An Invasion of California: A Radio Play on the Theme of Nonviolent Resistance

by Richard Moses

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Editor’s Preface: This 1970 radio play is our most recent discovery from the War Resisters’ International archive. The notations on the manuscript credit the 1960s Methodist publication Motive Magazine, a highly regarded literary journal. Moses seems to have written for it, and they may have had a hand in producing the play, but we have not found any evidence that they published it. An Invasion bears obvious comparisons with the popular, Peter Sellers film The Mouse that Roared, released in 1959. Richard Moses was a Quaker and on the Board of Friends Journal. Please see the link to the pdf of the original and the reference note, at the end. JG

ANNOUNCER: (More or less ad lib) In just a few minutes, ladies and gentlemen we shall be going on the air. When I raise my hand, may we have absolute silence? (Looks at watch; raises hand) This is the American Broadcasting System bringing over its regular network, short wave stations and affiliated foreign stations, a speech by the President of the United States. With the attack on Hawaii yesterday and the impending invasion of the West Coast by the armed forces of Stonia, the President has cancelled all scheduled appointments to bring this message to the people. The President will be introduced by Mrs. Joan Alden, chairman of the White House Nonviolent Strategy Board. Mrs. Alden…

ALDEN: The hour for testing is at hand. Twenty years ago our nation decided that the thousands of years in which violence had failed to establish peace or justice was a costly experiment best ended. We have been prepared through schools, and churches, newspapers and radio for defense through nonviolence. We have tested ourselves domestically in areas of race relations, industrial problems and the like. The entire people have committed themselves and are ready to die in the faith that all men are brothers.

As you know, the American government has attempted unsuccessfully to arbitrate the differences between the countries of Pan Costia and Stonia concerning freedom of the Pacific seas. When two years ago, war broke out between these countries, we immediately stopped all exports to them with the exception of food, medical supplies, and other non-war materials. This meant, among other things, termination of a trade agreement to supply Stonia with 60 billion gallons of crude oil annually. The decision, strongly protested by the Stonian Ambassador, was reached upon the advice of our Congressional Peace and Economics Committees.

Read the pdf of the complete article here: An Invasion of California

Reference: IISG/WRI Archive Box 398: Folder 3. We are grateful to WRI/London and their director Christine Schweitzer for their cooperation in our WRI project.

“When planted in the garden, the mustard seed, smallest of all the seeds, became a large tree, and birds came and made their home there.” Luke 13:19

“For me whatever is in the atoms and molecules is in the universe. I believe in the saying that what is in the microcosm of one’s self is reflected in the macrocosm.” M. Gandhi