JULY 2017 Leaflet
Dreaming of a Nuclear Weapons-Free World
Can the Impossible Become Possible?
There are some in our community who call nuclear weapons opponents “hopeless idealists” or “dreamers.” “Sure”, they say, “we’d all love to live in peace, but it’s a crazy world out there and we need nuclear weapons to be safe.”
But does the US status as a nuclear superpower really make us safer? Or does it make us all more vulnerable to being destroyed in a conflict that could spiral out of control into all-out nuclear war?
As the world watches, the US is spending $1 trillion to create a new generation of nuclear armaments. In turn, we now see ramped-up nuclear proliferation and the ratcheting-up of political and military tensions from Moscow to Pyongyang to Beijing. How does this race towards doomsday keep the American people safe?
By accepting the so-called inevitability of nuclear weapons, avoiding the ugly consequences of the nuclear arms race and the grave threat it poses to civilian populations around the globe, it is easy to assume an “ostrich-in-the sand” position and simply get on with our busy lives.
But by ignoring the issue, are we not undermining our own power and potential to envision a nuclear-weapons-free sustainable world? After all, imagining something is the first step toward challenging the status quo and making a change. Of course, such a transformation may not happen overnight, but the first step is to dream the impossible as possible.
For example, on July 7, 2017 the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Under Article 6 of the Treaty, states are prohibited from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, transferring, deploying, stationing, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons under any circumstances. Although the US, Russia and other nuclear states boycotted this Treaty, it was adopted by 122 states and passed overwhelmingly.
Even in the face of the US-led boycott, this UN Treaty signals the clear resolve of civil society to embark on a path leading to a nuclear weapons-free world. Someday in the future, when survivors of a nuclear war ask the United States and other nuclear-armed states, “What did you do to keep our planet safe when it was under attack?” -- what will be our response be?
We invite you to join us in taking a stand for a peaceful, nuclear-free world for the sake of our future generations. Join us at our August event commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dare to Dream!
JUNE 2017 Leaflet
"If we can risk nuclear war, we can risk disarmament!"
Negotiations To Ban Nuclear Weapons Begin This Month
Starting on June 15th and running through July 2017, representatives from more than 115 world governments will gather at UN Headquarters in New York to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination.”
These groundbreaking talks are the result of a landmark UN General Assembly resolution in December 2016, which voted with overwhelming support to begin negotiations on a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. They reflect widespread concern among the world’s nations to prohibit the use, possession and development of nuclear weapons — which have the potential to annihilate all life on the planet.
These historic negotiations could generate real momentum toward reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons and represent a resurgence of political will following decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts.
With global tensions and nuclear threats rising, the need for progress on nuclear disarmament “has rarely been as urgent as it is today”, according to the UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament’s statement at the opening round of talks.
Sadly, the US is not taking part in this fresh new nuclear disarmament initiative. Instead, it has joined Russia, China, Japan and several other nuclear states in sitting out the talks. In the absence of US leadership, countries like Brazil, Austria, and Ireland are taking the lead.
Nonetheless, there is growing grassroots support for nuclear disarmament in many countries throughout — including nuclear weapon states like the United States and the United Kingdom and nuclear-dependent states like Germany. On Saturday, June 17, women around the world will hold “Ban the Bomb” marches in support of the UN talks and against the policy of mutually assured destruction.
As long as nuclear weapons systems like Trident continue to exist on our planet, we will all be forced to live with the threat of hair-trigger situations such as 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis which nearly sparked nuclear war between Russia and the United States.
To quote U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 address to the UN General Assembly: “We far prefer world law, in the age of self-determination, to world war, in the age of mass extermination.”
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action
16159 Clear Creek Rd * Poulsbo WA 98371