As delegates gathered for the 2nd day of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, at the UN in New York Peace activists rallied for nuclear disarmament across the Street by the “Isaiah Wall.”

By Brendan Fay

We rallied and sang anthems for peace and against war underneath the wall with the message in 8 inch letters etched in the stone from Isaiah 2:4, ”They shall beat their swords into plowshares. And their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war any more.”

Some present had organized and joined the historic Rally for Nuclear Disarmament back in June 1982 when a million marched to Central Park.

We were the global face of “Civil Society” from many groups including Veterans For Peace, the War Resisters League, the Catholic Worker, the Granny Peace Brigade, Pax Christi NY State, Code pink, Peace Action NYS, Brooklyn For Peace and NYCAN – the New York Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

We rallied and marched to the US mission for the sake of a future of hope, for our children and grandchildren.

We have a moral responsibility to use our voice for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

We sound the alarm regarding the threat to the life of earth and the future of humanity. We were on the City sidewalks raising our voice for “life and for planet”. As long as nuclear weapons exist – the life of humanity is threatened.

The billions wasted on nuclear weapons are resources taken from global health care, from housing and hunger. Climate change is now a global threat. Our world is on fire. Millions spent on nuclear weapons are needed to prevent environmental catastrophe.

We call on the United States Government and other nations to announce concrete steps during the NPT Conference. Risk for peace. As political leaders denounce the recent rhetoric of nuclear threat we call for an urgent commitment to nuclear disarmament.

We call on all nations to sign, ratify and implement the TPNW.

There are those who say we are disturbing the peace. We are disturbing the war!

At the conference opening session the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.”

As New Yorkers we feel a profound responsibility to speak out and engage ion civil disobedience since it was here at the Manhattan Project that the atomic bomb was created.

Our rally was visited by an inspiring hero of the global of the global disarmament movement- Setsuko Thurlow who has spent her life telling the story of her experience as a 13 year old school girl in Hiroshima on the day of the atomic bombing.

77 years later – she was at the United Nations speaking with journalists and NPT conference delegates at the UN calling us to work to rid our world of nuclear weapons.

Her brief presence with us affirms the critical role of grassroots community movements who press for a world without nuclear weapons.


Brendan Fay is an organizer with NYCAN the campaign for nuclear divestment and disarmament in New York City. He was recently honored by Pax Christi New York with the 2022 Eileen Egan Peacemaker Award.