A dispatch from United for Peace:
At 8:15 am, August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay dropped a uranium bomb over the city of Hiroshima and in the blink of an eye vaporized thousands of women, men and children. By the end of the year 140,000 were dead. At 11.02 a.m. on August 9, the U.S. dropped a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki, killing another 60,000 – 80,000. Many thousands more continue to die or suffer from psychological trauma and illnesses caused by the prolonged effects of radiation exposure. This must never be allowed to happen again!
Aug. 6 and Aug. 9 mark the 65th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the threatened use of nuclear weapons remains at the heart of U.S. “national security” policy. Despite hopes for a dramatic change of course, the new Nuclear Posture Review reveals no substantial changes in U.S. nuclear force structure, retaining all three legs of the strategic triad – heavy bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic submarines, and declaring: “These nuclear forces will continue to play an essential role in deterring potential adversaries and reassuring allies and partners around the world.”
We think that 65 years of nuclear terror is enough; it’s time to retire nuclear weapons.
Join UFPJ in the global call to abolish nuclear weapons in our lifetime! Support these initiatives and organize Disarmament Summer in your community!
Think Outside the Bomb, a national youth-led antinuclear network is organizing an exciting series of “Disarmament Summer” events to amplify the voices of communities directly impacted by the nuclear power and nuclear weapons industry. In New Mexico, despite a Navajo Nation ban, there are renewed efforts to restart uranium mining. At the Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab, a new plutonium pit manufacturing facility is being proposed. (“Pits” are the cores of thermonuclear weapons.)
Disarmament Summer includes a permaculture encampment July 30th – Aug 9th near Los Alamos Lab. There, a new generation of youth activists will organize creative nonviolent actions at Los Alamos on August 6th. Support Think Outside the Bomb!
Organize an event or find one in your community to remember the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and demand the abolition of nuclear weapons and war, and redirection of resources to meet human needs and protect the environment. Peace Action has created an interactive website for this purpose. Please register your event or find one in your area here. The UFPJ Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security working group has created a downloadable brochure, No Nukes! No Wars! No Warming! for your use.
Countdown to Zero is a new movie, from the producers of “An Inconvenient Truth,” that warns of the dangers posed by nuclear weapons today and calls for their global abolition. The film, which opens at selected theaters around the country on July 23, is controversial among some UFPJ member groups because of its heavy emphasis on fear of a speculative nuclear terrorist attack on a US city, its limited treatment of the dangers posed by the nuclear weapons arsenals and postures of the US and the other nuclear weapon states, and its failure to acknowledge the heroic nuclear abolition efforts that have been underway by international grassroots networks for decades. Nonetheless, the film showings offer an opportunity for public education and engagement, and we have prepared a downloadable flier, Countdown to Zero? Or Fight for a Nuclear Free Future, which we encourage you to use to leaflet outside movie theaters where the film is showing. You can see a trailer and find the dates and locations of film openings at the official Countdown to Zero website.
Support Mayors for Peace! Led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Mayors for Peace has grown to 4,037 members in 144 countries and regions, with 159 U.S. cities. Mayors for Peace, through its 2020 Vision Campaign, is leading the global movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020. Help Mayors for Peace reach its goal of 5000 members by the end of this year. Enroll your mayor, or, if your mayor is already a member, encourage him/her to take leadership on nuclear abolition in your community. In June, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the association of cities with populations over 30,000, unanimously adopted a Mayors for Peace resolution supporting U.S. participation in the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020 and calling on Congress to slash nuclear weapons spending well below Cold War levels and redirect funding to meet the urgent needs of cities.
Background Information/Talking Points
When President Obama submitted the START Treaty to the Senate for ratification in May, he also submitted a Congressionally-mandated report outlining the Administration’s plan to maintain and modernize U.S. nuclear forces. In stark contrast to the Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign to abolish nuclear weapons by the year 2020, the plan includes investments of $80 billion to sustain and modernize the nuclear weapons complex, including new bomb factories in New Mexico, Tennessee and Missouri, and “well over” $100 billion to maintain and modernize nuclear weapon delivery systems by the year 2020.
Astonishingly, funding for nuclear weapons research and production will increase by more than 40%, from $6.4 Billion in FY 2010 to $9 billion by 2018 – 43% above the Cold War annual average of $5.1 Billion. Meanwhile, in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis, cities are facing rapidly rising unemployment and declining revenues, forcing them to make severe cuts to critical public services across the board.
While the U.S. government lectures and threatens Iran and North Korea about the evils of nuclear weapons, it routinely test fires nuclear missiles from Vandenberg Air Force base in California into the Pacific Ocean. Two launches were conducted in June, and the U.S. “arsenal of hypocrisy” is poised for another unarmed warhead launch in September. These tests are a visible symbol of the ongoing U.S. commitment to the nuclear threat as a central pillar of its foreign policy.
To join UFPJ’s Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security Working Group, contact its convener, Jackie Cabasso, at firstname.lastname@example.org.