Keep Space for PeacePublished on October, 33 2012
By the DISARM/End Wars Issue Committee
The current DISARM-End Wars Issue Committee priority is nuclear weapons abolition and a nuclear free future. However we seek to support any US WILPF Branch or member project on disarmament and demilitarization or on ending and preventing US wars and occupations.
Keep Space for Peace October 6–13: Calling all WILPFers to join in resisting war in, from and through space. Here is the letter already sent to those for whom our committee has addresses. Share it electronically with your Branch members. If you want copies of the poster and Space Alert, and/or to be on the DISARM-End Wars committee list, send your name, address, phone and email to Carol Urner firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out Philadelphia Area Drones Protests During Keep Space for Peace Week.
Read the details below. Join us to work with any of our five sub groups and share your own concerns.
I. ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS – Some very good news as we move toward abolition
II. SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR POWER – WILPFers in No Nukes Northwest and Washington D.C. join efforts of No Nukes South and No Nukes Northeast.
III. KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE – We’ve delivered KS4P posters to Progressives in Congress and D.C. NGOs. Send reports of your own actions to NFFchairs@WILPFus.org
IV. END WARS AND OCCUPATIONS – We’ve been asked by UFPJ to draft an organization sign on letter based on our Iran statement.
V. DISMANTLE THE WAR ECONOMY –Bad News: Weapons R Us! The US now sells 78 % of the world’s weapons! Good News: Nancy Wren of Boston WILPF will soon supply us with videos on cutting the military budget with Bruce Gagnon, Chris Hellman and Bill Hartung. Suitable for individual viewing, WILPF programs or cable TV.
I. ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS – Some very good news as we move toward abolition:
Norway and the 117 nations ready to negotiate a nuclear weapons test ban treaty no longer want to wait while the U.S. and other nuclear powers try to avoid negotiations. Norway has called a summit of governments on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war March 4 and 5 2013 which it hopes will reframe the debate about nuclear weapons and lead to a nuclear weapons convention. ICAN has called for pre-conference gathering of civil society on March 2 and 3. WILPF will be there. Can we send someone from U.S. WILPF? It was Norway that lead the way to a cluster ban treaty when the U.S. was still blocking all disarmament negotiations in the United Nations.
In the U.S. WILPF is still resisting the nuclear weapons modernization program which received 53 billion in return for Republican cooperation in ratifying the new START treaty. Monterey and MacGregor Eddy have been concentrating on publicizing and protesting the upgrading of Minuteman Missiles to carry what some of our ANA friends call Frankenbombs. They are actually new bombs made from parts from the unused nuclear weapons stockpile. These bombs cannot be tested (though some dream of doing so one day) but the missiles are fired off at $20,000,000 a shot from Vandenberg AFB.
October 17 is the trial of the VANDENBERG 15. Watch the VFP video of the February protest organized by WILPFer MacGregor Eddy in which so many of our California Branches were involved. It is an invitation to attend both the trial and the October 16 public forum in the Santa Barbara library.
U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, an essential next step toward abolition of nuclear weapons, moves forward slowly. Washington D.C. Branch chair Coralie Farlee, is watching out for DISARM events on Capitol Hill and sent a video available on C-SPAN on prospects for ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
D.C. Branch members have also been attending Congressional and Nuclear Regulatory Commission Hearings for WILPF. She has just sent a report on three recent hearings relevant to efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. The first two of them were triggered by the Plowshares action of Sister Megan and her friends.
And best U.S. news, (though scarcely known outside of Alliance for Nuclear Accountability where cheers are loud) is that funds for the boondoggle multi-billion dollar plutonium pit (triggers for nuclear warheads) production facility was zeroed out of the Senate continuing resolution for 2013 funding.
II. SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS – Washington D.C.Branch NUCLEAR POWER:
Participate in the Wall Street Journal poll on nuclear power. If you comment it is a wonderful opportunity to educate. At least twice as many are for as are against but many of the former are completely ignorant of the costs and dangers.
We’re pleased to see increased involvement of WILPFers in the “shut them down!” movement. WILPFers in Oregon and Washington can now work with No Nukes Northwest on closure of the Hanford commercial reactor on the Columbia river, and Washington D.C. WILPF has prepared a statement for public hearings on Calvert Cliffs.
But of course it is important to know and understand the dangers first. We recommend Beyond Nuclear and NIRS for both information and help in organizing. Cecile Pineda, author of Devils Tango, how I learned the Fukushima Step by Step is available for book signings and community programs in California and we are happy to learn of plans for a Midwest tour in 2013.
III. KEEP SPACE FOR PEACE – prevent cyberwarfare and robotic warfare:
The best background information on UN progress (or lack thereof) on Keeping Space for Peace is on Reaching Critical Will including the newly updated section on Outer Space and PAROS. A two-page fact sheet for distribution can also be accessed.
Joan Bazar of San Jose Branch has posted two videos with Medea Benjamin’s talk on drones given in San Jose.
Thanks to Joan and a salute to our sisters in Code Pink who on October 7 will join Imran Khan, Pakistan's most popular leader, on a peace march to Waziristan where U.S. drones have killed so many people. He expects some 50,000 Pakistanis to join the march.
IV. ENDING WARS and also Preventing U.S.Wars and Occupations:
Check out UNAC October 5 to 7 actions. Let us know if you have planned your own are joining one of these coalitions.
We are now drafting an Iran sign on letter at the request of UFPJ and will share it will the DISARM-End Wars Committee for comment and suggested revisions. It will be a joint UFPJ statement and they also may have serious revisions.
V. DISMANTLING THE WAR ECONOMY:
Nancy Wrenn of Boston Branch will soon have three videos to share with WILPF members. They can be viewed on individual computers, projected for WILPF or community programs and shown on cable TV. Each video features a different speaker on the need to cut the military budget, dismantle the war economy and fund for life and development rather than death, destruction and huge profits for a few. The speakers are Chris Hellman of the Nat'l Priorities Project and Mike Prokosch of the New Priorities Network (Sept. 30), Bruce Gagnon, Global Network against Weapons in Space (October 21) and Bill Hartung of the Center for International Policy on November 18. WILPF Boston is a co-sponsor.
Image: Image courtesy of No Drones Pennsylvania, Artist Ann Northrup, 2010 (detail)