Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
East Bay and San Francisco Branches
Contact us at: East Bay WILPF, PO Box 13266, Oakland, CA 94661
Visit the US WILPF web site at www.Wilpfus.org
WILPF US Facebook page:
Visit the international WILPF website at www.wilpf.org
Next meeting will be in San Francisco (location still to be determined)
Saturday March 12 at 10:15 am
Support a NUCLEAR FREE FUTURE
join East Bay & San Francisco WILPF, WILPF US Disarm/End Wars Committee, Livermore Lab Tri-valley Cares and Western States Legal Foundation in supporting HR1976
On Saturday, February 6, 2016, WILPF-East Bay and San Francisco hosted a panel at the Rockridge Library in Oakland, CA with four WILPF members who have dedicated their lives to a nuclear free future. Carol Urner and Ellen Thomas are co-chairs of the WILPF-US Disarm/End Wars issue committee and are currently on a West Coast tour visiting WILPF branches to campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons and promote HR 1976, the only bill in Congress calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Joining them on the panel were two well-known activists Marylia Kelley with TriValley Cares, the Livermore Lab watchdog group trivalleycares.org and Jackie Cabasso, director of the Western States Legal Foundation wslfweb.org that monitors and analyzes international nuclear weapons programs and plays a role in the international abolition of nuclear weapons.
Carol spoke first and told us of her long history in anti-nuclear issues beginning in the ‘50s and continuing in the ‘60s with Women for Peace working for the first test ban treaty. And then a car accident, which killed her husband, and left Carol in a coma for many days caused her to re-dedicate her life to the cause of nuclear disarmament back in the U.S. She highly recommended a book, “my bible” she said, When the World Outlawed War, by David Swanson, which tells of a time in U.S. history when we did end war through the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 that renounced war as an instrument of national policy. She discussed the global movement to ban nuclear weapons, ICAN, (www.icanw.org ), the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons that held a conference in 2013 in Oslo attended by 122 countries and non-governmental organizations, and Reaching Critical Will, the disarmament program of WILPF international www.reachingcriticalwill.org . Carol is now dedicating her energies to letting people know about HR 1976, the bill introduced by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2015.
Her intrepid fellow traveler Ellen Thomas told us more about this bill, first introduced in 1994 and the only legislation calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide. Ellen also has a long history of activism for peace. She participated 18 years in the White House Peace Vigil in Lafayette Park and with WILPF and the Prop One Campaign against nuclear weapons. She stressed the importance of education about HR 1976 which provides for nuclear weapons abolition and economic conversion while ensuring environmental restoration and clean-energy conversion. Her tour with Carol to visit WILPF branches and hold public meetings like the one on February 6 also includes meeting with Congressional representatives in each District where they travel. They met with the staff of Congressional Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco on Feb. 3 and also with staff of Rep. Jackie Speier and others in the Bay Area, plus they were able to meet Rep. Zoe Lofgren in person. They are encouraging these Congress people to co-sponsor HR 1976. Ellen pointed us to the website for the legislation www.prop1.org for all the information we need to join the campaign for HR 1976.
Our next speaker was Marylia Kelley of Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment) that was founded in 1983 in Livermore, CA by concerned neighbors living around the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of two locations here where all U.S. nuclear weapons are made. Tri-Valley CAREs monitors nuclear weapons and environmental clean-up activities throughout the US nuclear weapons complex, with a special focus on Livermore Lab and the surrounding communities. Marylia emphasized that the new threat is nuclear weapons “modernization” that is leading to a new nuclear arms race that will cost $1 Trillion over 30 years. At Livermore lab they are developing a new Long-Range Stand Off (LRSO) nuclear warhead that will ride atop a new air-launched cruise missile allowing a pilot to “stand off” and launch the missile 3K miles away from the target. We are looking at sneak nuclear attacks from miles away if the funding for this is approved. She emphasized that this could mean first use nuclear weapons that look like conventional weapons—a world destabilizer. Such notables as William Perry, and Senators Feinstein and Boxer recommend canceling the LRSO program. Marylia showed us a funding pie chart of the FY 2016 Dept. of Energy budget for Livermore Lab with a request of total $1,170,239,000, 85% of which is for nuclear weapon activities. She said we are at a crossroads today, do we want a new arms race or can the people, such as those in the Marshall Islands who are fighting back against radioactive contamination, stand up and say No.
Our final speaker Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, that has monitored and analyzed U.S. nuclear weapons programs and policies for over 30 years, said this is the moment to declare the end of nuclear weapons. There are over 15,000 of them in the world with 94% controlled by the U.S. and Russia with no international disarmament negotiations planned. Russia and China are also planning nuclear weapon modernization driven by the U.S. plans. We have nuclear weapons located at six NATO sites, the only country with these weapons abroad, and President Obama wants to increase the number of weapons in Central and Eastern Europe to send a message to Russia. Both Syria and Korea are potential nuclear catastrophes. Jackie strongly supports HR 1976 as a vision for the future and a vehicle for organizing with a lot of diverse groups. She told us there are now close to 7000 Mayors in 160 countries, including 205 in the U.S., who are Mayors for Peace calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020 www.mayorsforpeace.org . The 2015 U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling for a reduction in nuclear weapons spending and re-direction of the money to the needs of our cities.
We ended the event with hope that working in coalition with other groups, WILPF members can do something to end nuclear weapons at the local level and beyond. We applauded our panelists for their life-long dedication to this effort.
For more information or to send a letter to congress link to:
For more information link to WILPF US enews article :
There is still time to TO STOP the TPP
For factsheets and more information
WILPF CONNECTS the DOTS BETWEEN CORPORATE IMPERIALISM AND ECOLOGICAL DEGRADATION
call or write President Obama and Senator Feinstein to protest their ill-advised stand on TPP. Urge them to reconsider their positions.
President Obama: 202-456-1111
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania ave. NW, Washington DC 20500
Senator Feinstein 202-224-3841
♦ LOST JOBS – More jobs shipped to PacRim countries with atrocious human rights records, low pay, and lax environmental laws that harm people and the planet.
♦ ATTACKS ON LOCAL ECONOMIES – A globalized market-place regulations rather than local control of legislation. Corporations can sue governments.
♦ MORE DIRTY ENERGY – Increased fracking, tar sands, and dirty coal – leading to rapid expansion of pipelines and ports for export to Asia.
♦ MORE HEAT – More CO2 = more global warming and extreme weather leading to conflict and migration that disproportionately impacts women and children.
♦ MORE CONFLICT & MIGRATION – Climate impacts and extreme weather, along with land-grabbing for bio-fuels and corporate agriculture that impacts food security, leads to conflict and migration.
♦ LESS ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE DRUGS – Big Pharma won. Patents will be enforced for another 5-8 or more years, before affordable generic drugs will be available.