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Waging peace
From the Isthmus archives, March 25, 1988

Credit:Brent Nicastro

George Vukelich's Listening In column turns an ear to the Rev. William Sloane Coffin, newly elected president of SANE/FREEZE, the nation's largest peace alliance. "To me, nuclear weapons today have the same symbolic force that the mace has in the House of Lords in England," Coffin says. "The mace, that ancient battle weapon, lies in front of the Lord High Chancellor, separating the two opposing parties as it has for seven or eight centuries. It symbolizes how antagonism is going to be conducted. Nobody touches the mace because it is written that if you touch it, all conversation stops! So the mace is a wonderful thing. It doesn't demand woolly-minded detente. It demands real understanding. Nuclear weapons have to be laid down like the mace.... Technologically, there's no problem. It's just a matter of political will. And the problem with most of us is that we wish for peace, but we don't will it." Coffin remained a forceful advocate for world peace and established the Faithful Security nuclear-disarmament coalition the year before his death in 2006. SANE/FREEZE changed its name to Peace Action in 1993 and continues today as a grassroots network for peace.

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