Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament

History of the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament

In 1986, about 1200 of us left Los Angeles to begin a nine-month march for disarmament–our destination Washington DC. PRO-Peace, a group formed by David Mixner, had planned the march, but expected 5,000 people to show. About two weeks into the march, PRO-Peace went bankrupt. Most folks went home, and the equipment was repossessed, as we fought the cold spring weather of the Mojave desert. The remaining 300-400 of us re-grouped, with lots of help, in the town of Barstow. Two weeks later we left Barstow, a new, humbler march, but a march nonetheless.

In November 15, 1986, we marched into DC, despite the predictions of our failure, almost 1200 strong again. About 15,000 people were there to greet us–many of those had helped the march or were inspired by it as we walked through their towns.

What happened between leaving LA and arriving in DC is the real story, and it is different for each of the marchers who made that journey. Books, songs, and journals all chronicle the march. Here’s the start of the list:

“The Great Peace March,” by Franklin Folsom and Connie Fledderjohann with Gerda Lawrence. Published in 1988 by Ocean Tree Books, Santa Fe New Mexico.

“Road Magic, A Journal of the Great Peace March,” by Ashley Butler Geist, 1996. Portions were originally published in 1986 by the San Diego Union. Contact Ashley at (619) 225-9454

“Feets Across America,” by Ann MacFarland, New Zealand

“Peace Like a River,” by Sue Guist

“Collective Vision,” music from the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, 1986.

Others? What’s the name of the book by Born Again Hippie?

Thirty years ago, we were walking across the Mojave Desert on Powerline Road. This summer, we will gather for friendship and celebration at Scattergood Friends School in West Branch, Iowa. For all the details, please see theĀ GPM Reunion website.