WCPeace Founding Statement

Following is the statement of founding chairperson Maurice Warner at a press conference on July 27, 1982, announcing the formation of World Citizens for Peace: Tri-Cities, Washington.

The growing threat to world survival posed by the continuing and even accelerating proliferation of nuclear weapons is of concern to people everywhere. Similarly, most would abhor the growing reliance on violence as the primary means of conflict resolution as reflected in U.S. crime rates and in recent international incidents in the Middle East and the South Atlantic. Though these concerns are widespread, the feeling among individual citizens that they themselves can do nothing is almost equally widespread. Some of us, however, feel that effective citizen action is not only possible but morally required. Therefore, Tri-Cities residents have recently organized a group called World Citizens for Peace: Tri-Cities, Washington, to provide a vehicle for effective citizen action.

WCP is an independent local group not aligned with any particular national organization or religious body. We welcome participation by all. As our name implies, we believe effective solutions to conflicts at all levels of society require a perspective that we are all in this together. The health and survival of any individual, community, or nation are intimately tied to the health and survival of all.

We expect World Citizens for Peace will be active on two fronts: encouraging public understanding and discussion of issues and alternatives, and mobilizing public support for elected officials, candidates, or public policies that we believe constructively deal with these issues. Though not our exclusive concern, we will focus much of our activity on stopping and reversing the buildup of nuclear weapons by this country, by the Soviet Union, by any country. We realize that this issue may be a particularly sensitive one in the Tri-Cities. Many of our friends and neighbors work or have worked at Hanford on the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. It is not our intent to confront these people in a judgemental way. We feel, however, that the threat to world survival posed by nuclear weapons is personally relevant to all and we encourage, indeed we challenge, each of us to confront this threat personally and to determine what meaning it has in the conduct of our individual lives. ...

[I]n encouraging greater public understanding of and participation in issues and in all of our activities, we will be a public force for constructive change. In the face of death we choose life.