For Immediate Use:  Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023


Golden Rule ends 11,000 mile journey for peace in Chicago

CHICAGO—An epic 21st-Century Odyssey comes to an end in Chicago this week when the Veterans for Peace ketch Golden Rule anchors in Montrose Harbor to end an 11,000 mile, 100-city journey for peace and a less-nuclear world.

“Everyone wants to rid the world of nuclear weapons.   This Project gives people hope that it can be done and provides actions we can all take to bring that vision into fruition,” says Helen Jaccard, Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Project Manager.

The Golden Rule Project dates back to the 1950s when peace activists worldwide staged protests against the proliferation and use of nuclear weapons.  The Project website states:

From 1958 to today, the Golden Rule challenges the apathy and complacency that have settled over a world teetering on the brink of nuclear destruction. Its aim was—and is—not just to protest, but to awaken the slumbering collective conscience of humanity, to kindle a flame of awareness and resistance against the devastating potential of weapons of mass destruction.”

Proving that the more things change the more they stay the same, Jaccard explains,

“We are sailing for a Nuclear-free world and a Peaceful Sustainable Future.”

Chicago is the last stop of the 11,000 mile 100-city, year-long voyage around the central and eastern US which began in Minneapolis.  The Golden Rule covered the major cities and waterways of the Eastern United States, with a short stop-over in Cuba as part of this year’s sail.

The Crew consists of Captain Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa, native Hawaiian boat builder, cultural teacher, and long-time Captain of the Golden RuleTamar Elias also from Hawaii, a volcano researcher in Hawaii (;  808-967-8086); and Hugh Tomforde from Central Tennessee,  a Quaker, sailor and long-time peace activist.

A Coalition (see list at end) of Chicago-area peace, justice, anti-war and weapons, and environmental organizations has assembled a series of events to coincide with the one week stay of the Golden Rule.  Most are open to the public.  In addition the Crew will be conducting tours and visits on the boat at dockside in Montrose Harbor (slip N-20 —  see events schedule).

One of the goals of the Tour is to strengthen and revitalize existing peace, anti-war and anti-nuclear organizations along the route, such as the Chicago Veterans for Peace:

“One of the goals of our national Veterans For Peace is to end the arms race and eliminate nuclear weapons. We welcome our brothers and sisters from The Golden Rule to Chicago in their long time efforts to make the public aware of the insanity of having nuclear weapons. We support and applaud their sacrifice and wish them well. Our local Chicago Chapter 26 is also involved in resolving gun violence and pushing back on military recruitment in the Chicago public schools,” says Ed White, Coordinator for Chicago VFP Chapter 26.

None of the organizing groups is naïve about the task before them – ending nuclear weapons and war:

“Our mission is big; our dedication is deep, caring persistence is our guiding rule,” notes Catherine Buntin, an organizer for the Chicago Area Peace Action, which is sponsoring a teach-in with the Golden Rule staff and Crew in Evanston on Thursday evening.

“The timing of the Golden Rule’s Odyssey could not be more urgent or significant,” notes Dave Kraft, director of the Chicago-based Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), an anti-nuclear, safe-energy advocacy organization.

“The war in Ukraine demonstrates the ‘Emperor’s-New-Clothes’ idiocy of continuing nuclear weapons and power in our world as it is.  On top of that, the release of the movie ‘Oppenheimer’ and the ensuing controversy has given the public a very unflattering view of government’s handling of all things nuclear, and a desire to change that.  The Golden Rule tour gives the public an alternative choice and point of view.”

While the original Odyssey chronicled the aftermath of a long, bloody, seemingly senseless war, the Golden Rule’s Odyssey is meant to strike a more hopeful note with a world seemingly “on the brink” at all times – urging people to wake up, rise up, and take action to prevent the apocalypse while there is still time, and create something more positive and lasting in its stead.

[NOTE: interviews and boat tours can be arranged by contacting GR staff and Capt. Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa at the numbers above.]





Chicago Area Peace Action (CAPA)                            Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS)

Veterans for Peace Chapter 26                                   World Beyond War


  • ANSWER: Act Now to Stop War and End Racism
  • Black Alliance for Peace
  • Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice
  • Lake Street Church Peace and Justice Committee, Evanston IL
  • Snake River Alliance, Idaho
  • West Suburban Peace Coalition