Evidence, Commentary, and Judgment

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5.2 Mass Movements against Nuclear Weapons

Various ways of campaigning were described in evidence. Possible achievements from campaigns and solutions to this global problem of the lawlessness of nuclear states were presented. The nuclear system was compared to a doomsday machine which is out of control. Professor Pentz offered this analogy and felt the only way to prevent a disaster is by effective massive intervention of democracy: Massive Interventions of Democracy (or MID) as a way of wresting the reins of the system away from governments who seem incapable of achieving control.

In Japan for instance, there have been tribunals set up to investigate the questions which have concerned this Tribunal. There have now been over a hundred of these. They are well-organized and attract a good deal of publicity and promotion by reporters from newspapers, TV and radio.

There have also been and are still signature campaigns in Japan and other countries which take the question on to the streets and cities and hopefully make a few more people decide against the possession and use of these weapons.

Monsignor Kent condoned acting to breach minor laws to prevent the breaking of major ones in certain circumstances such as the withholding of a proportion of tax. Such actions are already taking place, (for example, at Greenham Common). Similar action has also been taken by some U.S. bishops and nuns who entered and occupied a US Airforce base. A prosecution was not however instituted. The purpose of these actions as a measure to prevent the arms race was aptly put by Monsignor Kent: "creating the conditions of the political climate for change and showing them in a quiet, non-passionate way that the policies they are adopting put them at risk as much as anybody else".

Professor Boyle, in his assessment of the Reagan administration believed that its only attempts at arms negotiations have been a direct result of the campaigning by the American and European peoples.

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