Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Lanterns for Peace 2022 at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center
Photos by Susan Ruggles
Disarm, Dismantle and Abolish Nuclear Weapons Now!
(Take Action: Email the White House to demand President Biden’s Nuclear Posture Review be made public. Call your US Senators (202) 224-3121 to urge them to vote NO on the 2023 military budget or National Defense Authorization Act) and the $2 trillion nuclear weapons modernization program.
Statement to States Parties at the August 2022 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference from CODEPINK and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US section (WILPF US)
As the UN conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) gets underway this August, CODEPINK and WILPF US call on the U.S. government, one of 191 signatories to the Treaty, to remove its nuclear weapons from NATO countries and its anti-ballistic missiles from Romania and Poland, to dismantle its land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s), to take all nuclear armed missiles off hair trigger alert, and reverse course on nuclear rearmament, and demonstrate its commitment to the total elimination of all nuclear weapons from all countries by signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and inviting the other nuclear-armed nations to do likewise.
CODEPINK and WILPF US object to US violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as our government pursues nuclear rearmament with 600 new ICBMS, a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile, a B-21 strategic bomber and other new nuclear weapons. Our government labels this program nuclear “modernization”--a euphemism designed to disguise violations of Article 6 of the NPT, which is a legally-binding commitment to decrease and eliminate nuclear arsenals, not increase or upgrade them.
We object to the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey, as well as reinstallation of nuclear weapons after a 14 years hiatus in the United Kingdom. We object to the placement of anti-ballistic missiles on Russia's border in Romania and nearby Poland because even so-called "defensive" missiles actually escalate the arms race and the danger of a nuclear war with Russia. These anti-ballistic missile systems are also identical to those used for launching offensive nuclear ballistic weapons and therefore raise the spectre of NATO deploying such weapons in Eastern Europe for the first time.
Meanwhile, the United States is spending tens of billions of dollars each year to replace and upgrade its deadly arsenals. Russia is threatening to deploy new strategic nuclear systems, including a nuclear-armed torpedo. President Putin recently suggested he might put nuclear weapons-capable missiles and aircraft in Belarus, just as the United States has put nuclear weapons-capable missiles in several NATO nations and Poland is now asking for them. These deployments are a clear violation of Articles 1 and 2 of the NPT, which prohibit "the transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly or indirectly..." China and the United Kingdom, among other nuclear-armed states, are also increasing the quantity and capabilities of their nuclear arsenals.
At this tenuous perilous time, the US government is and its NATO allies are engaged in a protracted what is, in effect, a "proxy war" with Russia, sending long range rockets and other advanced weaponry to Ukraine, training Ukrainian pilots, sharing intelligence, and deploying special forces to support Ukrainian troops. In the midst of all this, our Secretary of State has refused to meet with Russia's foreign minister, and our President has never publicly supported diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.
We at CODEPINK and WILPF US raise our voices in thunderous protest at this warmongering and say steps must be taken to de-escalate the crisis.
Much as we condemn Russia’s horrific invasion and brutal occupation of Ukraine, we acknowledge our part in this– with US and NATO provocations. We protest our government's decision to escalate the war with billions of dollars in weapons and military training rather than efforts to reach a negotiated settlement to build a new security architecture for Europe that will guarantee security to all in the region.
CODEPINK and WILPF US urge the nations of the world to join us in saying “Come to your senses!” to President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, and every member of Congress who recently voted for the 2023 $840 billion military budget, which includes $ billions for a nuclear rearmament program expected to total nearly $2 trillion dollars over the next decades.
Instead of pursuing world peace and climate preservation for our children and their children, leaders of the US are chasing a reckless and provocative foreign policy that pits the two most heavily armed nuclear nations, the US and Russia, against each other, in an existential threat to humankind.
There are some who believe we can survive such a nuclear war. In fact, the City of New York, home of the United Nations, recently released a so-called Public Service Announcement on how to survive a nuclear attack – referring to it as “the big one” as though it were an earthquake. No mention was made of blinding flashes of light or widespread radiation that blisters the skin or immediate incineration. Instead, New Yorkers were instructed to get inside, stay inside and stay tuned. Tuned to what? Our fading heartbeats?
A nuclear war between the US and Russia would, according to ICAN (International Committee to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), lead to human annihilation–over 34-million dead, 57 million injured in the first few hours–and several dark subzero winters of famine as soot blocks the sun for those who survived.
No mention is made of this nightmare scenario, however, in the 2019 Joint Chiefs Nuclear Operations Publication (3-72), a Strangelovian document briefly released then deleted from the website of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The vanishing unclassified document, preserved by the Federation of American Scientists, reflects the Pentagon’s delusional thinking that a nuclear war can, in fact, be limited and won. Mark Milley, then Secretary of the Army, now Chair of the Joint Chiefs, signed off on the chilling statement below:
“A nuclear weapon could be brought into the campaign as a result of perceived failure in a conventional campaign, potential loss of control or regime, or to escalate the conflict to sue for peace on more-favorable terms.”
We at CODEPINK and WILPF US ask the signatories to the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, civil society delegates and all peace-loving people to join us in demanding President Biden declassify his Nuclear Posture Review because the people of the United States, of the world, deserve to know what’s in it. We deserve to know whether President Biden abides by the Joint Statement he signed with Putin in 2021 and the Joint Agreement he signed with five nuclear weapons states, including Russia and China, in January, 2022, to commit the US to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because “a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.”
To date, Biden’s Nuclear Posture Review remains a secret. Classified. This is wrong.
We issue this urgent plea to our government in the United States to not only declassify the new Nuclear Posture Review, but to forsake escalation for negotiation in Ukraine, to stop sending weapons to Ukraine to fan the flames of war and risk nuclear catastrophe, to reverse course on nuclear rearmament, to remove all land based intercontinental ballistic missiles on high alert, and to once and for all embrace fulfil its legal obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty “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” by signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and working with the other nuclear-armed nations to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.
Sponsored by Peace Action WI and the End the Wars Coalition of Milwaukee
Special thanks to the Annette Roberts and Joan Robertson Fund for World Peace
August 6, 2022
Commemoration of Hiroshima Bombing
Dear Friends of Peace Action WI,
Peace Action WI has been in the forefront of the movement to abolish Nuclear Weapons. We call on the US and all nuclear armed states to take immediate steps to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and to sign, ratify and implement the Treaty.
We are asking for your support of our 40th annual event remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all of the victims of nuclear weapons. We ask you to join together with us to create a world where nuclear weapons are dismantled and abolished so our children and grandchildren can live in peace. Today, we need your help more than ever, as the threat of a nuclear war with Russia looms over the planet.
The environmental harm from nuclear weapons continues to this day and will extend far into the future. There is a massive amount of radioactive and toxic waste from the years of research, development and production of nuclear weapons. There is no permanent storage site or feasible way to store millions of tons of waste that will continue to release lethal radiation- for hundreds of thousands of years in the case of plutonium. Building new nuclear weapons will create more waste, which no community wants to store in their area.
The United States’ $1.7 trillion nuclear weapons “modernization” program is increasing pace, it will rebuild every nuclear warhead in the planned stockpile with new military capabilities; design and manufacture new-design nuclear weapons; construct new multi-billion dollar production plants expected to be operational until the 2080’s. New missiles, nuclear weapons carrying submarines and ships, and bombers are being bought to deliver these weapons of mass destruction, while nuclear weapons dismantlement is being cut 9%. The cost is $50.9 billion for 2023.
We challenge the $264 billion plan to replace all 400 “Minuteman” ICBMs with 450 new “Sentinel” missiles, being built with new components, which could lead to resumed nuclear testing. We point out the dangers of disposal of radioactive waste. We advocate for leaving all nuclear weapons/nuclear power waste on or near the site where it was generated. No transport of high level nuclear waste on our roads, railways and waterways. No “Mobile Chernobyl.”
Recent polls show that nearly three-quarters of all Americans are now concerned about a potential nuclear war with Russia. We are also worried about nuclear weapons issues including accidents, a terrorist attack and serious miscalculations. We strongly oppose the preparations being made for nuclear warfighting. No one wins except the weapons manufacturers.
Making the unimaginable impossible:
Peace Action WI is a partner in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. We are part of the Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative and the Nuclear Ban Treaty Days of Action. (Our sister organization in Luck, WI, Nukewatch, is a leader in this movement.) We have initiated the introduction and passage the Milwaukee County Board Back from the Brink of Nuclear War Resolution.
We organized a well-attended rally in Madison with Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR-WI) WI on Jan 22, 2022, for the second anniversary of the Entry Into Force of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We also joined them to protest of the stationing of F-35 Nuclear Bombers in Madison, WI and the relicensing of the embrittled Point Beach Nuclear Reactor.
We organized the March program for the United Nations Association of MKE to have Tina Cordova of the Tularosa Downwinders speak about the Trinity a-bomb test in 1945, where the first atomic weapon was dropped. The people of the Tularosa area were never informed and allowed to ingest radioactive food and water, causing illnesses, cancer and death.
We lobbied tirelessly at the DC Days lobby effort in May by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, which we have joined. Peace Action WI was present at 14 lobby visits, including a visit with Tammy Baldwin’s aides. We were speaking truth to power about the obscene and immoral US nuclear weapon’s programs. The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nuclear Weapons request for research and development for 2023 is $16.5 billion.
It’s long past time to retire all nuclear weapons and bring the money home to our community!
The annual Lanterns for Peace event is a great way to celebrate our work and to ensure future generations will live without in a nuclear-free world.
Please give as generously as you can.
For a Nuclear-free Future,
Office Manager, Peace Action WI