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The Veterans for Peace Anti-Nuclear Protest Vessel ‘Golden Rule’ Returns to the Bay

Back in 2018, we wrote of the Golden Rule‘s plans to revisit the Marshall Islands, which were the original focus of their anti-nuclear protests. Once again the 34-foot gaff-rigged Angelman ketch has had to change plans and is now on her way back to the Bay Area with arrival planned under the Golden Gate Bridge on Memorial Day. The Veterans for Peace, who manage the vessel, just sent us the news, bringing us up to date on their recent voyage and future plans.

Golden Rule
The Golden Rule is not big but she’s had an outsized impact.
© 2021 Ann Wright

This press release from the Golden Rule:

After 28 grueling days crossing the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu, the historic anti-nuclear sailboat Golden Rule and crew will arrive in San Francisco Bay on Monday, Memorial Day.

The Golden Rule first sailed from California to Hawai’i 63 years ago, in 1958, on her way to interfere with U.S. atmospheric nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, the site of 67 U.S. nuclear bomb blasts from 1946 to 1958. Under orders from the Atomic Energy Commission, U.S. Coast Guard stopped the boat from leaving Honolulu. The arrest and jailing of the captain and 1958 crew garnered international media attention and increased opposition to nuclear testing and nuclear weapons. Atmospheric nuclear testing was stopped by the U.S., the UK and the Soviet Union in 1963 with the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty.

Veterans For Peace, who owns and manages the Golden Rule, sailed the 34-foot ketch from San Diego to Hawai’i in July 2019, with the intention of proceeding on to the Marshall Islands, the original destination of the 1958 crew. But once again, the Golden Rule’s voyage to the Marshall Islands was stymied. Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Marshall Islands remains closed to international boats.

While in Hawai’i, the Golden Rule team met with members of the Marshall Islands community who live in Hawaii and heard stories of the severe medical problems and forced relocation of residents of several islands that were blown up or severely contaminated with radiation from the U.S. nuclear tests. Twenty-three nuclear tests were conducted by the U.S. on Bikini Atoll, and 44 on or near Enewetak Atoll.

The largest nuclear weapon ever detonated by the United States, the Castle BRAVO test on March 1, 1954, yielded 15 megatons and contaminated the inhabited atolls of Rongelap, Rongerik and Utirik with deadly radioactive fallout.

During the 21 months that the Golden Rule was in Hawai’i, project manager Helen Jaccard and others spoke in over 100 events in communities in all the Hawaiian Islands, except for Ni’ihau, concerning the dangers of nuclear weapons and the growing danger of nuclear war. With its red (tanbark) sails emblazoned with a large peace sign and the logo of Veterans For Peace, the Golden Rule was a familiar sight to many in the Hawaiian islands.

“We are sailing for a nuclear-free world and a peaceful, sustainable future,” said Golden Rule’s Helen Jaccard. “What better way to bring a message of peace and sustainability than this beautiful sailboat, which puts a smile on people’s faces!”

“We have made many friends in Hawai’i, who have shown us how the Hawaiian Islands have been militarized by U.S. bases and continued bombing, causing devastating environmental damage and threatening native Hawaiian culture. This also must end,” said Helen Jaccard.

The Golden Rule crew are: Captain Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa of Hilo, Big Island, Hawai’i, Captain Malinda Anderson of Kona, Big Island, Hawai’i, Michelle Kanoelehue Marsonette of Albany, Oregon, and Nolan Anderson of Seattle, Washington.

The Golden Rule and her four crew members will have been at sea for 28 days and nights. With shifts of four hours on and four hours off, they are sleep-deprived. Upon their arrival, they are looking forward to showers, a good meal, and a long sleep. Their arrival time is projected to be between 10 am and 7 pm on Monday, Memorial Day.

The Golden Rule will remain in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout the summer, before embarking on another epic educational voyage. She will sail the “Great Loop” along the Gulf Coast, around Florida, up the East Coast, through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi River, stopping for events in dozens of communities, often in areas where U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants are located. For more information, or to arrange media interviews, please call Gerry Condon at 206-499-1220, or email him at gerrycondon@veteransforpeace.org. END.

In 2017 Latitude 38  wrote about the Golden Rule and another anti-nuclear protest sailboat, the Phoenix of Hiroshima.

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