June 10-16, 2024

Daniel Ellsberg Week

June 10-16, 2024

Daniel Ellsberg Week

Co-sponsored by RootsAction Education Fund & The Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy 

Co-sponsored by RootsAction Education Fund & The Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy 

A week of education and action to honor peacemaking and whistleblowing

Daniel Ellsberg became a whistleblower by giving the 7,000-page Pentagon Papers to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the New York Times, the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. Ellsberg’s subsequent trial on twelve felony counts, posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, leading to the convictions of several White House aides and figuring in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.
Ellsberg was a lecturer, scholar, writer and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era, wrongful U.S. interventions and the urgent need for principled whistleblowing until his death on June 16, 2023. Today, we are carrying on his legacy as a voice of reason in a nuclear-armed world by working to end the threat of nuclear weapons.
“When I say that there is a step that could reduce the risk of nuclear war significantly that has not been taken but could easily be taken, that is the elimination of American ICBMs."
-Daniel Ellsberg
Ellsberg emphasized that intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) are the single greatest nuclear weapons threat to our world today. With recent reports revealing that the effort to replace them will cost tens of billions of dollars more than originally estimated, it’s past time to get rid of these dangerous weapons and redirect money to real human needs.

In April 2023, the Defuse Nuclear War coalition celebrated Daniel Ellsberg Week for the first time.

The efforts to mark Daniel Ellsberg Week generated city proclamations, articles, op-eds, videos, and a puncture or two in the bubble of media groupthink that passes for journalism. Seeking “to honor peacemaking and whistleblowing,” the cities of Albuquerque, NM, and San Francisco and Berkeley, CA, issued proclamations designating April 24-30, 2023 as Daniel Ellsberg Week to honor the renowned Pentagon Papers whistleblower. Additionally, The Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence presented Ellsberg with their annual award.


This year, we’ll be commemorating Ellsberg’s life and work once again by demanding a world beyond nuclear weapons.

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“Wouldn’t you go to prison to help end this war?”
-Daniel Ellsberg

The Defuse Nuclear War Podcast With Daniel Ellsberg


Directed by Oscar-nominee Judith Ehrlich, the series explores the dangers of nuclear weapons and the politics that drive their existence. Hear firsthand accounts from Ellsberg about his time as a nuclear war planner for the U.S. military and learn hidden truth about realities of nuclear weapons. In episode 1, Daniel Ellsberg accounts the death toll and violent realities of nuclear war.

Write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper

Use the template below to get started or come up with your own original letter to the editor. If you’d like to write a longer form op-ed, the DNW team can help you plan, edit, and pitch it to progressive publications online. Reach out at any stage of the writing process with questions or for guidance.

Dear Editors:


This June 16 will mark the one year anniversary of the death of Daniel Ellsberg, the renowned scholar and activist whose revelations about the Vietnam War with the Pentagon Papers sparked a national crisis of conscience.


Ellsberg, who helped create some of the nuclear war plans that the U.S. still uses today, left the world with a warning about the dangers of nuclear weapons, and above all intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).


With the recent announcement that the program to replace U.S. ICBMs is nearly 40% over budget, it’s past time to heed Ellsberg’s warning:


“For over half a century, the existence on both sides of vulnerable land-based ICBMs has been the hair trigger to the Doomsday Machine. They pose a use-it-or-lose-it mentality which encourages each side to launch its missiles on ambiguous warning, lest they be destroyed—in order to attack the ICBMs of the other side.”


Ellsberg may have been talking about issues of global significance, but each and every person around the world lives with the constant threat of suffering and death as long as these weapons exist. In fact, nuclear weapons are sold to cities and states as a job-creating boon to local communities, when research shows that investing in essential areas such as healthcare, education, and green energy will also create many more, better jobs.


We can’t afford to pour tens of billions of dollars more into weapons that threaten the society we have built. To honor Daniel Ellsberg and future generations, let’s ditch the ICBM.




Tell Your Elected Officials to Introduce a Resolution Honoring Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg — the Pentagon Papers whistleblower who was an inspiring activist for peace since the early 1970s — passed away on April 16, 2023.

In the words of The Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy, he “devoted his life to the nonviolent struggle for peace, truth, and democracy. In 1971, he risked his freedom by releasing to the press and public a 7,000-page top-secret history of the Vietnam War – the Pentagon Papers – exposing decades of government lies and deceit.”

Use the template below to submit a request to your elected officials urging them to pass a resolution honoring Daniel Ellsberg with “Daniel Ellsberg Week,” June 10-16, 2024.


It helps if you revise the subject line and/or wording of the message.

Default subject line: For a resolution honoring Daniel Ellsberg

Dear [target name]

As a constituent, I urge you to join in a nationwide effort to honor renowned whistleblower and peacemaker Daniel Ellsberg by officially declaring June 10-16, 2024, to be Daniel Ellsberg Week. A draft resolution is below.

The __________ Declares June 10-16, 2024 to be Daniel Ellsberg Week


Whereas Daniel Ellsberg risked life in prison to reveal secret, illegal, and immoral activities to the people of the United States and the rest of the world by giving the Pentagon Papers to the U.S. Congress and news media;


Whereas Ellsberg’s actions contributed to ending the war in Vietnam, and to discouraging further war-making, including by informing the public of the inner workings of the U.S. government;


Whereas further revelations made by Ellsberg over many years greatly informed the public of the dangers of nuclear weaponry;


Whereas Daniel Ellsberg was for several decades an outstanding educator and activist on some of the most important issues on Earth;


Whereas Daniel Ellsberg supported, encouraged, and inspired whistleblowers, journalists, and activists all over the world;


Whereas the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has placed its Doomsday Clock measurement of the current risk of nuclear war closer to apocalyptic midnight than it has ever been before, and every means of awakening people to the danger is merited;


Therefore we proclaim June 10-16, 2024, to be Daniel Ellsberg Week in _____________, and encourage the reading of Daniel Ellsberg’s books and articles as well as the viewing of his video interviews and speeches, some of which can be found at defusenuclearwar.org/ellsberg.

"My wish for you, my friends, is that at the end of your days you will feel as much joy and gratitude as I do now."
-Daniel Ellsberg

Watch videos featuring Daniel Ellsberg and about his legacy

Help build a movement to prevent nuclear war