Join End Wars/DISARM! in May for a Nuclear Free Future, Demilitarization of the
Heavens, and an End to Wars!
NEW Nuclear Weapons Abolition Bill Needs Your Support Now - Take Action
|Explosion at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011. (AP Photo/NTV/NNN Japan)|
Washington DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced the "Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act," which re-directs the money from nuclear weapons to provide carbon-free, nuclear-free energy resources.
Click here to view and download the text of the legislation, HR-1334, introduced by Rep. Holmes Norton, HR-1334 (pdf)
Click here to write your Representative asking for co-sponsorship of this legislation IMMEDIATELY.
No nuclear power plant has been built in the U.S.A. since 1974, and the new nuclear power plant construction being planned is only possible because the U.S. taxpayer will have to provide what Wall Street won't: 100% loan guarantees, and funding nuclear waste repositories on as yet unidentified sites. Nuclear power provides 20% of this country's electric energy; we can easily follow Germany's lead in committing to building no new plants, and replacing those still on-line with renewable and sustainable energy sources. We must all keep the memories of both Fukushima and Hiroshima alive wherever we go.
For the fifth year, WILPF is co-sponsoring this week of international action and education. By now, Branches should have received the 2010 poster, event registration form and a letter with background information (mailed by Portland WILPF). Branches have received a complimentary DVD, Silent Screams from Des Moines WILPF. (It can also be purchased by individuals and other groups via the website.) The DVD depicts unmanned U.S. drone attacks which are remotely controlled from Nevada via satellite. It pleads for an end to U.S.-led wars and demands no attacks on Iran. We suggest using the DVD and its discussion/action guide in small house parties. Whatever event you plan, contact Global Network directly and/or the WILPF Program Co-chair Carol Urner . WILPF will share your report with Reaching Critical Will and the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs, as well as with our own membership and Global Network.
Terror from the Skies
MacGregor Eddy, who organizes nonviolent WILPF-sponsored vigils at Vandenberg Air Force Base, seeks to educate soldiers and all of us on the U.S. violations of international space and human rights law. She has prepared an extensive slide show on drones. It’s perfect for sharing with a group, followed with a discussion and action. It’s also a good way to introduce the issue to your own branch or to friends. MacGregor suggests making visits to your Congressional delegation, writing letters-to-the editor, joining vigils, leafleting and supporting nonviolent actions at Vandenberg, Creech Air Force Base or at a military base or weapons contractor near you.
Response to the Report of Main Committee III: Chairman’s Draft on Substantive Elements
May 20, 2010
The NGO Abolition Caucus of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference 2010 is generally opposed to the findings of the Report of Main Committee III: Chairman’s Draft on Substantive Elements released on Friday, 14 May 2010. In particular, the Caucus finds there is no evidentiary basis to support the Chair’s assertion in paragraph 6 that nuclear power contributes “in an important way to meet energy needs, improve health, combat poverty, protect the environment… thus helping to achieve the Millenium Development Goals…” The Chair's draft does not acknowledge that there is disagreement among states parties on the characterization of nuclear energy as sustainable and safe.
Indeed, numerous independent studies indicate that dollar for dollar nuclear power for electricity production is one of the most expensive ways to meet energy needs, when lifecycle costs are compared to solar, wind, geothermal, appropriate hydropower and biomass, as well as efficiency measures. This is also true for reducing carbon emissions as expensive nuclear power would actually exacerbate catastrophic climate change since there is less carbon emission prevented per dollar spent on costly nuclear technology compared to applying those funds to clean energy sources and efficiency.
Join Us on June 5 – International Nuclear Weapons Abolition Day
WILPF is proud to partner with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to protest ICBM missile test launches and call for a real commitment to nuclear abolition through a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
Despite President Obama’s promises in Prague to pursue a nuclear weapons free future, the U.S. military is still testing and upgrading Minuteman III ICBMs designed to carry thermonuclear warheads.
Two ICBM test launches (with dummy warheads) are scheduled for June 2010 from Vandenberg Air Force base / Space Command near Lompoc, California to the Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands. The exact date of the launch tests are not known, and June 5 provides a great opportunity to expose them; most of the world is unaware that these tests are still being carried out routinely.
By Ellen Thomas, Co-Chair WILPF DISARM Commitee
International peace activists – from New Jersey to Japan – will leave Washington on April 8 to walk through Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Princeton and points in between, before arriving in New York on April 30. There we will join thousands of international supporters (and three other peace walks converging from different directions) at an international disarmament conference on April 30 and May 1. We’ll follow it up with a mass demonstration and march through Times Square on May 2.
“For the first time since the 1980s, we have aggressive leadership toward nuclear abolition. We will carry that energy and hope from the U.S. capital to the United Nations in New York, hoping the world will recognize that a majority of Americans--like the vast majority of world citizens--want nuclear weapons gone,” says WILPF member and walk co-coordinator, Jay Marx.
After the NPT events in New York, WILPF branches will have an opportunity to sponsor events and home stays, as the campaign heads north into New England.
Originating from a 1993 voter initiative in Washington, D.C., the “Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act” (HR-1653 in 2009-2010) has been introduced into the U.S. Congress nine times so far, but remains stuck in committee. Its aim is to convert money fueling the war machine into funds that provide for human needs. We want to see solar panels and windmills, not missiles and bomb-dropping drones.
WILPF members attending the 54th meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women push to reallocate government dollars from military expenditures to basic human needs. A pamphlet produced as the result of our strategizing at the International Board meeting about how to unify WILPF's talking points is available: Click here to view or download the pamphlet as a pdf file.
Jean Verthein, NGO Representative for WILPF, US to the United Nations, has written an excellent report on WILPF activities at the United Nations, where WILPF has official consultive status.
To view and download this report, click here.
Here is an excerpt from that report:
" WILPFers and Friends of WILPF at UN DPI/NGO Conference, Mexico City
Nuclear disarmament strategies, military budgets and gang use of small arms stirred about 1300 attendees at the recent UN conference for NGOs. Such issue panels prepared the groundwork for the Review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in May 6 through May 26, 2010.
The whole peace effort to back the NPT, other treaties and initiatives sprang out of the August 6 and 9 US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
As diplomats convene on the NPT itself, side events will occur in buildings around the closed UN building under repair. Governmental disarmament agencies will track developments under the existing NPT.
NGOs and their coalitions will host thematic meetings. Torchlight parades and marches will pass through many countries and end up in New York City.
To prepare for the NPT Review in May 2010. six WILPF members participated in this process at the annual United Nations Department of Information this past fall in Mexico City on disarmament."
A Monumental Journey
The World March for Peace and Nonviolence calls for the end of wars and the abolition of nuclear weapons. According to Chris Wells, the U.S. spokesperson for the march, “It aims to create a global consciousness, similar to what has already happened with climate change, that universally condemns all forms of violence.”
The international team of marchers reached New York in November, then moved on to Montreal, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. They’ll continue to Mexico, with events planned on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, then head south through Central and South America. The World March will complete its monumental journey in the heights of the Andes on January 2, at Punta de Vacas, Argentina after traveling 99,000 miles.
You can see a full schedule of the March in North America here: http://www.worldmarchusa.net. There are also many great videos to view.
- Theta Pavis, WILPF e-News editor
Let us beat our nuclear swords into plowshares.
Statue at the United Nations in New York where the NPT Review conference will take place in May 2010.
President Obama recently gave a historic speech in Prague where he said "One nuclear weapon exploded in one city - be it New York or Moscow, Islamabad or Mumbai, Tokyo or Tel Aviv, Paris or Prague - could kill hundreds of thousands of people. And no matter where it happens, there is no end to what the consequences may be - for our global safety, security, society, economy, and ultimately our survival."
Obama has pledged to make the U.S. a leader in nuclear disarmament and abolition. You can help make sure that promise is kept.
Sign the online international petition for nuclear weapon abolition that was developed by WILPF and our partner organizations in United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ).
The petition will be delivered to Obama and presented at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the U.N. next year. WILPF, AFSC, Peace Action and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation are already gathering signatures. United for Peace and Justice will officially launch the petition in the U.S. at the start of August's Nuclear-Free Future month.
There is also a version of the petition available for printing here. Local affinity groups or WILPF branches should feel free to put their own local address on the petition instead of the national office, but all petitions should be mailed to WILPF's National Office at 11 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116. Deadline is April 15, 2010.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Prague, Czech Republic
April 5, 2009
JOIN IN PROTESTING LAUNCH OF A MINUTEMAN III NUCLEAR MISSILE
Click here to send a letter of protest to President Obama
|WILPF Lifetime Member MacGregor Eddy
of the Watsonville, CA Branch and others
protest at Vandenburg Air Force Base
WHEN: The launch is scheduled for June 29 at some time after midnight. The protest vigil will begin just before midnight on June 28 and continue until after the launch occurs. Most participants will be coming by Green Tortoise bus originating in San Francisco at 4 pm on Sunday, June 28 and returning by 8 am on Monday, June 29.
WHERE: At the front gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base: at the intersection of Highway 1 and the Casamila-Lompoc Road ( six miles north of Lompoc on Highway 1 in Santa Barbara County, California.)
The base is a key component of the U.S.SPACE COMMAND and is home to U.S. missile defense interceptors. It is the major launch site for both interceptor tests and military satellites. This will be the first nuclear missile test since the election of President Obama.
WHY: WILPF believes the test launch of a nuclear weapon sends a dangerously contradictory message to the world. This is true even though it will carry only dummy nuclear warheads. President Obama has promised that the United States will now lead the way toward abolition of nuclear weapons. Continued testing of nuclear missiles is totally inconsistent with such leadership and endangers us all.