Randall Forsberg

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Randall Forsberg

1979 WILPF conference

A proud achievement for Santa cruz activiist Lucy Haessler was organizing the 1979 national WILPF Biennial Conference at UCSC. Lucy Haessler invited Linus Pauling to be the main speaker. Ava Pauling also attended. Rep. Leon Panetta was keynote speaker and Randall Forsberg, founder of the nuclear Freeze movement, was also part of the program. This successful event elevated Santa Cruz WILPF permanently into the orbit of outstanding WILPF conferences.[1][2]

Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign

Circa early 1980s, Randall Forsberg was an endorser of a US-Soviet Nuclear Weapons Freeze petition circulated by the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, National Clearinghouse, based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Nuclear Freeze originator

During the 1979 SALT II debate, Oregon's far left Republican Senator Mark Hatfield introduced an amendment that called for a “strategic weapons freeze,” which helped provide the impetus for the popular Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign and would ricochet back into Washington and prompt Hatfield and other members of Congress to act.

As tensions between Washington and Moscow mounted in 1982 and the two countries built up their nuclear arsenals even further, Hatfield and other members of Congress 'heard from their constituents", who sought a way off the escalatory ladder and were calling for a “nuclear freeze” with the Soviet Union on the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear warheads and delivery systems.

“We heard from people at every stop who knew about the nuclear freeze proposal and wanted us to support it. ‘Why not?’ they asked. We found that question difficult to answer,” Hatfield and Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) later explained in their 1982 book Freeze! How You Can Help Prevent Nuclear War. “A new arms control initiative was needed to offer leadership in Congress and respond to the growing public concern,” they wrote.

On March 10, 1982, Hatfield and Kennedy joined House proponents of the freeze, including Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass.), to introduce a “sense of Congress” resolution based directly on a widely disseminated document, “Call to Halt the Nuclear Arms Race,” developed by Randall Forsberg, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology defense policy expert who would later join the board of directors of the Arms Control Association. With the backing of Hatfield and Kennedy, the effort gained broad-based popular and expert support, national attention, and increasing political momentum.

Following new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s announcement in July 1985 that the Soviet Union would forgo tests and that the Soviet Union would not test until and unless the United States began testing, the Reagan administration declined to reciprocate. In October 1986, a bipartisan group of 63 House and Senate members, led by Hatfield, Senator Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), Representative Les Aspin (D-Wis.), and others, sent a letter to Reagan urging him to reciprocate and call off the next scheduled test in Nevada, code-named Glencoe.

Cranston and Hatfield also introduced legislation seeking to bar the spending of money to carry out U.S. nuclear tests if the Soviet Union was not doing so. Their initiative did not succeed, but it would get another chance.[3]

New Party builder

New Party News Fall 1994 listed over 100 New Party activists - "some of the community leaders, organizers, retirees,, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP." The list included Randy Forsberg, Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies.

References

  1. FOUNDING MEMBER of WILPF: LUCY'S ENDURING LEGACY, By Ruth Hunter
  2. [ http://wilpf.got.net/PDFs/Dove_June_10.pdf Undaunted Dove, Dove History In Junes excerpted by Sandy Silver, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Santa Cruz Branch, June 2010]
  3. ACA In Memoriam: Mark O. Hatfield (1922–2011), Daryl G. Kimball