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ACTION ALERT: No Nukes! No Wars! (No Warming!)


October 19, 2007
No Nukes! No Wars! No Warming!

The Bush Administration cowed many into supporting the invasion of Iraq on the false pretext that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program. Yet no nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons were found in Iraq. Now, the scenario seems to be repeating itself as Washington threatens Iran.

Proposal for thematic activity at the Peace and Justice Convergence, Oct. 27

Rationale: The Bush Administration cowed many into supporting the invasion of Iraq on the false pretext that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program. Yet no nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons were found in Iraq. The whole world now recognizes this fabrication as a ploy to justify a war to control access to Iraq’s oil resources and enhance U.S. power in the Middle East.

Now, the scenario seems to be repeating itself as Washington threatens Iran, accusing that country of seeking nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian nuclear power program, in violation of its obligation as a non-nuclear nation under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Yet the US is in blatant violation of its own NPT obligation to eliminate its vast and sophisticated nuclear arsenal.

The IAEA has found no evidence that Iran has diverted nuclear material from its civilian program or that it intends to build nuclear weapons in the future. The U.S., however, retains a nuclear arsenal of 10,000 weapons, nearly 2,000 on hair-trigger alert. With 400 tactical nuclear weapons deployed in 6 NATO countries, the U.S. is the only country with nuclear weapons deployed on foreign soil.

And the U.S. is modernizing its existing nuclear weapons, and publicly making plans to develop and produce new ones, including here in the Bay area at the Livermore Lab. This system of international nuclear apartheid is dangerous and unsustainable.

The United States should demonstrate leadership by fulfilling its own disarmament obligation under the NPT. This will require the US to stop blocking negotiations on abolition and to take meaningful steps towards the elimination of its vast and sophisticated nuclear arsenal. Efforts to resolve any dispute with Iran should include promoting negotiations, including with nuclear-armed Israel, on a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East.

We need to stop going to war for oil. And we need to address climate change. But nuclear power is not the answer. Every nuclear power plant is a potential bomb factory and a source of radioactive waste that will remain deadly forever. To address the inherent risk of diversion to weapons posed by civilian nuclear technology anywhere, the U.S. should promote sustainable energy alternatives, at home and internationally.

Program/Activity Concept: Our cluster of organizations will build a maze/labyrinth representing the stages in the nuclear fuel cycle (uranium mining, milling, enrichment/fuel fabrication, nuclear energy production/nuclear weapons production, nuclear waste, and war). The walls of the maze will be constructed of light fabric, attached to wooden stakes pounded into the ground.

People will be invited to walk through the maze, stopping to “mine uranium” (eg. by digging up yellow sponges buried under dirt), examine photographs and other displays, and pick up literature. The maze will lead in several directions.

One path (No Wars) will end at a table where a real Iranian person or family will be available to tell Americans why we shouldn’t bomb them. Another path (No Nukes) will end at a table where people can “vote” on the future of nuclear weapons by casting a mock ballot, and sign postcards and petitions. Using props like mirrors or solar cookers and/or street theater, we will also demonstrate the efficacy of renewable energy sources, such as solar.

We plan to have a video camera and conduct brief interviews with people about their views on nuclear power and nuclear weapons. These videos will be posted on You Tube and submitted to the Department of Energy as public comments on the forthcoming Environmental Impact Statement for the modernization of the US nuclear weapons production complex.

If electricity is available, and if we can create a dark enough space, we will project a wide variety of relevant images. Other interactive activities may include button making (people can design their own buttons), folding paper cranes, etc.

The above is a general outline of what we hope to do. Specific plans are in development.

Logistical Support: We estimate that we will need a 50’ x 50’ space (about 2,500 sq. ft.) to construct our maze. We are prepared to build the maze and will supply our own materials, including several small pop-up tents. We have a number of large, graphically attractive banners.

WE NEED: access to electricity to power a projector and a button-making machine. WE REQUEST: 6 tables (card table size or larger) and 6 chairs. We estimate that our materials will cost about $200 - $300, which we would hope to get reimbursed by the coalition.

Endorsements: All of the partnering organizations understand that they are expected to endorse the October 27 demo and will be asked to make a financial contribution. We’re waiting for the letter from UFPJ, which we hope to distribute at our next meeting.

Initial Partners:

United for Peace and Justice Bay area
Western States Legal Foundation
Abalone Alliance Clearinghouse
Fiat Pax (UC Berkeley student organization)
Iranian Americans Against War and For Democracy in Iran
Green Guerillas Against Greenwash

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