Full speed ahead for DISARM/End War’s petition drive

WILPF members meet at WILPF’s literature table

WILPF members meet over lunch at WILPF’s literature table, during World Beyond War’s “End War 2017: War and the Environment” conference in DC, September 22-24, 2017

By the DISARM co-chairs

Our DISARM/EndWars petition campaign to ban nuclear weapons has gotten off to a good start. Thanks to donor support, we have hired a social media expert to publicize the campaign and draw signers to our online petition.

Since early September, 128 signed petitions, collected by WILPF members from across the country, have been delivered to Ellen Thomas at the address at the bottom of the paper petition (over 1,000 signatures!).

Nearly 400 people have also signed the online petition. But, we need a lot more people to sign and share the petition and urge their friends to do the same.

Our social media organizer, Michael Ippolito, is providing training for those who want to help get the word out on Facebook and Twitter. On Wednesday evenings, he has carved out time from his busy activist schedule to help us share the petition via a Twitter storm!

Our goal is ten million signatures! This may sound impossible, but WILPF knows how to dream big. We should get a big jump-start, now that ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize for their work on the nuclear weapons ban treaty!

We thank the dozens of WILPF members who took part in our October 2 Twitter training session and the Twitter storm we created on October 4. WILPF members are getting social media savvy! Those who have signed up are becoming an active “SMART” Team -- Social Media Action Response Team.

Here are more opportunities to get involved:

Register for the Weekly Twitter Wednesdays Organizing Call.
Register for Social Media Trainings.
Contact Michael Ippolito with questions about registration or the trainings.

Other actions, past and future

Numerous branches held events on September 20 to celebrate the United Nations ceremony when 51 nations stepped forward to sign the UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, approved on July 7, 2017. Three nations have taken the final act of ratifying it, as of the end of September.

Meanwhile, other members are attending important conferences where they gather signatures on the ban treaty petitions.

Photo: Tabling on Church St., Burlington, VT.on Sept, 20: Robin Lloyd, Becca Camp-Allen, John Reuwer, Alex Rose, Harper Oliver, and WILPF members Marguerite Adelman, and Jean Hopkins

World Beyond War Conference, “End Wars 2017: War and the Environment”

Mary Hanson Harrison and other WILPF members attended the intense second annual World Beyond War conference at American University in Washington, DC, September 22-24, 2017, where they collected 103 signatures supporting the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

The main theme of the conference was War and the Environment, with an emphasis on bringing the two movements together. The first days’ panels were titled “Understanding the intersection of pro-environment and anti-war activism,” “Preventing domestic environmental damage of militarism,” “Halting the environmental damage of distant U.S. wars,” and “Building a Joint Peacenvironmentalist / Envirantiwar Movement.” Links to videos of the panels and workshops can be found on the World Beyond War website.

Conversion and divestment were other themes

Susi Snyder of PAX Netherlands, a former Secretary General of WILPF, spoke inspiringly about the “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” project. She was joined by Alice Slater who suggested we walk away from the workshop with a project. We did. We agreed Wells Fargo Bank would be a logical target for divesting from the war machine. Ellen Thomas filmed the workshop.

UN Conference in New York, September 26, 2017

By Odile Hugonot-Haber

Following are a few nuggets from Odile Haber’s comprehensive report on the one-day conference at the UN on Sept 26 on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (contact her at odilehh@gmail.com for the full report).

Odile Hugonot Haber: Read Reaching Critical Will’s publication Banning Nuclear Weapons - Prohibitions for a Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

Many nations spoke about the dream of a total abolition of nuclear weapons as one of the oldest goals of the United Nations since 1945. The new Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, opened the day and stated, “We know that the horrific humanitarian and environmental consequences of the use of nuclear weapons would transcend national borders. As such, every state has the right to demand the elimination of these uniquely destructive weapons.”

Only four nuclear nations attended the conference. The Russian Federation did not support The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and spoke strongly against it. They thought it was “a mistake developed in haste,” not made by consensus, and that the language was not carefully crafted and would leave them open to disasters. The representative sounded angry despite the long process to bring this treaty to birth last July.

On the other hand, many countries spoke about supporting the Treaty and they all claimed proudly to be the first ones to sign it. Also, many of the Latin American countries supported the speech of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela who spoke for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), as did Iran and India. This is an association of 120 nation members and was formed in the 1950s. Non-Nuclear Weapons States (NNWS) spoke of the gaps in the prevailing regime, and the failure of nuclear weapons states to abide by Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) calling for:

“Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

“It is quite illusive to address non-proliferation while disregarding disarmament or to selectively tackle cases of non-compliance while deliberately ignoring achieving the universality of the NPT,” said Dennis Kucinich speaking on behalf of the Basel Peace Office (a non-governmental organization).

Upcoming Events

October 7-14 – Keep Space for Peace Week

October 21 – Organizing conference for Divest from the War Machine

October 29 - Disarm/End Wars Conference Call
All WILPF members invited!
7:30 pm ET, 4:30 pm PT
1-605-475-4120 Code 7885235 #

Be sure to check out our WILPF-US Facebook page.


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