Sad news – dedicated local peace activist Lynne Greenwald, a Tacoma native whose anti-nuclear work with Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action has included federal prison time for Plowshares direct action, has passed away after a battle with cancer. Lynne was one of the most courageous – and cheerful – folks in the local peace movement. Along with Mike Yarrow’s passing a few weeks ago, it’s been a sad summer for local peace activism. And on this, the 69th (!) anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Lynne’s death is especially bittersweet.
This day, and the anti-nuclear movement, will always have a place in my heart and my activism. It was a visit to Hiroshima in the early ’80s – which I highly recommend to anyone who has the chance, the peace museum there and the war memorial at Okinawa are more moving than anything I’ve ever seen in Europe or the US – and a subsequent visit to Houston (where I was then living) the following year by Hiroshima survivors, that set me on the permanent path to activism. It’s largely become a forgotten issue in the 21st Century, supplanted by climate change and a host of other, seemingly more urgent planet-destroying crises, but the capacity of nearly a dozen governments to wipe out enormous numbers of people in seconds (and make the regional environment uninhabitable for generations) remains. It’s still an important issue. And the country’s largest concentration of nuclear weaponry is only 15 miles upwind from downtown Seattle, at the naval base at Bangor in Kitsap County.
GZCNVA activists will be meeting there the next few days for their annual commemoration of the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and, no doubt, to celebrate Lynne’s life and work as well. Information and a schedule of events is here,