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David Hartsough


The U.S., Russia, and China Dear Friends: The United States, Russia and China are closer to nuclear war than at any time since the Cuba Missile crisis in 1962. If there is a full-scale nuclear war, billions of people will be killed immediately and whole cities destroyed and the debris in the atmosphere would lead to nuclear winter in which over seven billion people would die of starvation.

Issue: On Dignity (July 2023)

Racism & Militarism in U.S. Foreign Policy Dear Friends: I want to highly recommend a new discussion paper, “Dismantling Racism and Militarism in U.S. Foreign Policy,” recently published by the Friends Committee on National Legislation. It does an excellent job challenging the present paradigm of Racism and Militarism in the U.S., shares a possible new paradigm, and explores how we can get from here to there.

Issue: On Conflict (January 2023)

Free Films on Nonviolence Dear Friends: Great News!! Five excellent films on the power of nonviolent action and nonviolent movements are now available for free all over the world in twenty different languages. These are powerful films and will hopefully educate and inspire people to build powerful nonviolent actions and campaigns for peace, justice, and environmental sanity in their own communities and cities. Please share this message and this link widely: www.nonviolent-conflict.org/icncfilms/

Issue: On Weapons (January 2019)

Song Powers a Movement

I learned about the power of nonviolence and nonviolent action in the spring of 1960, while participating in sit-ins at lunch counters in Maryland and Virginia with African American fellow students at Howard University. Most Saturdays we would go to a People’s Drug store, sit down at a lunch counter, get arrested, and then sing freedom songs in our jail cells all weekend.

Issue: On Music (March 2018)

Stop this Insanity Dear Friends: Crimes against humanity are being committed by our government in our name and with our tax dollars: We are bombing people in seven primarily Muslim countries. We are killing tens of thousands of people in the Middle East (most of them civilians) and creating millions of refugees. We are spending one trillion dollars a year on wars and preparations for wars while cutting funds for almost everything else. We are spending one trillion dollars for modernizing our nuclear weapons and the missiles that carry them. We are threatening nuclear wars with Russia and Korea.

Issue: On Home (September 2017)

Not the Final Word Part of my dad’s job with the American Friends Service Committee was to take speakers around to various college campuses, churches, and summer institutes. As a kid, I sometimes went along and got to meet such spiritual giants as peace activist A.J. Muste and civil rights leaders Bayard Rustin and Ralph Abernathy. During spring vacation in 1956, my dad decided to take my brother Paul and me to Montgomery, where the bus boycott was four months old.

Issue: On Difference (July 2015)

Actions for Palestine Dear Friends: Britain Yearly Meeting has just published an amazing statement encouraging the recognition of Palestine as a state and an arms embargo on all sides. Can Friends in the US do something similar? We could start by supporting AFSC’s work in this area. (See: http://afsc.org/resource/gaza-under-siege.) Here are excerpts from BYM’s call to recognize Palestine:

Issue: On Family (September 2014)

Enough with Paying for War Friends: It is that time of year again when we are asked to pay our federal taxes, half of which goes for war and preparations for more wars. In the last century over 180 million people died in wars. Our country continues to spend about one trillion dollars a year of our tax dollars on wars and other military expenditures – for nuclear weapons, bomber planes, drones, over one thousand military bases around the world, and for the soldiers who do the killing for us.

Issue: On Time (March 2014)

Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping The Friends Peace Testimony challenges us to find alternatives to war and violence and create peaceful approaches to resolving conflict creatively and without harm.  For the past ten years, Friends from around the world have put these words into action by creating the Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), an international organization that places teams of civilians from all over the world into conflict zones, where they work with local groups to protect civilians and support local initiatives for peace.  NP teams are strictly non-partisan, and they form connections with all recognized stakeholders in conflict situations.  By forming these broad alliances, NP teams can broker dialogues, protect civilians, and create space for all sides to develop constructive and amicable solutions to conflicts, without resorting to violence. 

Issue: On War (January 2013)

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