The amazing voyage of the historic Golden Rule anti-nuclear sailboat is entering into an exciting new phase. Last week the Golden Rule was successfully trucked from San Francisco Bay to the St. Croix Marina in Hudson, Wisconsin, about a 30-minute drive from Minneapolis. The Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter of Veterans For Peace had lobbied hard for the Golden Rule to begin its “Great Loop” voyage in the Twin Cities, and it has come to pass.
This week, Minneapolis VFP volunteers have been re-painting the bottom of the boat and the masts, re-attaching electronics and preparing for the masts to be re-attached. The Golden Rule is on schedule to “splash down” into the St. Croix River on Friday, before sailing to Stillwater, Minnesota for a celebration and multiple events. Then “Goldie” will sail to St. Paul, for a week of events in the Twin Cities (read the news article here).
Even before the 34-foot wooden ketch is back in the water, educational events are underway. Project manager Helen Jaccard, steering committee president Gerry Condon, and Captain Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa traveled to Duluth, Minnesota, where Duluth VFP and Grandmothers for Peace organized four days of events, including a press conference with the Mayors of Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin and a Minnesota State Senator, events at several churches, speaking to six high school classes, tabling at the Bayfront Harvest Festival, and potluck dinners.
The Golden Rule is already getting excellent publicity. Helen Jaccard was interviewed on the evening TV news in Duluth and on Twin Cities community radio. A great article, photo and schedule of events was published in the Big River magazine, which is distributed all along the Mississippi River. A reporter from the Star Tribune, the largest newspaper on Minnesota, is interviewing the crew today. An article with photos will be published in the Sunday edition. And this is just the beginning. Watch the press conference in Duluth.
Soon the Golden Rule will be sailing down the Mississippi River, then along the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida, up the East Coast, into the Great Lakes and back down several rivers to the Gulf of Mexico again. This will be a 15-month voyage with port stops and events in 100 cities and towns, bringing Veterans For Peace’s message of nuclear disarmament and peace to hundreds of thousands of people. VFP chapters and local peace and justice organizations are excited and planning many activities.
“We are inviting local activists, artists and musicians to join our events,” said Gerry Condon, one of the Golden Rule organizers. “The growing threat of nuclear war, just as with the rapidly evolving climate crisis, affects everybody. We will make connections with struggles for Indigenous sovereignty, for housing and healthcare, and against racism and police violence. In Veterans For Peace, we like to say, “Peace at Home, Peace Abroad!”
We are Sailing for a Nuclear-Free World and a Peaceful, Sustainable Future!
For more information, updates and sailing schedule, or to make a donation (always needed), please go to www.vfpgoldenrule.org
Pictured: Minneapolis VFP member Mike McDonald (one of many volunteers who are preparing the Golden Rule to "splash down"), Project Manager Helen Jaccard on the deck the Golden Rule in Hudson, Wisconsin, and Golden Rule table at Duluth Harvest Festival