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The U.S. Peace Council was an activist organization founded in the late 1970's.

NATO's decision to deploy a new generation of strategic nuclear warheads in Europe and U.S. President Ronald Reagan's planned military buildup program signaled the end of detente, a return to heightened Cold War tensions, and renewed fears of nuclear war.

The Peace Council held three days of organizational meetings were held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., attended by approximately 275 to 300 people from thirty-three states, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. They later were one of many groups that organized a June 1982 huge peace protest in New York City. Edward J. O'Malley, assistant FBI director of intelligence charged that KGB officers were instructed "to devote serious attention to the antiwar movement in the United States," and were infiltrating it.[1]

Nonetheless, 1982 and early 1983 saw "huge crowds demonstrating against the American missiles. 400,000 gathered in Hyde Park in London. 550,000 turned out in The Hague. A million Germans formed a human chain. NATO remained unmoved." [2] The peace and anti-nuclear demonstrations are widely regarded as contributing to a climate that ended the Cold War.

Notable members

Over the years, leading members of the U.S. Peace Council have included:

  • Barbara Lee, current member of the U.S. Congress
  • James E. Jackson (1914-2007), veteran civil rights leader.[3]
  • Alice Palmer, Illinois State Senator
  • Leslie Cagan, coordinator of anti-war coalition United for Peace and Justice.

See also


  1. ^ The KGB: Eyes of the Kremlin, Time magazine, Feb. 14, 1983.
  2. ^ Daily Emerald: Cold War and Peace, Feb. 2003
  3. ^ James E. Jackson Jr. – an Appreciation, By Jarvis Tyner and Sam Webb, Political Affairs magazine, 9-12-07.


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