DISARM/End Wars Actions in January and 2014 CalendarPublished on January, 19 2014
By Ellen Thomas, Carol Reilley Urner and the DISARM/End Wars Team*
In January we continue our campaign for Nuclear Weapons Abolition by 2020. Alice Slater and Jackie Cabasso will be available to meet with WILPF branches and their communities on our legislative agenda including finding more co-sponsors for HR 1650 and promoting the US Conference of Mayors Resolution for nuclear weapons abolition by 2020. Jackie can also explain and promote planned UN negotiations or a Middle East WMD Free Zone.
Download and help us update our DISARM/End Wars calendar and receive support for your own or your branch projects on disarmament and ending wars. Work on what you believe is most important, be it banning militarized drones, protesting US military action in the Middle East, gun control, or questioning the Pacific Pivot. We hope everyone will support our campaign for nuclear weapons abolition by 2020 and an end to the profiteering industries that promote them. We also invite you to support Sister Megan and the Transform Now Plowshares. You may also want to join in commending Kerry and the White House for recent more creative diplomacy in the Middle East.
THERE IS A GREAT DEAL WE CAN DO LEGISLATIVELY ON ALL OF OUR ISSUES but this month we are concentrating on our search for co-sponsors for HR 1650 and for publicizing the US Conference of Mayors Resolution for Nuclear Weapons Abolition by 2020. All of us can contact our own Representatives, but Branches with Progressive Caucus members in their areas should soon be hearing from us. We were delighted to learn, by the way, that Sister Megan is enthusiastically supporting HR 1650 in prison.
We do thank Valerie Mullen for her many years of alerting us through EYE on Congress and continuing well into her 90s! Now that she is too ill to continue we want to honor her work by revitalizing it and we are seeking help from other WILPFers to do so.
SEEKING PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Jackie Cabasso and Odile Hugonot-Haber have just returned from Haifa and Ramallah where they represented WILPF at an historic conference in Israel. Discussions previously forbidden in Israel on establishing a Nuclear Weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East were held there. Both Jackie and Odile are available to meet with Branches and their communities on supporting the Helsinki conference where negotiations on the WMD zone were scheduled to begin in December 2012. All the Arab nations and Iran had agreed to participate but Israel refused to attend so the US cancelled the conference which it had originally supported. The UN negotiator continues to meet with all parties, and is even now bringing their government representatives together monthly in Switzerland. Israel is also participating but the Israeli ruling parties still are not ready for the Helsinki process.
This would be a good time to thank and commend President Obama at the White House and Secretary of State John Kerry for their present attempts at more creative diplomacy in the Middle East. They are under tremendous pressure from the hawks to bomb, bomb, and bomb! Let’s do what we can to encourage them and help keep them on the peacebuilding path.
WE NOW HAVE FOUR PETITIONS SUPPORTING SISTER MEGAN AND THE TRANSFORM NOW PLOWSHARES.
- The petition currently featured in our 2014 calendar was apparently circulated much closer to the time of arrest and before the actual trial. It is still circulating and slowly collecting signatures and comments, however. It is an interesting petition because it also emphasizes the resultant exposure of the US nuclear weapons modernization program also linked to Y-12 at Oakridge. The petition focuses especially on the B-61 nuclear warheads which by now cost several times their weight in gold to produce, are apparently unwanted by the NATO countries designated to receive them, and which also include completely new parts which make them illegal even under USA laws.
- The Transform Now Plowshares website offers background resources and guide lines for sending post cards or writing your own letters and comments to Judge Thapar.
- There is also an Open Letter to Judge Thapar you can sign and to which you can add comments. The originator is aiming for 250 signatures by January 23 at the absolute latest. There are now more signatures than the 115 noted when this web page was last posted, but signatures will have to come in at a faster rate if the goal is to be reached.
- The most popular petition right now is the recently posted one from Roots Action. Investigate it and see if you want to sign. (Perhaps it is best to sign only one. The judge may not appreciate too any duplicates!)
- DOWNLOAD THE DISARM/END WARS CALENDAR The calendar is a joint committee project to help all WILPFers plan ahead during the year and we expect to update it each month as new events and resources come in. Ellen Thomas was the primary author of the material on HR 1650. Carol Urner was primarily author of the rest of the text, although with input and corrections from the committee. She takes responsibility for any errors in the text. Corrections, comments, and suggested events to add to the 2014 calendar should be sent to her at email@example.com.
*The calendar was a joint committee project. Ellen Thomas was the primary author of the material on HR 1650. Carol Urner was primarily author of the rest of the text, although with input and corrections from the committee. She takes responsibility for any errors in the text and corrections, comments, and suggested events to add to the 2014 calendar should be sent to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo is courtesy of Transform Now Plowshares. Inspired by the prophets Micah and Isaiah and Jesus and Gandhi, Transform Now Plowshares began a symbolic conversion of the Y-12 Highly-Enriched Uranium Manufacturing Facility on July 28, 2012.