This post is prompted by the recent civil unrest and uprisings (collectively referred to as Euromaidan) in Kiev and other cities and regions of Ukraine, involving violent protests against and their violent suppression by the government.
Regardless of which side started first or is most at fault, violent means of resolving conflict inevitably cause suffering, shatter dreams, and take a toll in human lives – the lives of someone’s friend, spouse, brother, sister, parent and child. For someone, the price paid for effecting change is always too high.
In such times especially, it is important to remember that all human beings are related, all are brothers and sisters in some degree, and all can be looked upon and treated with compassion, whether they deserve it or not. This film is a reminder that peace among people of different nations is indeed possible.
We hope for a resolution of the situation in Ukraine as long as it is achieved through non-violent means, and serves to promote the welfare of the majority of the country’s population.
Featuring the Great Soviet / American Peace Walk 1988: A full-length documentary about the 1988 American-Soviet Peace Walk from Odessa to Kiev, Ukraine.
The Walk was organized by International Peace Walk, Inc (IPW) in collaboration with the Soviet Peace Committee and other organizations.
This documentary is produced by Bernie Rosen and edited by Andy deBruyn of Solid Color Productions. It is “dedicated to the memory of Charles Kikuchi.”
The 1988 Walk followed on the heels of the hugely successful American Soviet Walk “to end the arms race nobody wants” from Leningrad to Moscow, Russia in the summer of 1987.
Both the 1987 and the 1988 American-Soviet peace walks were directly associated with and inspired by the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament. In the Great Peace March, several hundreds of American citizens traveled 3000 miles on foot from Los Angeles, California to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness to the dangers of the nuclear arms race.
This material is intended for non-commercial, educational purposes only, in the name of peace, one step at a time.
“Come Together” is a documentary about the American Soviet Peace Walk from Leningrad to Moscow in the summer of 1987.
The aim of the Walk was to help end the Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., by “ending the arms race nobody wants.”
About 250 American and 250 Soviet citizens took part, walking over 450 kilometers from the city of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) to Russia’s capital of Moscow.
The documentary also includes footage from the first-ever joint U.S.-Soviet rock concert on July 4, 1987, which marked the culmination of the Peace Walk.
“Come Together” was jointly produced by the American and Soviet filmmakers. The film has been digitized and made available online by the International Peace Walk (IPW) Inc. and the Our Move Archive.
This material is intended for non-commercial, educational purposes only, with the goal of promoting learning, research, and activism in the area of nuclear nonproliferation, peace, and citizen diplomacy.
Co-producer, Co-director, Cameraperson: Cathy Zheutlin
Cameraperson: Edis Jurcys
Co-director: Dmitri Devyatkin
Now, the OurMove.org project needs a new scanner.*
The new scanner, which costs about $600, can handle 12 slides per pass (up from current 4) while still delivering excellent quality. This should provide sufficient boost to capacity.
Our fund-raising has so far raised $250, with about $300 more to go.
How to Donate: Click HERE for a quick and easy PayPal donation with a credit/debit card. Or mail us a check (address on same page).
Why Donate: In practical terms, because we will scan your photos and slides for less than any professional scanning business, but with equal quality. Also, because by pitching in, you support the project.
If you have slides or photos of the Great Peace March or the American-Soviet Walk that you would like to preserve before they are lost or deteriorate, a $25 or $50 donation will help to achieve this goal, while making financial sense.
Comparison: Digmypics.com is a good, reasonably priced scanning outfit. They charge 39 cents/slide, or 49 cents/slide depending on resolution (http://www.digmypics.com/pricing.aspx#standard).
With a $25 donation to OurMove.org vs. Digmypics.com, you break even at 65 slides. With a $50 donation you break even at 130 slides. Any extras will be scanned for FREE (within reasonable quantities). For example, sending us 100 slides saves you $13, and sending 200 slides saves over $50.
Win-Win-Win: If you choose to contribute to OurMove.org, it will allow us to:
(1) Carry on the digitization work.
(2) Donate the savings from digitizing additional slides back to you.
(3) Together, we can tell the story about a lesser known chapter in history, which we helped write. Win-Win-Win.
OurMove.org has two practical goals: (1) to preserve historical materials about the Cold War antinuclear, peace, and citizen diplomacy movements, and (2) to do this sustainably with low cost, high quality, and community in mind.
The project relies on volunteer work, contributions from members of the Marcher community, and donations. Donations by at least 10 individuals will help pay for a new efficient scanner, so the project’s digitization work may continue.
If you have GPM or Soviet Walks photos, please consider donating, then contact us to scan your stuff! Thank you.
* Until now we have been using an older model, which produced great quality scans but with substantial time demands (manual loading/reloading of slides). That scanner still works, but has small capacity and is not a sustainable solution over the long term. So it is not a question of whether to take the plunge and invest in something better — but when. In anticipation of additional contributions over the next few years (s), there is a window of opportunity to invest in better equipment.
Hats off to all who have donated to OurMove.org so far.
The past 18 months have been exciting:
- More than 350 photographs digitized
- Documents, essays, articles, newsletters dusted off and e-published
- An out-of-print book given another life on Google Books
- Resources collected on Wikipedia
- A documentary salvaged from Soviet archives
So it’s been a little busy…good kind of busy.
If this project is able, even if only a little, to focus and reflect some of the peace movement’s collective history back to the community, then it’s on the right track.
But if we don’t push, it won’t move. Indeed, it is comforting to dream that this is just the beginning and a sign of other great things to come.
And again, this was only possible with the help of the extended family of the participants in the peace walks, starting with the GPM (but of course, that history goes way deeper and branches out in all sorts of directions).
Here is to the next 12-18 months of productive fun!
June 8, 2012 marks the 25th Anniversary of the American Soviet Walk for Peace from Leningrad to Moscow, Russia. The Walk lasted for over one month, concluding in mid-July. In the following years, at least two other Peace Walks took place within the same program of strengthening mutual trust and understanding between the American and the Soviet citizens.
“Our Move” has existed for a quarter of a century as a slogan, for a decade as an idea for a project on the Web, and for just over a year as reality. Over the past 12 months over 350 photographs and other materials related to the Walks were contributed to the project’s online archive, by participants and other collaborators. That’s one photograph per day. None of these artifacts are at risk of being lost now. All of them are now instantly accessible on the Web, thanks to a collaborative effort.
Taken together, the collected photographs offer a glimpse back in time at a very important historical precedent: a first-ever, large scale, joint peace and nuclear nonproliferation initiative by the citizens of two opposing military superpowers, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
The specific ideological conflicts that gave rise to the nuclear arms race in the 20th century have since been superceded by other, more pressing concerns in the 21st century. However, the fundamental tension between economic growth through energy consumption on one hand, and environmentally sustainable development on the other, persists and grows with every decade.
America’s and Russia’s nuclear weapons stockpiles, although reduced from their Cold War-era historic highs, still exist, and other nuclear states have “come online” in the years since. The on-going geopolitical tensions over some nations’ nuclear weapons development programs, and the on-going risks associated with nuclear power and waste storage, suggest that historical preservation, research, and educational outreach on the topic of grass-roots anti-nuclear and anti-war movements remains as important as ever. (In other words, we’ve got work cut out for us.)
Although the current collection of materials in the Our Move Archives is an excellent start, it represents only an initial move toward the project’s broader, long-term vision and goals. The door for collaboration remains always open, and more and more foot traffic has been coming through that door. New connections are made every week, as old ties are restored and new relationships formed. There is always more to be done.
Happy 25th Anniversary to the Walk, and to everyone who still keeps on walkin’. Move with us!
The photo slideshow above is a tribute to that historic event, and a call for active involvement in present-day efforts supporting citizen diplomacy. Please take a minute (about 3 minutes, to be exact) to watch and share with friends!