VPT  Voice

for nonviolent social change & sustainable living

March/April 2022

Earth Day Celebration & Cleanup
Swann House Ready for Guests!
Plan Personal Retreats & Outdoor Events at VPT!
A Peace of History: February & March

Sustaining Support for VPT
Get Involved

Earth Day Celebration & Cleanup: May 7

Now that spring is here, we at the Peace Trust want to bring our members together for an Earth Day cleanup event and potluck supper. We have some new members who have recently joined, and some old members haven't made it out to the Peace Trust in a while. This will be a great opportunity for us to develop our community by working side by side and sharing a meal.

We have decided to meet on May 7 at VPT to work from 1-5pm, followed by the potluck supper. Come join us for an afternoon of community-building and good food!

Swann House Renovations Are Completed!

After several years and countless labor hours, the renovations in Swann House are complete and ready for guests! Swann House was originally designed by Bob Swann, one of the founders of VPT. Bob had worked as a builder for Frank Lloyd Wright and took inspiration from the famous architect's "Usonian" affordable homes to create his own unique, affordable, and beautiful home for his family. Visit the link above to learn more about Swann House, or read more in the section below to learn more about VPT facility rentals in general.

The roof at the back was raised and a wall was built between the two bedrooms, with doors onto a new deck for a second egress. Nearly new kitchen appliances were donated, including a new fire prevention hood over the stove. We reorganized the common space with a large table for meals and meetings. The inside and outside were repainted. Some of this work was required for fire code, some were needed to freshen it up and make it more usable.

A special thank you to Jim MacBride, the Country Queers, and everyone else in our community who helped us preserve and improve this unique historic house. Enjoy the recent photos of the house, including these panorama shots of each of the main rooms.

Plan Personal Retreats & Outdoor Events at VPT!

Spring is here — come take a personal retreat at one of our affordable lodgings! Our two most affordable options, the Yurt and Chuck's Cabin, can accommodate 4 to 6 guests per building, and both start at just $45 per night. Ahimsa Lodge, nestled deep in the natural woodlands and adjacent to Bliven Brook, can accommodate up to 14 guests. Swann and Ahimsa both start at $150 for up to four guests per night. Book your stay at one of our unique lodgings now!

Or, plan your next outdoor event at the Peace Trust for direct access to our trails through the woods and other natural delights. We have an outdoor fire pit, outdoor tables, plenty of space for tents, as well as a meeting hall large enough for a small group to easily keep social distance. Consider VPT for your next gathering!
Renters have easy access to our 54 wooded acres and the surrounding natural attractions including Pachaug State Forest, the largest state forest in Connecticut. Visit our Rentals page for more photos and information about the facilities, and consider forwarding the page to a friend! To book a stay or to inquire about our gift rental package, please call Nancy at 860-376-9970 or email us at

A Peace of History

Over the decades, VPT has produced, collected, and preserved a rare collection of historical newsletters, ephemera such as leaflets, and limited-series print books from the peace movement. The main newsletters that we use are the Polaris Action Bulletin (1960-1963) and its successor Direct Action for a Nonviolent World (1964-1973). As these newsletters were published by the original VPT founders, the New England Committee for Nonviolent Action (CNVA), we feel that it is our responsibility to share these stories of nonviolent leftist political activity in our region, and how the organization in Voluntown connected to broader movements across the United States and the world.

At the end of each week, we post a story about past nonviolent resistance from one of these sources  "A Peace of History"  on the VPT Facebook group and on our website. For those not on Facebook, we use this newsletter to send a snippet and a link to the original post on our website. Click on the title of each to read more.


2/3/2022 - "Early Opposition to the Atomic Bomb Came from Black America (repost)"

"...Much has been written about the morality and military expediency of using the bomb -- but missing from many of these discussions is a critical examination of the extreme racist hatred that rapidly developed in the United States against people of Japanese descent, and how that led to the annihilation of two cities. But also missing is the recognition that African-Americans were some of the first in the country to voice concern about or even condemn the bomb, and that Black leftists were some of the first to draw the connections between colonialism, racism, capitalism, and war."
2/10/2022 - "What is Peacemakers?"

"In the summer of 1960, peace activists from around the country came to New London, CT, where some of the world’s first nuclear-armed submarines were being designed and built. Polaris Action, as the activists called it, was a summer-long public action and education campaign to raise awareness of the dangers and unethical nature of nuclear weapons and the entire US nuclear strategy. While the Committee for Nonviolent Action (CNVA) was the primary organizer of Polaris Action, other peace groups also participated in the project that summer including the Peacemakers, who held their annual intensive two-week orientation and training program on nonviolent action in New London that summer for anyone who wished to join."
2/17/2022 - The Peacemakers Training Program in New London (1960)

"The Peacemakers were the most active and influential nonviolent direct action group in the United States for almost a decade, from its founding in 1948 on into the mid-1950s. For decades later, the Peacemakers would remain a steady ally of other peace activist organizations, many of which had been founded by members of the Peacemakers themselves. This was the case in 1960, when the Peacemakers moved their annual summer nonviolent direct action training from their headquarters in Pennsylvania up to the New London area of Connecticut in order to support the Committee for Nonviolent Action’s Polaris Action campaign there; as the CNVA organized and demonstrated in dramatic public actions to raise awareness of the dangers of the US nuclear strategy, the Peacemakers would train new activists to join these actions and get immediate firsthand experience."
2/24/2022 - Eroseanna Robinson: Black Olympic Athlete, Desegregationist, War Tax Resister

"One of the primary programs of the mid-20th century antiwar group Peacemakers was war tax resistance. Many across the country either lived purposely below the poverty line to avoid paying an income tax or flatly refused to file their taxes. Of just the six people in the movement arrested in the 1950s-1960s, one was the Black Olympic athlete Eroseanna Robinson. Long before Muhammad Ali was jailed for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War, Eroseanna Robinson inspired innumerable people by making multiple stands against the US war machine. Since at least 1951, years before the Civil Rights Movement really took off, Robinson was a desegregation activist in Maryland, Ohio, and beyond. As an Olympic runner, Robinson refused to compete in Russia, not wanting to be used as a pawn in US-USSR Cold War political games. And on February 18, 1960, Robinson was finally arrested and jailed for years of refusing to pay income taxes."


3/3/2022 - “This is Why Eroseanna Robinson Refuses to Pay Taxes”, 1960

"Following in the tradition of such great Americans as Henry David Thoreau, Black Olympic athlete and social justice activist Eroseanna Robinson was arrested on January 26, 1960 for her refusal to pay her income taxes. The main concern in her day was the threat of nuclear weapons and their radioactive fallout. To US war resisters like Robinson, the fear was not merely that they themselves may fall victim to a nuclear attack, but that their own government might be responsible for a nuclear attack and all of the attending death and suffering that would follow — once again, not two decades out from the first attacks made on Japan."
3/10/2022 - Solidarity with War Tax Resister Eroseanna Robinson, 1960

"Over the course of February and March 1960, in the weeks following Eroseanna “Sis” Robinson’s arrest for war tax resistance, people across the United States in the Peacemaker movement expressed their solidarity with Robinson and took action to find justice for her: they protested outside the IRS offices in three major cities, wrote to the ruling judge appealing for leniency, and some became war tax resisters themselves if they weren’t already. And while other publications covered her story, Sis Robinson was an active member of the Peacemakers, and that organization’s newsletter covered her story the closest."
3/17/2022 - Why Eroseanna Robinson was Released from Prison Early (1960)

"For the last few weeks, we have been telling the story of Eroseanna Robinson’s refusal to pay taxes used for war, her imprisonment and absolute noncooperation with the prison system, and the grassroots community of supporters her story generated. She never signed anything the legal system mandated, refused to follow prison rules, and maintained a hunger strike from the first minute of her incarceration to the end. As a Black woman from Chicago imprisoned in West Virginia in 1960, “Sis” Robinson took great risks by challenging the sentencing judge, the correctional officers, and the rest of the punitive institution that kept her. And yet, she was released after serving just a quarter of her sentence. Why?"
3/24/2022 - “Call to a 3-Week Walk for Peace” (1961)

"In September 1960, three peace activists met at Hygienic Restaurant in New London, Connecticut and started to form a plan for their next big action: the San Francisco to Moscow Walk for Peace. No other group had ever attempted a peace walk across the entire continental United States, and they only knew of one other peace group that had ever attempted to cross into the Soviet Union. And yet, working with the Committee for Nonviolent Action (CNVA), the three activists not only successfully organized the longest and most dramatic peace walk ever, but spawned several more peace walks in solidarity..."

Sustaining Support for VPT

Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation to VPT. Between the lack of rentals due to the pandemic, the cost of the Swann House renovations, and other expenses, we could use the help. Our online donation platform Mightycause is the easiest way to give to us a one-time monetary gift.

Also, please consider becoming a sustaining supporter of VPT on Mightycause. To do that, just set your gift to recur monthly. Donors may cancel or change their giving amount at any time. Click here or on the Mightycause logo above to visit our donation page.

Alternatively, you may mail a tax-deductible check to our address: 539 Beach Pond Road, Voluntown, CT 06384. Past donors who gave by check will receive this appeal in the mail with a return envelope.

Monthly recurring donations especially help us budget and plan ahead, but any and all monetary gifts are appreciated. Thank you.

Get Involved

Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook
Visit our website Visit our website
Forward to a friend Forward to a friend
Make a Donation
Subscribe to the Mailing List
Copyright © 2022 Voluntown Peace Trust, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp