And Next Steps.
70 attended a gathering hosted by Ralph Hutchinson and officers of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA).
Jack and Felice Cohen-Joppa of The Nuclear Resister lift up their wine glasses from Tucson, AZ. "It took us 75 years, but now we have a Treaty!"
We raise our glasses, in Chicago, in Los Angeles, in Brandywine PA, upstate New York, and MA because the faith in our convictions ----the nearing reality for a world without nuclear weapons--in the words of the Joint Interfaith Statement on the Treaty:
We rejoice at the possibilities of a new world that this Treaty ushers in. At a time when the world desperately needs fresh hope, the TPNW inspires us to continue to work to fully eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons, and to create conditions for peace, justice, and well-being.
44% of us tonight said our energies were to organizing faith communities. Marge Van Cleef said, "Back in the '80s and '70s the Church was involved, it's still a moral issue." Now the Treaty serves to animate Marylia Kelley, promoting all to write Letters to the Editor, Op-Eds.
"The message needs to be on the message" says Alice Slater. "We need to step on the message--Any university involved, any manufacturer of nuclear weapons is illegal!"
For Seth Sheldon, "Moving the goal post" asserting aggressively is perfectly appropriate to the reality of this Treaty, "it's the new norm, it's an imperative. When I'm negotiating in the UN Parliament, these states will say, we want to support you, but how are you pressuring in the US. We talk about 39 cities who have signed the cities appeal."
The cities appeal drew the highest interest of participants (63% of attendees) but may have been the most known. Less identified with campaigns for affected communities (32%) though OREPA made a landmark victory on this front last year.
Another campaign will challenge the 50 universities involved in nuclear weapon production--which the Treaty supporting countries have condemned as illegal. Targeting these schools of mass destruction garnered 21% of vote.
47% voted their interest to advocacy. The Warren-Smith bill is another tool to help in our advocacy. David Borris, of Chicago Area Peace Action CAPA--"We start with getting No First Use because in the Saul Alinsky way of thinking, it's winnable. Then pivot target to the land-based ICBMs."
42% supported a day of Action; Robert from Brandywine, PA promoted day before easter April 3, the same date Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his Beyond Vietnam speech at Riverside church
Plowshare activist, Sr. Carol Gilbert said, "I've been on a lot of zoom calls lately with Arms Control people--I can tell you its about jobs."
As referred to in their joint letter, the USCCB and Jubilee wrote to the Biden Administration citing that the International Labor Organization estimates that the global economy lost 495 million jobs and that 150 million will fall into extreme poverty this year.
She added, "The young need our help drawing the connection with environment and nuclear weapons. "
Alice Slater agreed, "The military will go on, but look at Texas, the entire nuclear industry can have a job implementing the Green New Deal."
Holly Adams of Citizens for Peace, Upstate NY, called for ranking our energies, and guidance in directing traffic to lists of those who came to the 75th anniversary memorial of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
For Don Hughes, and 45% of attendees interested in the Don't Bank on the Bomb initiative, following the money is the priority. Recommending article by Elisabeth Eaves for The Bulletin "Why is America Getting a $100 billion nuclear weapon?"
Others expressed requests for social media training, graphic design, branding, "an eye-catching TPNW poster we can use across the country." We need a place that you can get a statistical breakdown for the $$ spent on nuclear weapons for the local municipality, the county, and state.
Denise Duffield, who spoke earlier about how this organizing can outreach so it can be a justice movement said, "The Physicians for Social Responsibility have a tool for that." She supports its credibility: "The method used for the calculations," it's complicated, but "works."The PSR-LA Board President Dr. Bob Dodge has since 1989 accounted for the spending that our communities have forfeit to nuclear weapons spending.
For FY 2020, Los Angeles County will spend $2,057,720,316 on nuclear weapons and the city of Los Angeles will spend $841,882, 188!
February 27, Webinar "Fasting for Justice" A fast will be announced for April 2021 in light of planned purchase by Canada for 88 bombers.
March 4, "Ending Nuclear Weapons Before They End US" a discussion hosted by the Back from the Brink Campaign will discuss further opportunities under the Biden Administration.
The newly appointed chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said he fully supports maintaining current budget levels, "We have to modernize the triad and. maintain in my view the triad for strategic reasons that have been successful for about 70 years" (see Meredith Roaten National Defense.)
Senator Jack Reed D-R.I., spoke to the Defense Writers Group Feb. 23 saying he expects the overall defense to flatten, but fully supported ground based intercontinental ballistic missiles, long-range bombers and ballistic missile submarines--the so-called strategic deterrence triad. While he identified preventing cost overuns of the B-21, and said he would not cut the F-35--The Air Force plans to buy 1,763 of the aircraft. He did not address calls from some members of his party to reduce or delay the ground-based Minuteman III ICBMs "But we can't avoid trying to minimize those costs."
Act now to question the dubious finding of no significant environmental impact of next generation ICBM tests--environmental impact draft report available for public comment.
Test program-related actions at Hill Air Force Base (HAFB) in Utah and at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California. Such tests would include conducting missile launches from VAFB with flights over the Pacific Ocean in the Western Test Range.
All GBSD Test Program and Minuteman III demonstrations proposed to occur at U.S. Army Garrison–Kwajalein Atoll (USAG-KA) and within the Republic of the Marshall Islands territorial waters must comply with the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll Environmental Standards (UES). A Document of Environmental Protection (DEP) is under development to outline the activities proposed to occur at USAG-KA and within the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
E‑mail comments by March 22, 2021 to gbsdtesteaoea-comments@govsupp
Elizabeth Eaves, <https://thebulletin.org/2021/02/why-is-america-getting-a-new-100-billion-nuclear-weapon/> accessed 25 Feb. 2021.
Ground Based Strategic Defense Test Program <https://gbsdtesteaoea.govsupport.us/>.
"Warheads to Windmills: How to Pay for a Green New Deal" nuclearban.us/w2w/
Dr. Bob Dodge's analysis of costs of nuclear weapons see <https://www.psr-la.org/nuclear-costs> accessed 25 Feb. 2021.
Warren-Smith Bill S. 272 on No First Use of Nuclear Weapons <https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/272/text>
Chicago Area Peace Action--http://www.chipeaceaction.org/about/
Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Action (OREPA) <https://orepa.org/faith-communities-hail-ban-treaty-we-believe-the-possession-development-and-threat-to-use-nuclear-weapons-to-be-immoral/>.
Union of Concerned Scientists, "Rethinking Land Based Missiles" <https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/2020-06/rethinking-land-based-nuclear-missiles.pdf> accessed 25 Feb. 2021.
Meredith Roaten, "Senate Leader Supports Maintaining Nuclear Triad Budget" National Defense 24 Feb. 2021.
Joint US Conference of Catholic Bishops/Jubilee USA Network Open Letter to Biden <https://www.jubileeusa.org/joint_usccb_jubilee_biden_letter?utm_campaign=pr_g20_trillion_sdrs_calls&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jubileeusa>.