Mothers of the Revolution

Written By: - Date published: 6:16 pm, November 20th, 2021 - 41 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, kremlinology, military, us politics, war - Tags:

Inspiring NZ in-cinema premiere of this NZ -made movie about the amazing women of Greenham Common at the Wellington Film Festival today. Their years-long protest led directly to the INF treaty, a major advance in nuclear safety. It’s well worth seeing – a timely reminder in light of today’s news about NATO moving nuclear missiles around Eastern European nations on Russia’s borders.

The trailer for the movie is here. It is distributed on-line by Universal Pictures and is available on all the usual channels.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty on 8 December 1987. One of the Greenham Common women claims in the movie that their sustained activity was the reason Gorbachev felt he could sign the treaty as he could trust them at least. Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the treaty in 2018 and this was completed in 2019.

The world is not a safer place because of this. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than it has ever been. Military escalation on the Russian border and the China coast, coupled with escalation in the condemnatory rhetoric that is the historical prelude to war, mean that the lessons and the legacy of the women of Greenham Common, most notably their willingness to speak up and take action are needed now more than ever.

Global warming is not the only civilisation-ending danger we face.


41 comments on “Mothers of the Revolution ”

  1. alwyn 1

    It isn't The Bulletin of American Scientists. It is The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

  2. Byd0nz 2

    For all the anti nuclear debates and protests over the years against nuclear weapons, anti war or whatever. Who listens, not the mad Generals in the pentagon or their British bulldog lackeys, nor the illegal Israelis with their own nuclear crap ability.

    The Americans tear up or ignore international treaties and with the paper tiger Nato pouring American weapons to surround Russia, who in turn have to upgrade their crap in counter mode. So all in all the protests show that the powers that be don’t give a shit about people who have a genuine grievance about war machines that contribute to the depletion of resources but add to global warming. The end is nigh sayers may well be correct in the dire warnings they have professed for so long.

    A world without money could solve it, but alas, that is but a dream.

  3. Ad 3

    All that was 40 years ago this year.

    The most substantial protest we face – today as we speak – is by thousands of farmers and rural people opposing water regulation.

    Seems the focus of protest has shifted somewhat.

    • francesca 3.1

      When you consider who is backing the groundswell protests and their strange , often with an American flavour , bedfellows, the notion of nuclear free NZ may very well be under threat.

      Just look at who sees fit to fund the Taxpayers Union

      A kind of regime change effected by amplifying and combining whatever nutty ant -govt sensibilities are out there.

      Just imagine a new govt, much more closely aligned to right wing US elements and we could have nuclear free ditched by lunchtime, just in time to become a de facto naval base for the US war against China

      • Ad 3.1.1

        For such an apparent internationally organised conspiracy, TV1 isn't covering it all, NZHerald and Stuff see it as minor, and none have warranted any governmental response at all.

        Latest breaking news NZ | | New Zealand

        Seriously if a government this dominant in power can't weather a few tractors up the street, they'd need the proverbial cup of concrete.

        • lprent

          Besides which they have been so incoherent as protesters that it is hard to know what in the hell they are actually protesting about.

          Which appears to be what is making groundswell become nutswell (sounds like a very bad disease) as "Farmers pull away from Groundswell protests as messaging gets tied in with anti-Government movement"

          Groundswell organisers Bryce McKenzie and Laurie Patterson anticipated it, issuing a list of “approved messages”. None of them include “Freedom”, “MAGA [Make Ardern Go Away]” or “Media Treason”; all evident in the march on Parliament last week.

          “Enough is Enough” is allowable on a list of 15 possibilities, as are “No Farmers, No Food”, and “No 3 Waters”.

          and predictably..

          But at Sunday’s Mother of All Protests, the allowable list was not stuck to.

          Trump supporter flags were flown, as well as signs that described New Zealand’s current situation as being ‘apartheid’.

          Several cars on Auckland’s Queen St beared signs of “Trump” and MAGA – a play on former American President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan. Racist signs were also used.

          It is kind of hard to take Nutswell seriously.

          Perhaps the farmers concerned could just raise their issues with government in a coherent manner. Preferably after looking at what problems that the government polices, that they are objecting, were made and come up with some alternatives to deal with them.

          After all climate change methane issues and water degradation have been on the table for decades – and the effect our farmers have on those has gotten dramatically worse over those decades by total quantity if only because of the farming intensification.

          Of course if they persist then the food production will eventually tail off. Water pollution and extreme weather from climate shifts are both primary vectors for destroying farming productivity within short periods – and both are increasing.

          However it seems to me that this group of farmers have a extremely short-term view and in my view seem to live with their heads firmly pushed up the rectum of another their next idiot peer living in the mythical past.

          • Ad

            Indeed they could seek to influence the working group between government and local government and iwi that's already going on, and after that they could actually do thinking and generating a clause-by-clause response in Submissions, like good advocates have done for a century.

          • Poission

            Water pollution and extreme weather from climate shifts are both primary vectors for destroying farming productivity within short periods – and both are increasing.

            Climate shifts are bounded by the dominant weather systems ( called attractors in maths) here in NZ the dominant weather systems are the southern annular mode and the ENSO complex system.

            SAM is the largest weather pattern on the planet in terms of redistribution of mass,ENSO is second both of which outweigh other patterns in terms of precipitation changes in NZ.


            Current thinking (the consensus) is that changes in the SAM is dominated by ozone depletion,and that changes implemented under the montreal protocol will both reverse and cancel changes by GHG forcing in the next half century.


            • lprent

              Seems like a very limited way of looking at it. To be precise they appear to look at the meteorological history rather than the geological history of similar periods.

              You’ll note that the first paper you referenced was from 2007 and references climate models from the 1990s and early 2000s (somewhere in the dark ages of climate analysis) to explain historical patterns over the past 200 years. It makes no attempt to incorporate the effects of increased energy from greenhouse gases.

              If I read this correctly it would not explain the rapid and now nearly biannual switches between ENSO in recent years. 10 shifts in 200 years doesn’t exactly marry up with the every two years we are now getting. Nor the recent increased variability in the strength of the SAM. I’d say that this is paper was a excellent historical piece that hasn’t dated well and just doesn’t correlate current climate patterns.

              As for the 2014 abstract. Hard to tell since I can’t read the paper. But again that looks very dated and focuses mostly on the limited meteorological record rather than the geological record.

              But I suspect that if it was written today that the authors might be interested in the last few decades of fluctuations in the northern polar jetstreams. They too were as stable as the SAM jetstreams two decades ago. These days with the thinning and gradual reduction in summer extent of the northern sea ice sheets, they’re now moving their amplitude far further south. Just on the face of it, I think that authors are under-estimating the relationship between cause and effect. Warming water thins and melts summer ice sheets even more than insolation effects. That hasn’t shown up in old meteorological data because polar water temperatures has only become measurable recently and obviously observable in the north over the last decade.

              And that is before you look at the geological sea strata research coming out of Antarctica from previous retreats of the ice sheets which indicate that they can take mere decades when there are changes in water temperatures. Ummm – recent report on the geological research that has been looking at this in Antarctica.

              Gawd I really hate reading climate papers based on a steady state of a really tiny time series of data (like 200 years of met data and 40 years of satellite observations) and then trying to use that as a basis for predicting the future.

              When you’re looking at climate change, it is really important to look at what is possible and you find that in the geological record. Because that is where you see Murphy at work. If something is possible, then at some stage over the last 4 billion or so years – it has already happened. When you find out what caused it it, then you have an idea of what to look for.

              For instance when earths magnetic field flips or the magnetic pole moves around at ever increasing speed (like it is doing now), this has extreme effects on the ozone and energy isolation on specific places. Yet as far as I am aware we don’t see the kinds of massive climatic effects in the geological that the 2014 paper implies should happen. Why not?

        • DukeEll

          It’s odd. The vehemence of these protestors is something new, yet most individually (Brian Tamarind excluded) are somewhat sensible.

          I don’t recall ever seeing “worst pm ever signs” affixed to cars during Key or Clarke’s reign at the top.

          • Ad

            Really? You missed the late 1970s, late 1980s and entire 1990s?

            Back in the day …

            • DukeEll

              Back in the day stories are like golf stories.

              no one enjoys them unless you were there and you are the one telling the story

          • Graeme

            Helen Clark got exactly the same right wing misogynistic response.

            I watched the business owner next to us lose his shit, his business and his relationship due to Helen derangement syndrome. All his problems were due to THAT WOMAN….

            I hope this current lot don't follow the same trajectory, it's messy.

            • Anne

              "Helen Clark got exactly the same right wing misogynistic response."

              Yes she did but the tactics were a bit different. They spread sick stories about her and her husband through the right-wing underground network – Dirty Politics – which eventually surfaced online and in the more disreputable tabloids

              They tried it on Jacinda with the sick "nanny" story but it flopped, so its in your face noisy road raging protests. They appear to only represent a fraction of the rural community – the Neanderthal end.

              Its no coincidence Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern have been the most derided NZ prime minsters ever. They're women and they're Labour. That is what it is all about.

              • alwyn

                "Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern have been the most derided NZ prime minsters ever".

                I really don't believe that has any basis in truth. The derision aimed at them is no different to what was thrown in John Key's direction.

                None of it compares with what was aimed at Robert Muldoon. Have you heard any widespread derision along the lines of "Piggy Ardern" thrown at the current PM?

                • Anne

                  Muldoon? I know as much about the Muldoon years as you do. Maybe more. Piggy Muldoon was often used as a term of endearment. It effectively became his nickname and one I am sure he enjoyed.

                  • alwyn

                    "one I am sure he enjoyed".

                    He most certainly did not enjoy it. However, as an intelligent man, he was very well aware that there was no use complaining about it.

                • bwaghorn

                  Yeah but, key was a main player in the dirty politics era of national, and a borderline sexual abuser of waitress and kids hair fiddler, so he deserved derision!

                  That said I'm a little embarrassed by my period of kds

              • RedLogix

                They appear to only represent a fraction of the rural community – the Neanderthal end.

                Having both Maori and Neanderthal genes I've not yet decided whether as an indigenous 'first owner' to claim my fraction of our iwi tribal land – or the whole of the fucking planet.devil

                • alwyn

                  Please bear with me but isn't the following true?

                  Neanderthals coexisted with Homo Sapiens rather than one preceding the other. Thus having, as a very large percentage of the population does, some Neanderthal DNA doesn't make you a "First Owner". It just means that someone in your far past lineage indulged in a little hanky-panky with someone of a slightly different but coexisting species.

                  Sorry bud but that doesn't make you anymore of a first species that someone whose ancestors stuck rather boringly to the straight and narrow path.

              • Graeme

                I wouldn't say that it's a fraction of the rural community that's into Groundswell. From my vantage it's quite widespread. But solidarity is very strong in the Farmers Union, more than any 70's Trade Union in NZ. It takes a lot of courage to question, and those that do are swiftly shouted down or worse.

                But the true colours of Groundswell and it's supporters / hangers on is starting to show and there might be some sense prevail. Their wives are having something to say about some of the attitudes coming out.

          • weka

            Brian Tamarind 😂

    • Julian Richards 3.2

      Yip, dull angry sloganised farming protests.

      Plant a tree and smile in protest.

  4. DukeEll 4

    Putin seems to think he can achieve through a divided west what nuclear power can’t… the restablishment of a client state buffer in Eastern Europe. Pity the poor ukranian people.

    • In Vino 4.1

      Given that the USA immediately after WW2 did nothing but set up buffer states against Russia with Marshall aid, why should Russia have no leeway from you?

      These protestors are hardly the intelligentsia. (Make Ardern Go Away. Really? How terribly eloquent!)

      • alwyn 4.1.1

        The Marshall Plan actually offered aid to all the countries in Europe, including Russia and all the countries in the Eastern Bloc that were under Russian domination.

        Stalin refused to take part in the scheme. He apparently took the view, probably correctly, that economic integration with the West would allow Eastern Bloc countries to escape Soviet control.

        • In Vino

          Of course there were strings attached – to secure loyalty to Western system. I doubt that the USA ever expected Stalin to sign up. The effect is what matters, and along with special aid to the Japanese, it resulted in the USSR being surrounded by countries with wealthy, Western-style economies. How convenient.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Tito after his break with Stalin in 1948 did accept military and economic aid from US .

            It had no discernable effect on Yugoslavia staying as a Leninist single party state

          • DukeEll

            Lol, “wealthy western-style economies”

            you almost make it sound like a bad thing.

      • DukeEll 4.1.2

        They’re probably quite proud of not being of the intelligentsia.

        especially when it talks down to them as if being of lower intelligence and then criticises them for not being part of the “intelligent” class. Like you just did

      • Gosman 4.1.3

        You think the French were a client state of the US post WWII do you?

  5. RedLogix 5

    Going on 80 years of nuclear weapons – and still no major power war. Clearly deterrence has worked, although everyone recognises it as a Faustian bargain.

    The logic however is inescapable – they will not and cannot be uninvented. Anyone serious who does not yet have them, could likely make a useable one by lunchtime. eg Taiwan. The risk is not the weapon, it is nation states or entities who are either so weak they have no other option, or nothing left to lose.

    There is only one possible path out of this bind – and it is the same one taken by humanity from the first day two competing, warring clans found a way, usually by marriage, to become a single larger tribe united under one leader. History is mostly this story repeating over, with variation for colour.

    • Gosman 5.1

      Agreed on the deterrence front. I remember in the mid 1980's that anti-nuclear groups used to argue that no arms race ever ended without a major war occuring. That was shgown to be false by the outcome of the Cold War. The US forced the Soviets to back down and ensured no major conflict occurred between the two Superpowers at the time.

  6. Castro 6

    Pangolin dog, Wu Mao Mike?

    [lprent: Idiot. Banned for two years. You were previously warned about this after you were previously banned for five months for the same thing.

    I guess that you are compensating for something – certainly seems like it from your piss-poor track record at writing anything that reads as being an adult with even vaguely coherent ideas.

    I won’t speculate about what you are compensating any more than I did on the last note. Suffice it to say that you appear to have worn out your welcome here as well for the moment. Try reading the policy before you come back because I really can’t be bothered dealing with pathetic recidivist dimwitted dickheads like you. ]

  7. Gosman 7

    Why would Gorbachev need to trust a bunch of female protesters who had no effective political base?

  8. Obtrectator 8

    The film ought to be shown as a double feature alongside Threads. (I seem to remember reading – sorry, LP, can't find confirmation on-line – that it may have been seeing the latter which helped prompt Mr Gorbachev's efforts to dial back somewhat on stockpiling nuclear weapons.)

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