The Amherst Vigil for Peace and Justice in a Nuclear Free World

Sunday Peace Vigil

Join our weekly vigil for peace, Sundays, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., in the northwest corner of the Amherst town common, rain or shine.

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The Resistance Center hosts the web page of the Amherst Vigil for Peace and Justice. We stand in solidarity with the vigil, but otherwise have no role in its organization.

On Sunday, July 14, 2019 the Amherst Vigil for Peace and Justice celebrated its 40th anniversary. 

Happy 40th birthday Amherst Peace Vigil!

Other Local Vigils

  • Northampton, Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in front of the County Courthouse (on Main Street between Gothic and King)
  • Cummington, across from the creamery, Mondays 12 pm
  • Greenfield Town Commons, Saturdays 11 am
  • Springfield Federal Building, Mondays 12 pm
  • West Springfield Town Common, 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 4 pm

History of The Amherst Vigil for Peace and Justice in a Nuclear Free World
In winter, 1966, Amherst, Massachusetts became the first town in the United States to form a weekly vigil protesting the Vietnam War. Standing at the northwest corner of the town common on Sundays from 12 to 1 p.m., participants sought to publicly record their political and moral objections to government policies. The vigil continued until the war’s end in 1973.

Wishing to protest the nuclear arms race and the use of nuclear power, and in support of the nuclear freeze movement, Margaret and Lee Holt revived the vigil in 1979, vowing to continue until the establishment of nuclear free world. Frances Crowe, who helped organize earlier protests, sees vigils as “a constant, quiet witnessing, a presence to remind ourselves and others of what needs to be done.” In 1984 the vigil was renamed The Amherst Vigil for Peace and Justice in a Nuclear Free World.

For decades, come rain, shine, or snow, Margaret and Lee Holt (until they passed away in 2004), together with Pat Church and others, have gathered at the Amherst Common every Sunday noon for a Vigil addressing a wide array of local to global peace and justice issues.

Photo by Charlie Jenks, 11/12/01