Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection. Color video. A documentary about the "Peace Walk" that took place in Chicago on April 10, 1982 to protest the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The tape features interviews with the participants and footage of the official speakers at Federal Plaza.
0:00Copy video clip URL Opens with repeated shots of nuclear missiles being detonated.
0:26Copy video clip URL Over a shot of crowds filling Federal Plaza, a voiceover and onscreen titles state: “On April 10, 1982, Chicago hosted the largest ‘peace walk’ to date. Over 20,000 people walked the two-mile course, ending with a rally in the Federal Plaza. The walk was organized by two Chicago women who ‘had never done anything like this before.'”
0:45Copy video clip URL Pearl Hirshfield, peace walk coordinator, explains how she got involved in the event. She saw that Europeans were protesting nuclear proliferation by the hundreds of thousands, and was upset that nothing similar had been done here.
1:26Copy video clip URL Shirley Lens, peace walk coordinator: “We have had a tremendous response from people who have never been interested in working against the arms race before. People are not dumb, and we seem to think that people are dumb. They’re beginning to see behind the facade of continuing the arms race…They’ve been told falsehoods for just too long. And they too are absolutely fed up.”
2:13Copy video clip URL Fr. Tracy O’ Sullivan says he has been working on projects in Chicago for 18 years, and he has never seen such an overwhelming response from people about a cause.
2:48Copy video clip URL Onstage: Folksinger leads crowd in refrains of “Time, time, time is running out. Corruption’s in the land, why don’t the people take a stand? Time is running out.”
3:24Copy video clip URL Steven Blutter, of Artists for Peace, “We all believe that through protesting we can actually make change in the attitude of the administration.” We see shots of his group decorating banners for the event.
4:13Copy video clip URL Langdon Gilkey, professor, University of Chicago. “I’m here because I think peace is very important and I want to do anything I can to help to preserve peace and to make it more stable in our world. And I think the raising of atomic weapons is very, very dangerous. And everything we can do to indicate that we don’t want that to happen is all to the good.”
4:55Copy video clip URL Carol Bogg, peace walker, expresses her conviction that God did not intend for humans to destroy the world.
5:09Copy video clip URL Onstage: Fr. John Szura, of Pax Christi, urges all those in the military to refuse to ever be a part of detonating a nuclear weapon.
5:27Copy video clip URL Henriatta Moore, of the Gray Panthers, “Our message is that there’s enough food and enough of everything, resources, in the United States to take care of our people if we didn’t spend it on these absurd bombs that are going to kill everybody anyways.”
5:42Copy video clip URL Onstage: Prince Anderson, of the Gray Panthers, urges people of all races, religions, and nationalities to stand side-by-side, raise their arms, and shout, “We have won the arms race!”
6:56Copy video clip URL Dorothy Guy, of Operation Push. “This is People Power. People always think you gotta have money to change the system… We put the people up there, the people up there in Washington.”
7:25Copy video clip URL Interviews with a series of children, who explain their reasons for being against nuclear bombs. “I just wanted to come here and tell them to stop the bombs and everything because I don’t like destroying other people’s lives.”
8:27Copy video clip URL The camera pans down a line of protesters, who shout, “Stop the arms race! Save the human race!” The organizers give instructions for marching down Michigan Avenue.
9:46Copy video clip URL Voice of Joffrey Stuart, Chicago War Resisters, describes how to achieve peace through anarchy, while images of the march continue.
10:22Copy video clip URL Voice of Karl Myer, of War Tax Resisters, “I’ve been refusing to pay war taxes for twenty-two years, and there may be 20,000 people here who believe that the Reagan military policy is crazy and dangerous and insane, and they’re out here walking against it, and yet most of them will be sending thousands of dollars this year to Washington to pay for that policy.”
10:57Copy video clip URL Shots of counterprotesters, who believe that nuclear weapons are essential to preserving peace.
11:08Copy video clip URL Shots of the crowd arriving in Federal Plaza as folksingers lead the crowd in “This Land is Your Land.”
12:45Copy video clip URL Onstage: Representative Harold Washington (to be Mayor within a year). “There are those in this country who hoped that you could not come together as you have today. And there are those in this country, including in the Congress, who think that you’re not serious about what you’re doing. I wish they could see you now, I wish they could. So our issue is fundamental. Our cause is just. Our numbers are sufficient. Our voices will be heard. We are right. We are ready. We don’t need MX missiles. We don’t need rejuvenated B-1 bombers. We don’t need old battleships with new paint. What we need are food and jobs for our people.”
13:32Copy video clip URL Onstage: Dr. Charlotte Levine, Physicians for Social Responsibility. She says that, knowing what the effects of nuclear war are on the human body, we cannot allow it to happen.
13:51Copy video clip URL Cut to brief shot of Studs Terkel wearing an “Impeach Reagan” sign. Then back to Levine. “There is no medical response to nuclear war. There isn’t anything we can do to make it better. When there’s something that doctors can’t treat, they have to help prevent it.”
14:10Copy video clip URL Onstage: Ed Sadlowski, labor leader. “The last time we marched, we marched in Washington. There was 400,000 of us talking about jobs. Now there’s less jobs. My old man told me the last time he marched down Michigan Avenue was in the hunger marches of 1932. And now there’s more hunger. That doesn’t preclude us from marching and marching and marching until they’re listening and listening and listening! And until we demand to get our just due! Keep it up!”
15:22Copy video clip URL The crowd begins to chant “Peace Now! Peace Now!”
15:32Copy video clip URL After the event. Studs Terkel, author. “I thought it was marvelous, didn’t you? There was a certain new enthusiasm, for life, really.”
15:49Copy video clip URL The narrator explains that a week after the march, national organizations began to sponsor anti-nuclear proliferation events all across the country, and the national news media began to produce specials on the topic featuring major figures. We see clips from one of these programs featuring Henry Kissinger; Herman Kahn of the Hudson Institute; and Gennadi Gerasimov, a Soviet political analyst.
18:35Copy video clip URL The tape closes with shots of nuclear bombs detonating.
18:47Copy video clip URL Credits over footage of the demonstration and chants for peace.