Looking ahead to a nuclear-free future and a world without war

Poster title for the February 2016 Nuclear Free Future event in Ashland, Oregon.

By Carol Urner, for the Disarm/End Wars Issue Committee

“One Sunny Day” by Hideko Snider is recommended reading as we work for nuclear weapons abolition during the Chain Reaction Campaign between now and October 2. This is the story of Hideko’s own struggle to stay alive, alone at age eleven after her mother, relatives, and friends were all killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Look also for “When A Peace Tree Blooms,” also written by Hideko, and probably best read by an adult and child together because of its gentle introduction to the tragedy of Hiroshima with which we all must now live.

Ellen Thomas and Carol Urner concluded their East Coast Nuclear Free Future Tour by May 6 and now are both engaged in follow-up and planning for a Midwest tour. But they also need time to recover from the West and East Coast journeys. Ellen, especially, suffered from all of the driving and lifting of luggage and book boxes. She has since needed shoulder replacement surgery and now suffers a detached retina that has left her blind (we trust temporarily) in one eye. But, for all of that, the trips were wonderful, productive, and we learned so much from each of you! Your own Branch report should arrive soon for additions and corrections.

Our committee is co-sponsoring the international Chain Reaction 2016 campaign, July 8 through October 2, on behalf of WILPF US. Details can be found on the Chain Reaction website. Increased calls for nuclear weapons abolition are needed from all of us during this time of extreme danger of nuclear war by design or accident. This period will include the International Day of Peace (September 21) and the UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (September 26), as well as Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorials, the UN Open-Ended Working Group final 2016 sessions, opening debate in the General Assembly, and Gandhi’s birthday, the UN’s International Day for Non-Violence (October 2).

For Hiroshima/Nagasaki memorials and remembrances, August 5 though 9, report your events to the Nuclear Free Future website developed for all of us by United for Peace and Justice. Submit an event on the website. (Our committee has helped fund and develop this important website for the entire US Peace Movement over the past four years.)

WILPF is one of the key partners responsible for development of the World Beyond War conference in Washington, D.C., September 23-25. For more information, see the related article in this issue of E-News and explore the World Beyond War website to get a sense of this collaborative effort to end wars. You will see that most of the US Peace Movement leadership is planning to be there! WOW! We can also help develop the new, revised “A Global Security System: Alternative to War” handbook. For example, Tucson WILPF is developing materials on patriarchy. And how great if every WILPF US Branch could help at least one or two member(s) attend! This is our great opportunity to forge the alliances needed if we are to really work together effectively to end the scourge of war!

In August, we expect to send around posters, flyers, and action materials for Keep Space for Peace Week, October 1-8, 2016. This year, this week, which has long been a major one on our committee agenda, will focus on the current aggressive role of profit-hungry military corporations and investor hawks in the United States, pushing the earth’s many nations into more weapons and worldwide war. We hope the materials and events can be used to help more of our fellow citizens (and corporations!) break free of the propaganda bubble in which too many now dwell. There is so much good in our own people. Surely we can help draw it to the surface and build together on it before it is too late.


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