Moving Mountains for Peace

(Newly merged END WARS/DISARM! committee at work)

For almost a hundred years WILPF women have been breaking down the mountains of war, stone by stone and "peace by peace.” Conversely, WILPF promotes building beloved communities with economic justice and human rights for all, and establishing  national and international institutions based on principles of dialogue and diplomacy. We’ve come a long way, but still have a long way to go. Here are a few glimpses of the varied work of the END WARS/DISARM! Issue Committee to move the mountains of war and nurture the roots of peace.

In March, nine ENDWARS/DISARM! members took our demands for a Nuclear Free Future to Congress during the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability D.C. lobby days where we found a few progressives working for nuclear abolition. In the midst of extreme pressures for expanding U.S. nuclear capabilities, progressive leaders in the House, led by Ed Markey of Massachusetts, introduced the SANE Act, which would begin cutting both nuclear warheads and their delivery systems.

Please be on the alert for ENDWARS/DISARM! action alerts asking for your help to make these cuts a reality. Simultaneously other Committee members based in D.C. were working hard to build a national campaign against Depleted Uranium in cooperation with the International Campaign to Ban Uranium weapons; members in New England were arrested for seeking the closure of Vermont Yankee; and other WILPF women representing ENDWARS/DISARM! carried our concerns about  robotic warfare and nuclear power to the UNAC conference.

In APRIL, we will be answering to the drums of war on Iran. During the first week of April women of END WARS/DISARM! and the Middle East Committee expect to launch a joint campaign to support the high level UN summit in Helsinki on establishing the long sought Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East. In the meantime read both our fact sheet on the effort and the excellent UFPJ statement on “Dangers of Sanctions," which WILPF endorses. Also please support Barbara Lee’s H.R. 4173 to prevent war on Iran. WILPF endorses and will have member(s) present at the Drone Summit in Washington D.C. We urge Branches and members to hold house parties again with Silent Screams produced by our DesMoines Branch Muslim member determined to prevent drone warfare against Iran, and everywhere. Thanks to a mini-grant every Branch should now have a copy for use.

IN MAY much of our international WILPF leadership will be at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation UN meetings in Vienna, including at least two of our own members. At the same time that they and the 189 nations that have ratified the treaty will be working toward nuclear weapons abolition, the Obama Administration will be bringing NATO leadership to Chicago and urging them to enter the Pacific as military allies surrounding China and Russia in a new Cold War.

Some of our END WARS/DISARM! members are now organizing a workshop at the Retire NATO conference to be held in Chicago during the NATO summit. We plan to emphasize the growing resistance in NATO countries to continued U.S. occupation of Europe with spy, nuclear weapons and missile defense bases still active almost 75 years after the end of World War II. Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network  Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space will also help us speak to dangerous further efforts to bring NATO into Asia and the Pacific.

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