1965-01-10 - Antinuclear Rally
Summary: The Friends of the Earth and the New York chapter of Women For Peace won't stand by while some nations continue to develop nuclear weapons and the superpowers test their instruments of death. The Partial Test Ban treaty didn't go far enough. Join your fellow peaceniks to hear a Nobel winning laureate talk about the importance of peace in our times, and why the Atomic Age needs to end, and a better era begin right here, right now, in our beloved city. Everyone is welcome but remember, this is a non-violent march. Bring your guitars, not your pitchforks, friends!
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
venus elmo julie mary-jane-watson nightcrawler dazzler stephanie-brown lucian 

Anti-Nuclear Rally

Take about two hundred people, give or take. Some come to watch and others to shout. Some want to be part of history and some simply are history. The core group stands together around the famous Washington Park arch, the site of many protests, rallies, concerts, and occasional scuffles in the last year. Pedestrians trickle in, and there's maybe a cop or two keeping watch from far, far back. New York City, full of contrary opinions, looks a lot like the square: packed, heaving, lots of different faces and ages.

Women for Peace and Equality! Two women hoist up a painted sign between wrapping-paper tubes, pretty in their heavy coats and sweaters, their fur coats and their jeans. Behind them come another line of ladies, many carrying similar handmade signs. Slogans radiate out across the neat column:

Peace or perish!
Bombings create more POWs!
Stop the missiles!
Set the date: no more nukes!

Another group in the park are noisily assembled, listening to a leader holding an acoustic guitar on a strap. Disorderly compared to the ladies of a certain age, these folks are young and probably university-aged. They hum along when not shouting. A few have photographs from the Vietnam War, images in grainy black and white, of a burnt seaside town and a harbour in ruins. They chant the same thing: "Don't make New York into Ha Long!"

Nightcrawler has no signage and he doesn't quite blend into a crowd although his trench-coat doesn't hurt. He's been through one War…he doesn't want to go through another. He's seen what it's done. He's heard about the casualties of the Korean War, not too long ago, and this is definitely a cause he can support. "Too many have died already!" is added to the protest shouts in his German accent. "There has been too much War!" Three-fingered hands cup around his mouth to form a natural 'megaphone'.

Elmo was nearby and has been caught by the natural momentum of the crowd. Despite a general loathing for crowds, his nose for trouble has drawn him in. Now he's checking out the scene, alert and nervy. Nightcrawler's yelling and looks catch his attention. Hey, a mutant! He tries to work his way through to him.

Mary Jane Watson is toting her homemade "NO NUKES!" sign, leading a group of fellow NYU students in a rousing chorus of "Eve of Destruction," her voice helping carry the others and give them focus.
"The eastern world, it is explodin'!
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'!
You're old enough to kill but not for votin'!
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'?"

Most nights Stephanie Brown is… well, busy is probably a reasonable way to put it. Back in Queens, or in one of the other crime-ridden neighborhoods of New York where her father's sticky and stinky fingers are stuck in his disgusting pies. Most nights. But tonight… well, she's quite sure her father would love to have the kind of funding that big defense companies achieve, but he doesn't have that kind of influence. She's joined this protest not to defy her father (for once) but because it's a cause she believes in.

The blonde girl is wrapped in a violet parka and blue jeans, heavy boots with a fur lining, thick hand-knitted wool mittens gripping a splintery old stake to which she's stapled a sign attached to a large sheet of cardstock which reads, on one side,


and on the other


She remains close to MJ, though she doesn't join in the singing. Her attentions on other things — like who might be planning to cause a ruckus that will get blamed on protesters.

You can take the girl out of the vigilante costume, but you can't take the vigilante out of the girl.

Alison is marching among those protesting the nukes, it was a devastating power that should not exist. Then again, as a psychedelic rocker, not many would take her opinion on such matter as serious or educated. Regardless, she wanted to feel good about herself, and know she gave her voice to the effort. She joins the cries of protets, carrying her own sign of "STOP THE DOOMSDAY CLOCK! STOP NUKES!"

Julie is sort of being dragged along to the park by *another* girl in a leather jacket, glancing about, "Awrright, awright, I told ya I'd hear em out, and all that." There's an element of teasing to all that. Some banter ensues, between them, "Can't have a problem with not-atom-bombing-people, can I?" The two mingle among the crowds, apparently toward some promised speaker.

Venus, for her part, joining the first part of the march having the created a sign of her own: MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR! and on the other side KISSES AND LOVE, NOT NUKES AND DESTRUCTION! She's dressed in a long army style overcoat, that looks a bit big for her but quite warm, with a multi-colored scarf and a bright blue cap that rests over her long red hair, which falls loose over the collar. She is enthusastically joining the singing…and for some reason, those who can hear her are…well, energized, but also more peaceable that might be expected. There's a strong sense of comraderie…and not the Communist kind, but a sense of being brought together that her soaring voice seems to bring to those in earshot.

A short gentleman in a suit, bald pate fringed in greying hair, hardly counts as a celebrity. His broad, happy smile gives the elderly fellow in his sixties something of an animated air. In a knot of older women and enthusiastic students, Linus Pauling — double Nobel laureate — gestures.

He stands on a lectern, their keynote speaker. "The time has come when we have to rid the world of the great immorality of war, and I believe we are going to do it. We've had war in the world ever since the dawn of civilisation." Applause booms up there. "Men have always have been out killing one another. They bashed one another with clubs, they stabbed one another with swords, they shot one another with bows or pistols and rifles. War was horrible in the old days, full of savagery and cruelty. And then of course, man became enlightened and more of advanced. Men still went out and killed soldiers on the opposing side. Until now, we've come back into savagery again. The ultimate immorality came when the bomb exploded over Hiroshima."

The chanting there is bright and silvery from many a voice: "No war! No nukes! Two-four-six-eight, end the nukes, end the hate!"

Nightcrawler glances around at those gathering and chanting and singing…and then his attention goes to the speaker. His hands go back into the pockets of his trenchcoat and he listens, brows drawing down at the mention of the 'ultimate savagery' of the Atom Bomb. As others start to chant, he calls back, "You do not consider the Camps und slaughter of millions of innocent people also the 'ultimate immorality'?" It was all part and parcel of the same thing as far as he is concerned. Maybe his shouts will be drowned out by the others, maybe it will be heard. He might not be expecting any sort of answer, but bringing awareness to the additional murders committed.

Elmo's lip curls at the speaker's words. 'Just now' the world's savage? Hiroshima is the 'ultimate' immorality? "I know you ain't Jewish, pal," he mutters to himself as he weaves through the crowd. Nightcrawler echoes his exact thoughts as he draws close to him. "Yeah, that!"

A sign waves and dips. Near the front, one of the Women for Peace breathes out a soft hissing 'shh!' through her teeth. She is somewhat older, in her fifties, definitely old enough to have boys overseas serving. "Pipe down some and let us listen. Everyone gets a turn."

Mary Jane Watson quiets a bit, and lets the man speak, not interrupting him as the song fades, her own portion of the crowd listening intently. She grins over at Stephanie, glad that her friend is here, and looks around the crowd curiously herself, though for far less practical reasons than Steph.

Stephanie's got her own issues with the things that Pauling is saying, admittedly, but certainly there's something to it. The Holocaust was dreadful, the insane plan of a megalomaniac who hated a lot of people for no good reason, and killed millions.

But the bomb killed a couple hundred thousand people indiscriminately. Can Steph say that's any better? No. Both are terrible. The ends didn't justify the means.

But right now there is, so far as she knows, no new holocaust on the horizon, while the Americans and Russians amass weapons capable of destroying any city they happen to land on.

She pumps her sign up and down, shouts the slogans when appropriate, continues not to sing.

Julie is more in the piped-down camp, so far, She's also perhaps not someone protesting comes terribly-natural to, really, as much as she's spent nights recently wondering if the nukes would be flying. Cuba having been not so very long ago. So, she listens. Glances to her friend with a certain look at *that* thought.

Alison wasn't always so outspoken, and so confident as to speak out in a large crowd. But holding large stages across the United States and Europe has done a great deal of good to her confidence, and her ability to handle speaking to a crowd. Sure, this crowd here is not a large audience of her fans, and they are not here for her or to listen to her. But she'd loathe to let this focus of the protest derail, and so she calls out, "people! This isn't a top 10 horrors of history! We're not here to judge what was, we are here to prevent what's to come, please…nuclear weapons must end! We might just bring awareness to it, we can't do anything about the Holocaust…but when we could, it was our boys who brought an end to it!"

"She's right!" Venus adds to Alison's plea, then steps up close. "Nukes are horrible because of the destruction they can cause! Poisoning the land for centuries, killing everyone nearby, not just people, but plants, and animals…maiming the Earth!" She spins her sign absently. "Let people be heard…but remember, that's what we're here…to bring a bit more love back into the world that's in danger of being lost!"

Dr. Pauling doesn't even refer to his notes, if he has any. He gives pause for those voices rising and falling, cheering. "Almost everyone died in the city in the most awful of ways. The original cruelty where women, children, elderly, and infants were killed. Many nations were bombed, killed indiscriminately. That was only a little atomic bomb. Today, our standard atomic bombs are a thousand times more powerful. The bombs piled up by the thousands in the arsenals of the nuclear powers. One of these bombs has seven times the amount of explosives used in all the Second World War. It has the power to destroy any city. London, Berlin, New York."

He nods to the crowd, holding out his hands. "We have to decide now, today, whether we are going to continue along the path of militarism and increasing stockpiles of our bombs to wipe the human race out. We had Congress raise military spending only four days ago by a level of about $1,000 per American family, just for making more weapons and supporting more wars, rather than funding libraries and schools or better roads and more homes. When are all of us going to unite, and join with other nations, to seek peace rather than indiscriminate killing? To follow the moral and ethical principles that are accepted by ordinary people all over the world? If we join together to rid the world of war, we will succeed. We can succeed. There's many ways for actions for peace. We can do something and this brings two great effects. You have the knowledge you are taking a great action that will affect the future of the world. You encourage others to join the struggles for peace. Don't just lie down! Now is the time to stand up against nuclear war and these terrible weapons, for yourself, your children, your neighbours. Let's take action to make things better for all - by talking, marching, protests against Roxxon and Polaris, bombard the president and secretary of statewith letters to return to diplomacy and peace. If we try, we do our duty to those lost in the past and to the hopeful future. Let's assure non-violent resolutions prevail. The sort that mean no poisoned rivers or wastelands, no deaths where weapons are pointed at one another and people suffer."

Nightcrawler looks over as someone else agrees with him and gives Elmo a nod of greeting and of agreement. The calls back to his cause him to take a slow, deep breath in and let it out just as slowly. "If this will unite people…so that they will fight this threat instead of each other, then maybe it will work," it's said so only those nearby could hear. Maybe it's said only to Elmo. "But there is so much hate…we have seen it even here. Even now." Can that be put aside to fight against this threat?"

Elmo mumbles, "Yes, ma'am," in response to the older lady. It's a reflex. He looks at Nightcrawler, unable to help kinda staring at his unusual features, but tries to talk to him like normal. Because they are both super normal. "They dunno how it started," he says. "They dunno Jews lived in ghettos /just like/ Mutant Town. It's starting /now/."

Mary Jane Watson waves her sign in response to Dr. Pauling, and cheers his call for non-violent protest. Still, she keeps a wary eye out since… well, this is the sort of thing that would draw all sorts of negative attention. Since she's been let in on Peter's secret, she's tried to be more aware of those things.

Stephanie stands close enough to Nightcrawler and Elmo to hear their conversation — mostly because this is the sort of thing she's paying attention to. Her sign has turned around to display the "Schools, not missiles" side, but she leans away from MJ, over toward the men — at least one of whom is a mutant — and says, voice pitched low, "Nobody is arguing that the Holocaust wasn't bad, guys, or that there isn't a current danger to other people. But this is an anti-nuclear rally, and maybe you want to listen to the Nobel Peace Prize winner we all came to hear, okay? Nukes are a big deal, too."

As some of the people start to get a bit riled up as if the Holocaust is being downplayed, threatening to make this protest implode on itself, while leaving Dr. Pauling's sentiment largely unheeded, Alison decides she must try her best in the least obstructive ways she has. She tried talking, and while some may have agreed with her, it's clear most didn't care for what she had to say. To that end, she instead uses the tremendous charge she's gotten from all the loud chants and singing, and starts to release a subtle calming light over the crowd, it may not be discernable without looking for it specifically, but unless one is immune to mental affects, or blind, people will start to feel themselves calming down.

Julie murmurs to herself, a bit, at the last thing the doctor says, "Well, let's see how this Brheshnev guy feels about all that, I guess," and gets nudged a bit by her friend… tries to lighten the mood as she usually does, there, and smirks, "Hey, you know me, all about the love, though." She's…not joining in any of the little debates, but does spot Dazzler over there, and Kurt. She does frown a bit at certain intractable-seeming problems, though, and gives a wink. Squeezes the girl's hand. "Maybe I'll take all the things apart someday, how bout," she says.

Venus has stopped singing for the speaker to be heard, but feels the odd calming sensation as she looks around, looking curious more than upset. Then again, she's already totally chill to begin with. She does wander up a bit closer to the speaker, ending up near the small gropu forming, glancing over at Stephanie with a faint smile before she focuses on what's being said, though her eyes are roving around now for signs of who might be causing the odd effect.

Dr. Pauling takes off his glasses and rubs a smudge out of them. He's said his piece and the gregarious nature is there. But hey, it's winter, he's sixty, a break is a welcome thing. See, calm as a cucumber. He waves to the crowd and steps down, forfeiting the little speaker. Hard for him probably to hear the chatter below among the other watchers and protesters. A void the crowd waits on for a good thirty seconds or so before filling, signs in the air and the simple sing-song beginning again. "No nukes, no war, so what good's all the fighting for? Let's give peace a chance and be friends of the earth."

Thank the Friends of the Earth, mostly long-haired and long-coated, and cheerfully enthusiastic about their lyrics in a low-key way. They haven't ever met a slogan or song they don't like. Given the time, the address has been made and it's up to anyone else who wants the forum to have it. Sing, shout, have a debate.

Off to the side, another bystander shouts, "Hey, what 'bout the Soviets? We need some kinda defense. Nice words aren't gonna cut it! What can we do, huh?"

"My brother's in the Navy. Is he gonna be out of a job?" mutters another. "I really don't want him making hamburgers. He burns them every time."

"The preservation und value of -all- life is the big deal." Kurt offers, "Und if that means being rid of these weapons, then I am for it." But, polite as he tries to be, and in response to the requests to be quiet, he falls silent.

Mary Jane pauses, then goes up to the podium as she hears some of the dissent in the crowd, "Hey, hey… there's a difference between defending ourselves and blowing up the world a hundred times over, guys! But one thing I was always taught is looking at who profits, and who's profiting from these wars? Because I can tell you who it's going to be costing, it's going to cost us, all of us, a lot more than we should have to pay for some corporate greed!" With that brief statement, she walks back down away from the podium, waving her sign and leading a No Nukes chant among her portion of the crowd.

Stephanie tilts her sign to poke the blue mutant guy gently in the arm. "You can go say your piece now," she says. "Pauling's done." Though she's taken the time to applaud the scientist herself. She approves of scientists, on the whole. Still, she sighs at the words from the crowd. Can't convince everybody at once, she supposes.

Venus smiles and adds her voice to Stephanie's. "Yes…say what's in your heart on this…" she says, a bit enthusastically. "Everyone's voice matters here, no matter who you are. If we don't say what we mean, we won't ever be able to come together in the end and just be…humans, together." she says cheerfully. "Or, well, sentients together. There might be aliens!" She rests her sign against her shoulder. "Or are you shy?"

Kurt looks to the touch of the sign on his arm before tilting his head at the girl holding said sign. He then glances over to the brief speaker and the podium before teleporting in a cloud of dark, brimstone-laced smoke and reappearing on the stand. While he's grown up performing, public-speaking wasn't his forte. Mix that with the fact that he is a very obvious mutant and the crowd is already sort of against him, he tries to keep it short.

"Death does not discriminate. It takes und it takes und it does not care who you are, what you look like, or how much money you have. We should look to peace within und among ourselves und then…there will be no reason for these weapons. Danke." He then teleports away from the podium, the smoke from his movement swiftly dissipating.

Julie nods about what Mary Jane says, "Well, she got that right, anyway." Then cheers for Kurt, anyway. "And that's what that is!" Ice broken a bit there, she says to Navy guy, "Pretty sure there'll always be a Navy, ain't like the ocean's going anywhere."

Steph suddenly feels very tired. "MJ, let's get outta here, okay?" she says. "Pauling said his thing. The blue guy said his. I think I want to go back to the dorm and sleep for a hundred years." She tucks her sign against her shoulder and, assuming MJ's ready to go, she starts trudging back toward the bus.

Mary Jane grins at Stephanie, "Sounds good to me!" She slides an arm around Steph, walking with her friend back towards campus. Safety in numbers and all that!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License