANE include: Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Eleanor Roosevelt, Norman Thomas, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Bertrand Russell, Pablo Casals, Roger Baldwin, Paul Tilich, and Erich Fromm.

From the beginning, SANE linked issues of peace and justice. Supporters like Dr. Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, and Ossie Davis connected SANE with civil and human rights movements across the country. Historically, SANE also forged close alliances with labor organizations such as the International Association of Machinists. SANE led a number of successful public education projects including hard-hitting advertising campaigns that brought nuclear disarmament issues to millions of Americans. SANE’s first major accomplishment was ratification of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

SANE was also an early leader in the movement against the war in Vietnam. In 1978 SANE was at the head of a victory against MX mobile missile deployment, avoiding massive environmental damage in Utah and Nevada.