In continuing with our series Taking Action, peace activists talk about what in their early lives led them to where they are today. In this edition, KGNU talks to the Reverend James Lawson. Lawson appeared at the 70th Anniversary of the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Los Alamos, New Mexico where he spoke.
James Lawson was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Ohio from where he remembers his childhood fondly. He said that with his supportive upbringing, that his morals developed from a very early age.
In 1951 he declined to report for the draft under principles of conscientious objection rather than accepting a student or ministerial deferment which were options for him at the time. He was jailed for fourteen months for his action.
He later became involved in the Civil Rights Movement with the Nashville Student Movement and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
He talked to KGNU about his memories of the bombing of Japan in World War II and of his early life that led to his work today.
Reverend James Lawson speaking in Los Alamos, August 9, 2015