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D.5.c.ii. General Political Campaigns against Nuclear Weapons

Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Veterans For Peace, 2017

Campaign by Veterans For Peace (founded in the US in 1985) to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons for divestment from corporations manufacturing nuclear weapons, and their endorsement of the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. Their campaigns include: ‘The Golden Rule’ educational project, ‘Disarm Trident’, and ‘Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Back From the Brink: A call to prevent nuclear war, Grassroots movement aiming at preventing nuclear war., 2019

Official website of ‘Back From the Brink’, a grassroots movement that aims to involve local councils and Members of Congress in the U.S. and pressure them to change U.S. nuclear policies. Their demands are:

-       Renounce ‘first use’ option;

-       End the sole presidential authority to launch a nuclear attack;

-       Take U.S. nuclear weapons off ‘hair-trigger’ alert;

-       Cancel U.S. plan to replace its entire nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons;

-       Pursue total abolition.

See also and

Brown, Antje, The Dynamics of Frame-bridging: Exploring the Nuclear Discourse in Scotland, Scottish Affairs, Vol. 26, issue 2, 2017, pp. 194-211

Brown discusses why the devolved Scottish government has opposed both nuclear energy as a power source, and also strongly opposed the UK government's decision to renew the Trident missile (which carries nuclear warheads) for the submarine fleet based at Faslane.  Although there are several factors, such as abundant resources  available for energy, Brown argues that the Scottish government's stance can be best understood by 'considering the underlying (and deliberate) bridging of policy frames that is noticeable between environmental, pacifist and Scottish independence actors'.

Carson, Lisa, Why youth and feminist activism matters: insights from anti-nuclear campaigns in practice, Global Change, Peace & Security, Vol. 30, issue 2, 2018, pp. 261-269

By drawing on the perspective of young activists, it provides insights about the importance of feminist analysis and the vote of young people in building an anti-nuclear movement. It also proposes various strategies for engaging the young.

See also Fernando, Kris and Graham Vaughan (1992) ‘Young New Zealanders’ knowledge and concern about nuclear war’ in Interdisciplinary Peace Research, Vol. 4, issue 2, pp. 31-57. DOI: 10.1080/14781159208412752

Coburn, Jon, How anti-nuclear movements can really make a difference, The Conversation, 10/02/2017,

After giving a brief review of the anti-nuclear weapons movement that developed in the 1980s and the landmark treaties that were signed then, Coburn points to the difficulties campaigners face in the Trump era.

Coburn, Jon, How anti-nuclear movements can really make a difference, The Conversation, 10/02/2017,

Discusses the possible development of the anti-nuclear weapons movement in the US following the election of President Trump.

Hudson, Kate, CND at 60: Britain's Most Enduring Mass Movement, UK, Public Reading Rooms, 2018, pp. 240 (pb)

This book by the General Secretary of CND was published on the 60th anniversary of the launch of CND in February 1958. It covers both the major campaigns within the nuclear disarmament movement of the first three decades, including the Aldermaston marches and Greenham Common. It also charts the evolving role of CND after 1990: becoming prominent in the resistance to Britain's involvement in wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan; and more recently supporting the movement to achieve the UN Treaty to ban all nuclear weapons. CND has also continued to focus on opposing British production and deployment of nuclear weapons, and in particular the government's decision to renew the Trident missile force.

Hudson, Kate, Struggles in the current context. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in dangerous and disturbing times, Struggles in the current context. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in dangerous and disturbing times, issue 120, 2019

This article explores from a Marxist perspective the contributions the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has made over time within a context where the threats the world is facing are increasing. The article concludes by considering the challenges ahead.

Intondi, Vincent, African American Against The Bomb. Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism And The Black Freedom Movement, Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press, 2015, pp. 224

Historian Vincent Intondi describes the long but little-known history of Black Americans in the Nuclear Disarmament Movement from 1945, when some protested against the A- bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to today. He shows how those black activists who fought for nuclear disarmament connected the nuclear issue with the fight for racial equality. Intondi also shows that from early on, blacks in America saw the use of atomic bombs as a racial issue, asking why such enormous resources were being spent building nuclear arms instead of being used to improve impoverished communities.

Orgel, Micheal ; Pearson, Linda ; Johnson, Guy, I’m gonna lay down that Atom Bomb: A Scottish peace initiative focused on the power of money, Peace News, issue 2628-2629, 2019, pp. 7-6

This article describes the ‘Don’t Bank on the Bomb’ campaign to promote disinvestment in companies that have a role in producing nuclear weapons. Some of these, for example BAE Systems, have factories in Scotland and others have benefited from Scottish funding, including investment by Scottish pensions schemes.  Notes that this investment is inconsistent with opposition of many Scottish MPs and the Scottish government to renewal of Trident, and suggests campaigning tactics.

Sarkar, Jayita, An Indian Anti-Nuclear Movement?, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, 2011

Discusses briefly the potential for a significant movement either against new nuclear power plants, especially in the light of the US 2008 deal to assist India's civilian nuclear energy programme, or against India's nuclear weapons policy. Sarkar notes that a number of lively local protest movements had sprung up against the construction of new nuclear reactors.  There are also a number of groups, backed by 'prominent citizens', opposed to India's possession of nuclear weapons. But Sarkar is sceptical about the likelihood of an effective national campaign against either the energy programme, or the nuclear weapons policy, capable of influencing the government's commitment to both.

Simpson, Erika, Towards a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, Peace Review, Vol. 28, issue 3, 2016, pp. 309-317

Discusses how NATO has come under pressure over the last fifteen years from coalitions of states and nongovernmental organizations to change its nuclear weapons policy. The coalitions discussed are the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the Middle Powers Initiative and its article Article VI Forum, the New Agenda Coalition, the Non-Aligned Movement, and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

Vanaik, Achin, Building a nuclear disarmament movement in India, Pakistan and South Asia: some policy perspectives, TNI, 01/05/2006,

The author argues that there are two stages in the process of developing an effective progressive force like the nuclear disarmament movement, whether regionally in South Asia, or globally. In the first phase a movement needs to attack and undermine the popular legitimacy that all governments seek to obtain for their policies. In the second phase, it can practically develop on a very large scale and achieve a critical mass that impacts on actual policy.

Wittner, Laurence, Reviving the nuclear disarmament movement: a practical proposal, Foreign Policy in Focus, 07/12/2017,

Advocates that nuclear disarmament movements develop a strategy to rouse the public from its torpor and shift the agenda of the nuclear powers from nuclear confrontation to a nuclear weapons-free world. He recalls the example set by the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and proposes ways to implement effective strategies today. 

Wittner, Lawrence, Where is the nuclear abolition movement today?, New York, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), 2012

Examines anti-nuclear weapons activist campaigns, as well as public opinion. Wittner also explores some of the obstacles faced by disarmament activists and discusses how the efficacy of their anti-nuclear campaign might be improved.