Thank you for the June 28 article on the tiny steps the Obama administration is taking to “reduce and eventually eliminate its stockpile of antipersonnel land mines.” And thanks for citing Stephen Goose and disarmament groups critical of the U.S. position of “being able to use” them. The article had some important omissions, however. As a Twin Cities newspaper, the Star Tribune might have noted that even as the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Campaign to Ban Landmines, the world’s largest manufacturer of mines was here in river city — Alliant Techsystems. The Minnesota campaign was “the most active group” of the mine-ban effort, according to Marv Davidov (1931-2012); 79 of its members were then (in October 1997) on trial for blocking the doors at Alliant. We won an acquittal after a four-day trial.
Marv was a leader in decadeslong campaigns against indiscriminate weapons, from cluster bombs of Vietnam-era days at Honeywell to depleted uranium weapons at Alliant (a spinoff of Honeywell, an apparently forgotten fact). I salute him and allies for their tireless and dedicated service to humanity.