Golden Rule Peace Boat Project


Skip Oliver,

Golden Rule website

Golden Rule Peace Boat Project

We aim to advance VFP's opposition to nuclear weapons and war, and to do so in a very memorable and intriguing way. We have recovered and are restoring the original peace boat, the Golden Rule, that sailed in 1958 to stop nuclear testing in the atmosphere, and which inspired many peace makers and peace ships that followed. The restored Golden Rule will voyage once more, to show that a nuclear peace is possible, and that bravery and tenacity can overcome militarism.

Background of the Golden Rule

In 1958, a crew of anti-nuclear weapons activists set sail from San Pedro, California, in an attempt to interpose themselves and the boat between the U.S. Government and the testing of nuclear weapons in the air and waters of the Marshall Islands. They were twice boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard, and the crew were arrested, tried, and jailed in Honolulu. But far from being defeated, their example helped to ignite a storm of world-wide public outrage against nuclear weapons that resulted in the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, and which has continued down to the present in the many organizations working to abolish weapons of mass destruction. The Golden Rule and her crew helped set in motion many environmental and peace voyagers and craft that came after including the Phoenix of Hiroshima, and later Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherds, among others.

The use of nonviolent direct action as a basic guiding principle of the Golden Rule’s crew would also influence future generations. Two of her crew would later be among the original Freedom Riders in the American south. It is in their memory, and the causes for which they sacrificed, that the Veterans For Peace have vowed that the Golden Rule shall again ride the waves of peace.

The re-born Golden Rule, like the original, will inspire a new generation of peace and environmental activism.

Voyaging For Peace 

Golden Rule supporters are confident that the project will strengthen VFP, and significantly expand its presence. Already in Humboldt county, California, the project has brought together religious groups, businesses, foundations, environmentalists, people from the marine trades, students, veterans and others. We intend to pursue cooperative arrangements with like-minded organizations at every opportunity. We have no formal agreements as yet, but have been in contact with IVAW, the Japan Peace Boat, AFSC, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Greenpeace (New Zealand, Germany and USA), Peace Action, the SF Peace Navy. 
All crew members will be articulate and passionate ambassadors of peace, and the mission of Veterans For Peace. They will represent us before the media, and the world. 
To give you an idea of where we go from here, what follows is a list of possible voyages that have been discussed - some much more than others. This list is not exhaustive, and not all of these voyages will come to fruition. If you see some that pique your interest, jump in and make them happen. 
This list is also in no particular order of likelihood - although the first is our immediate goal. 
1. South from Eureka in June or July for the VFP National Convention in San Diego in early August, 2015. 
2. Take troubled veterans out for a sail at every opportunity, at all ports of call. 
3. Stops along the way may include Diablo Canyon, Vandenberg AFB, Fort Bragg, the San Francisco National Maritime Historical Park, and San Pedro, CA (where the GR was first launched). These ports can also be visited after San Diego. 
4. Include radiation monitoring of Pacific waters in sailing missions. 
5. Visit the Marshall Islands and rendezvous with the Japan Peace Boat, and sail to Japan for Hiroshima Day. 
6. There is a European group that wants the Golden Rule to visit the Baltic Sea where, they say, there is a lot of peace making to be done. 
7. After several years on the West Coast, head for the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River basin, and the East.
Learn more at the VFP Golden Rule Project website -

Donate to the Golden Rule!