Now defunct, Project Abolition (PA) was a national grassroots campaign whose objective was to build mainstream support for American nuclear disarmament. Organized by the Global Security Institute, PA served as an umbrella for six other anti-war organizations: the Fourth Freedom Forum, Peace Action, Peace Links, Physicians for Social Responsibility, The Nation Institute, and Women’s Actions for New Directions.
From its founding in 1999 until its demise in 2001, Project Abolition was directed by Kevin Martin, who is currently the Executive Director of Peace Action and is a steering committee member of United For Peace and Justice. Martin has condemned the U.S. for having “armed one or more sides in nearly every war worldwide.”
During its brief existence, Project Abolition organized and participated in numerous press conferences and anti-nuclear rallies. At one PA-sponsored demonstration near the White House, the organization condemned the Bush administration for squandering billions of dollars on a missile defense system that “won’t go for education, health care, affordable housing or the environment.” A June 2001 Project Abolition press conference featured Members of Congress such as Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Bob Filner (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and John Tierney (D-MA), who took turns accusing President Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld of irresponsibly supporting missile defense technology that “threatens to destabilize the international system.”
One Project Abolition endeavor was its November 1999 construction of a “Wall of Denial,” a 200-foot-long replica of the Berlin Wall — adorned with pro-disarmament messages — in Washington, DC, “as a stage to expose the defeat of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, to condemn ‘new’ isolationism in the U.S. Congress, and to educate the public about the ongoing threats posed by nuclear weapons despite the end of the Cold War.” Representative Dennis Kucinich held a press conference in front of the Wall, and actor Martin Sheen starred in a 60-second TV commercial produced by Project Abolition and timed to coincide with the unveiling of the Wall.
One of Project Abolition’s most notable patrons was Alan Cranston, a four-term Senator from California and Democratic Majority Whip prior to leaving public office in 1993. After Cranston left the Senate, he worked on nuclear disarmament issues as Chairman of the Gorbachev Foundation. He thereafter founded the Global Security Institute (GSI) and served as its President; it was under his leadership that GSI established Project Abolition.
Soon after the death of Senator Cranston on December 31, 2000, Project Abolition lost its way and faded out of existence.