DISARM/End Wars updates

2017 Nuclear Free Future Tour route

2017 Nuclear Free Future Tour route.

Join in the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb; follow the next segment of the Nuclear Free Future Tour; petition against shipments of extremely hazardous liquid weapons-grade radioactive materials.

Women’s March to Ban the Bomb, June 18—NYC and everywhere!

WILPF branches are asked to participate in planning Solidarity Marches to coincide with the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb in New York City on Sunday, June 18, 2017. To gain awareness about the historic negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty coming up at the United Nations in March and June 2017, you can go to ICANW.org and Reaching Critical Will.

What’s being planned for June?

As the world becomes environmentally and politically less stable, the threat of nuclear war looms and the Doomsday Clock has advanced a minute. So nothing could be more timely or more urgent than these Women’s Marches to Ban the Bomb. We will be marching with women (and men) from throughout this country in celebration of the opening of a second session of negotiations on a new treaty banning nuclear weapons, just as biological and chemical weapons are already banned.

Odile Hugonot Haber and Laura Dewey
Odile Hugonot Haber and Laura Dewey at the Women’s March in Washington. Credit: Laila Hamdan

Organizing sister marches in cities across the US is a task WILPF can do, and it is well within our mission to do so.

“We can take the solidarity skills we are learning for our April 22 Earth Day event and fine-tune them to be ready to organize marches in June,” advises WILPF US President Mary Hanson Harrison. “There can be no more important or urgent cause for WILPF women than this Women’s March to Ban the Bomb. It speaks to the very roots of our organization and our primary mission of peace.”

This is not just the task of DISARM Committee members. WILPF has been pointing out the interconnectedness of climate justice, human rights, women, and peace. Each of these issues, and many more, will be engaged if we organize marches against nuclear weapons and use those marches to raise awareness about the imminent threat of nuclear weapons to the planet and all life forms.

DISARM Committee Chairs Robin Lloyd, Barbara Nielsen, and Ellen Thomas are encouraging WILPF members to start now to organize these June marches.

“Let’s use the collaborations we are forming and renewing for our Earth Day actions to gain allies and cosponsors for the June march,” suggests Ellen Thomas.

Nuclear Free Future Tour: Earth Day (April 22) to June 18

Ellen Thomas will be continuing the WILPF Nuclear Free Future speaking tour that began last year, when she and Carol Urner traveled the east and west coasts visiting WILPF.

Beginning April 22 (Earth Day) in St. Louis, Missouri, Ellen plans to travel west to Columbia, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas; then north to Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota; east through Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pittsburgh, PA, and on to Washington, DC, for Alliance for Nuclear Accountability DC Days, May 21-24; north to Philadelphia; and finally to New York City for Left Forum 2017 the first weekend in June and the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb on June 18. See the map of the tour route.

Ellen hopes that Odile Hugonot Haber (Ann Arbor), Ann Suellentrop (Kansas City), and others who have good information to share at the next stop(s) on the tour about any part of the nuclear chain—from uranium mining to power plants to weapons to waste transportation and disposal—will be able to join her for a while on her two-month journey. If you or your branch would like to host Ellen, and if you could help set up meetings with your legislators to promote the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act, please contact Ellen as soon as possible at et@prop1.org or 202-210-3886 (cell and text).

Trucks Carrying Highly Radioactive Liquids May Be Passing through Your Town

Three possible routes for the nuclear waste transfer
Three possible routes for the nuclear waste transfer. Credit: Google Maps / http://radioactive-roads.weebly.com/

A very few news agencies are informing their readers that 100 to 150 trucks are going to be carrying extremely hazardous liquid weapons-grade radioactive materials from Chalk River, Canada, to Savannah River Nuclear Facility in Aiken, South Carolina, during the next few months. For example, on February 15, Mother Jones published the article Toxic Liquid Nuclear Waste Headed for US Roadways, which warns, “Less than two ounces, says one analysis, could destroy a city’s water supply.”

A map of three possible routes has been published in Ohio, where residents are concerned that the waste will be going down Route 77.

There have been efforts to halt the shipments in both Canada and the United States, including a lawsuit, which unfortunately was dismissed in early February. In North Carolina, residents are petitioning their new governor to refuse to allow shipments to be transported through the state.

At-large WILPF member Ruth Thomas, who has been challenging efforts to dump radioactive waste in South Carolina since 1970, says: “I cross-examined witnesses in an NRC hearing in 1975. In my questioning, I wanted to show examples of the gaps in the system—for example, that they didn’t train the drivers how to discover a leak. They didn’t give them a dosimeter. They accepted the information from the Department of Transportation and rail companies and other agencies on the safety of bridges without checking. They accepted assumptions without basis. There are accidents, lots of them, and who has to take care of it? Not the NRC. The states do. If anyone were to read the cross-examination of what goes on when a regular package of spent nuclear fuel is shipped, they would say, ‘No way, don’t do that.’ But nobody has that information. The NRC won’t provide it. No one knows the gaps, the assumptions, or how ridiculous it is that anything would be sent that way. If they know, they can challenge it.”

Help spread the news, and if you live along the potential routes, ask your governor and state legislators to keep these potentially catastrophic shipments from happening!



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