WILPF launches petition campaign in support of Ban Treaty

Ray Acheson of Reaching Critical Will at the June 17 Women’s March to Ban the Bomb. Courtesy Reaching Critical Will.

By DISARM/End Wars Issue Committee

A dramatic outcome of our recent Congress in Chicago was the whole-hearted support for a national campaign to support the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

You may know that on July 7, 2017, after months of negotiations, 122 of the 192 members of the United Nations agreed to ban the bomb through the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Yet, even though nearly two-thirds of UN member states support a global ban on the research, development, production, stockpiling, transport, deployment, and/or threat to use any nuclear explosive device, the media barely reported on this diplomatic breakthrough. As a result, the vast majority of Americans knows little (if anything) about the Ban Treaty.

Educate, activate, bring about change

WILPF US plans to remedy this problem through a campaign of public education whose primary teaching tool is a petition. Drafted by DISARM Committee members in collaboration with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and finalized at the Triennial Congress, the petition calls upon the US President and Senate to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to redirect current and planned nuclear weapons spending to human and environmental needs.

Our DISARM/End Wars Issue Committee has set several benchmarks to reach before the end of this year. The first of those has already been accomplished through the retention of a social media consultant who will handle the online distribution of the electronic version of the petition and who will help ensure it goes viral.

Be the change you want to see in the world—and put it in writing!

Everyone receiving this newsletter is encouraged to print off the attached version of the petition and commit to collecting as many signatures as possible. We will continue gathering signatures through the fall, but our first benchmark is September 15. We urge each member to collect at least 100 signatures each (only 10 pages of petitions) by that date. Make copies for yourself so that you’ll have these 100 new, wonderful contacts who support banning the bomb, then mail the original petitions to Ellen Thomas at the address printed at the bottom of the petition.

The Support the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Petition can also be signed online.

On September 20, the day of the official Treaty-signing ceremony at the UN and the first day that any member nation of the General Assembly may sign on to the Treaty, branches are urged to create a publicity event bringing awareness to our petition campaign and to the awesome courage and determination of 122 nations to end the tyranny of the bomb. Contact nations that have consulate offices in your area and publicly thank them for voting to abolish the bomb. (For example, San Francisco hosts 37 consular offices!) Check Google to find consular offices in your town or contact Robin Lloyd at 802-355-3256 for more suggestions for outreach.

Women ban the bomb, and make history, too

WILPF was founded to end war. WILPF’s Reaching Critical Will division furthered that work throughout the Ban Treaty negotiations. On June 17, over 100 solidarity events around the world supported the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb in NYC. Then, on July 7, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons became a reality.

Women can ban the bomb here, too! Help to make all our voices loud and clear!

The next issue of Peace & Freedom will have more on the petition drive, which will continue both in paper form and electronically throughout the year, and on the larger campaign to End the Whole Nuclear Era, of which the petition is one element.


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