DISARM/End Wars Update

Looking back on August's Nuclear Free Future Month and Looking forward to September Steps Toward Peace

We look back on an active August Nuclear Free Future month. Listen to Ellen Thomas’ song, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukishima sung by Courtney Dowe. Hiroshima-Nagasaki reports from Branches are being posted on the UFPJ Nuclear Free Future website. Read the enthusiastic report by Hattie Nestel and Cecile Pineda on their August tour to 11 communities threatened by controversial nuclear reactors in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine. They will be happy to help you arrange meetings in your own communities where Cecile Pineda can share from her book Devils Tango: How I Learned the Fukishima Step by Step.

In September we continue to move forward in our quest for a Nuclear Free Future, an end to wars and occupations, and dismantling the war economy. On Thursday, September 6, Jean Verthein will represent WILPF at an open UN General Assembly conference on ending all nuclear testing and proceeding to abolition. Remember the D.C. Branch campaign to ban depleted uranium. Read and sign their petition to Hilary Clinton. We will also be planning for Keep Space for Peace week and space demilitarization October 6 to 13. Branch contacts should have already received posters, Space Alert newsletters and action suggestions. Some Branches are already planning to focus on satellite controlled drones. Carol Urner will visit D.C. Branch and deliver KS4P week posters, newsletters and a WILPF letter to Congress and to NGO leaders September 9 to 14. Read more for important additional September events, details and action resources.

A few other dates to remember this September are:

September 18-23: Alliance for Nuclear Accountability holds its fall retreat to plan strategies, actions and D.C. lobby days for 2013. Carol Urner will represent WILPF which is a member of the network. Meetings will be in Seattle and include a day in Hanford, the most polluted (and radioactive) site in the western hemisphere. ANA, to which WILPF belongs, will also celebrate its own 25th anniversary.

September 21: United Nations International Day of Peace This year’s theme is a Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future and is a wonderful occasion to bring all of our program issues together in one vibrant whole for a Branch or community meeting

September 20-22, Washington D.C.: National Nuclear Free Future Rally in Washington D.C. CAN, the organizing group, is against bombs and the whole nuclear chain, but in this rally will emphasize nuclear power.

Dismantle the War Economy was our focus issue for almost a decade, beginning in 1998, and before that the closely related Women’s budget project. We mustn’t forget those issues. It was good news to learn that Pittsburgh Branch is currently planning their forum on "Cost of War to Pittsburgh", covering various aspects, as part of UNAC commemoration of war anniversary. And WILPF DISARM-End Wars is still pushing the "Nuclear Weapons Abolition  and Economic and Energy Conversion Act," the “WILPF Bill” which would re-direct the money from nuclear weapons to provide carbon-free, nuclear-free energy resources.

We welcome those who again want to cut the military budget and the arms trade as a whole and redirect our spending toward human security. There is grim news on U.S. further militarization of our world.

The New York Times reported August 27 that Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals.

But we WILPF women, who pride ourselves on our study and analysis of war and peace issues, need to go to the original source, an 85 page document on U.S. dominance in the world arms trade since 2004. The text is only 22 pages and easy to read. The rest is charts and graphs which tell the same story in a variety of visual forms.

So we have plenty of work to do in September and in the months and years ahead. All WILPF women are invited to join us, and we are ready to work with any WILPFer, WILPF Branch or WILPF Issue Committees on our common goals. Contact NFF chairs to reach both Ellen Thomas and Carol Urner, current co-chairs of our DISARM-End Wars Leadership Team.

Image Credit: Image from Keep Space for Peace poster, October 6 to 13, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Co-Sponsored by WILPF, Reaching Critical Will