Trending topics . . .

Friday, December 19, 2014

NEEDED: Heroes to Bring About Nuclear Disarmament

Is anybody else out there connecting these dots?

For six years, we've been frustrated with Obama. (Hell, I even revoked his Nobel Peace prize!)

But maybe he's in a different place then he's been up until now. Maybe he can do some things?

Exhibit 1:

For Obama, 
More Audacity and Fulfillment
of Languishing Promises
(New York Times, December 17, 2014)


Barack Obama announces action on Cuba


"President Obama’s decision on Wednesday to radically shift United States policy toward Cuba is the latest and most striking example of a president unleashed from the hesitancy that characterized much of his first six years in office . . . . "

What this means to me is: all bets are off.  There's almost no limit to what Obama might do.


Similarly, the last couple of years of deteriorating relations with Russian might make people despair that the U.S. will follow through with the nuclear weapons reductions everyone knows we need.

(Let's not even start on how circular these arguments are: we can't talk to the Russians because we're at odds with each other about the things we can't talk to each other about because . . . )

But things can change in a day.

Exhibit 2:

Economic Fears May Push
Russia Into Ukraine Deal
(New York Times, December 17, 2014)


Time for a "new heroic, patriotic deed" ?


"Analysts said President Vladimir V. Putin could seek a compromise on Ukraine to relieve some of Russia’s economic turmoil . . . "

Wait: so, suddenly, instead of Ukraine being the reason we can't make progress on anything, there's going to be an outright deal on Ukraine itself? Just like that?

I guess it goes to show that all the excuses don't really matter, once there's a shared interest in doing something.

Well . . . if people are in the mood to make deals . . . .

Here's a winning proposition for both these two leaders: Deliver a massive reduction in nuclear weapons to their respective populations. 

Now that would be a "heroic, patriotic deed"! 


But let me make myself perfectly clear . . .


I do not believe the decision about eliminating nuclear weapons belongs to these to leaders. It belongs to us -- the people. Obama and Putin are just the messengers.

Put another way: the hero is us.

Exhibit 3:

L E V I A T H A N
Or
The Matter, Forme,
and Power of a Common
Wealth Ecclesiastical
and Civil


Remember this image.

You may wish to go to the online images accompanying Elaine Scarry's book, Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom.

Look at the high resolution reproduction of the original image from Leviathan.

Zoom in . . . look at individual faces . . . .

As Elaine explains, "the outward-looking faces of the drawing . . .  successfully convey Hobbes’s central thesis that the Leviathan is constituted by our own bodies." (emphasis added)

We are the common body - the community, the commonwealth, the society, the nation, it is us.


The decision about whether to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation is our decision.

And that is why the entire country is mobilizing for mass action for nuclear disarmament in 2015.


Are we capable of making sure the messengers -- Obama, Putin, the other agents of government -- hear their instructions from us clearly?

Exhibit 4:

New York City, Central Park:  No Nukes Mobilization, 1982

We can do this thing . . . .


TAKE ACTION:


* Go to the 2015 calendar of
and commit to participating.

* Tweet every Tuesday on 
#NoNukesTuesday to build 
the snowball effect.

* Spread the word!
Get others to take these actions, too!



Related posts

In light of the upcoming review of the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and the fact that organizations throughout the country and worldwide are organizing to press the U.S. to substantially reduce its stores of nuclear weapons, it seems like a good time to use social media to get EVERYONE on board!

(See 5 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference on #NoNukesTuesday )








There are three centers of power that will impact nuclear disarmament: the President, the Congress, and the people. One of them will have to make nuclear disarmament happen.

(See Countdown to U.S. Nuclear Disarmament (With or Without the Politicians) )








How do you formulate a statement that can somehow convince the United States to eliminate its threatening nuclear weapons?  How do you formulate the 10th request? Or the 100th? Knowing all the time that the United States is in the position -- will always be in the position -- to say, "No" ?  At what point does it dawn on you that the United States will never give up its nuclear weapons, because it has the power and the rest of the world doesn't?

(See 360 Degree Feedback in New York (2014 NPT Prepcom and How the World Views the United States))

Thursday, December 18, 2014

#NoNukesTuesday: Disarmament? Clean Power? Climate? All three?

Looking at #NoNukesTuesday on December 16, we noticed that we need to make the Fukushima connection.

In preparation for December 23, let's look more deeply at this . . . .


Three related issues

The image for the NYC "Peace and
the Planet" rally perfectly expresses
the multi-dimensional nature of the 
mass mobilization(s) being undertaken.
The planning that is under way for 2015 clearly envisions the connections between multiple issues -- nuclear disarmament, clean (non-nuclear) energy, and climate -- and a need to involve everyone who cares about these issues.

On the one hand, there are plenty of reasons that we should all be able to agree to cooperate around these issues.

In addition, there are grounds to say that it is foolish to try to postpone any of them; they are all urgent, and they all must proceed without delay.

On the other hand, successful mass action is conditioned on what large number of people are able to seize upon at once, and be highly motivated about.

How can we expect our 2015 mass mobilizations to address all three without losing some of their crispness.


Question 1: Are we speaking clearly enough about risk?

I think we can all agree that the big problem we are up against is that the vast majority of people underestimate risk: risk of nuclear annihilation, risk of radiation poisoning, risk of climate crisis.

Somewhat amazingly, the world has started to take the risk of climate crisis seriously.

I wonder: aren't we still failing to make it clear to the vast majority of people that

* the climate crisis is a clear risk --
 causality is certain -- and is urgent

* the risk of radiation poisoning is less clear to most people -- 
but if anything it is even more imminent and urgent

* the risk of nuclear annihilation is even less clear to most people -- 
out of sight, out of mind -- but in terms of actual catastrophic, irreversible 
consequences -- it is the most imminent and urgent of the three

If this is true, what does it imply for our priorities in our 2015 mass mobilization?


U.S. Government (NOAA) graphic shows cross-pacific connections


Question 2: Are we doing enough to build our story?

In particular, I am wondering if we should be doing more to emphasize that the kind of radiation poisoning that is being experienced right now in Fukushima illustrates before our eyes one of the horrible humanitarian consequences associated with nuclear weapon use.

I wonder if there are other strong points of interrelationship that we need to explain.


Question 3: How do we tell our story most effectively?

With a highly dispersed movement, how do we work together to try out the many possible ways of explaining this story, and arriving at the way(s) that have maximum impact?


What are your comments on this?

State-by-state -- 2015 Events for Nuclear Disarmament Movement Organizers

This page supplements the month-by-month calendar Key 2015 Events for Nuclear Disarmament Movement Organizers.

Activities are listed by state.

Please tweet updates @scarry!



Alabama



Alaska



Arizona



Arkansas



California



Colorado



Connecticut



Delaware



District of Columbia



Florida



Georgia



Hawaii



Idaho



Illinois



Indiana



Iowa



Kansas



Kentucky



Louisiana



Maine



Maryland



Massachusetts



Michigan



Minnesota



Mississippi



Missouri



Montana



Nebraska



Nevada


March 28 - April 3
Nevada
Nevada Desert Experience - Sacred Peace Walk

 
New Hampshire



New Jersey



New Mexico


August 6 - 9
Santa Fe, NM
Campaign Nonviolence National Conference
* Aug 6 - Mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima with the annual sackcloth and ashes peace vigil and call for nuclear disarmament near the National Labs.
* Aug 9 - Mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki with the annual sackcloth and ashes peace vigil and call for nuclear disarmament near the National Labs.


New York


February 28 - March 1
New York, NY
Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction
A project of The Helen Caldicott Foundation


April 24 - April 26
New York, NY
Peace and the Planet Conference and Rally
* April 24/25 - An international peace, justice and environmental conference
* April 26 - A major international rally, march to the United Nations and peace festival 



April 27 - May 22
United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
NPT Review Conference ("RevCon")
* Call for NPT-related organizing 
* NPT brief overview
* NPT Home page at UN 



North Carolina



North Dakota



Ohio



Oklahoma



Oregon



Pennsylvania



Rhode Island



South Carolina



South Dakota



Tennessee


Texas



Utah



Vermont



Virginia



Washington



West Virginia



Wisconsin



Wyoming




Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What #NoNukesTuesday Reveals About Organizing for Nuclear Disarmament

Snowball Effect
The idea is to get the snowball
to roll down the hill . . . !

On Tuesday December 16, 2014:
about 50 tweets
about 3.5 RT/tweet
about 80 overall participants
(about 45 brand new participants!)
Tuesday saw a lot of activity on the #NoNukesTuesday hashtag.

Are we making progress toward Spring 2015?

I tweeted the image at right and said we need to get the "snowball effect" going prior to the big activity in the spring. A friend commented: "LOL - it looks like you're rolling the snowball UP the hill!" 

Well . . the idea is most definitely to get the snowball rolling down the hill!!!

So . . . what's working? what do we need to do better?


#NoNukesTuesday: What's working


(1) A picture is worth a thousand words




People loved this image shared by @nat_riverascott - as well as others shared week-in, week-out.

I've noticed that, in general, there's more activity with all tweets that involve images.

Makes sense -- visual information is a big part of the way we make sense of the world.

What might this mean for how you participate in #NoNukesTuesday?


(2) Remember: we can do this thing!




We all have big hopes for the spring 2015 mobilization. It helps to remember: this isn't just a dream -- we've done this successfully before ! ! !

Here are just a few resources from which to take inspiration:

. . . and there are many more . . . .

How can we use the success of the past to build even bigger success in 2015?


(3) Put this on your calendar!




People give a lot of attention to the events announced on #NoNukesTuesday.

* People say "Yes, count me in!"
* People draw inspiration for even more events, at different times and different places
* They want to share these announcements with even more people -- who may likewise want to attend, or learn from what is being planned for use in their own events.

(See more 2015 no nukes events here.)

Can we make #NoNukesTuesday the place where no nukes events in places from coast to coast are broadcast?


#NoNukesTuesday: What we need to do better


(1) Make the Fukushima connection

There are enormous communities of people working every day to educate the public about the danger of nuclear power and to inform them about the disaster at Fukushima.


A Nuke Free World on Facebook -- 50,000 members (but who's counting?)


We're all working toward the same goal, right? Shouldn't we be together on #NoNukesTuesday?

How can we make spring 2015 a mass mobilization for everyone who says NO to nukes?


(2) Re-activate the activists


Hey, the Clamshell Alliance has been at it
since I was a freshman in college in the '70s . . . !


Do you know someone who is a "peace activist" or "no nukes activist" but isn't on Twitter? Or has become inactive?

Who can you gently nudge toward Twitter and #NoNukesTuesday?


(3) Using social media: we're just beginning!

This aggregation page was a real eye-opener to me:




(Appropriately, from @wakeupnowbe in Belgium.)

It made me realize that we need something similar for #NoNukesTuesday.  There is so much more to do, so many ways we can turn up the volume . . . !

Do you have ideas about how to carry #NoNukesTuesday into Tumblr . . . Instagram . . . Reddit . . . ?


TAKE ACTION:

Share this link to invite friends

Sunday and Monday are for stirring 
the #NoNukesTuesday pot: 
how will YOU help build the snowball?

Have more in-depth ideas? Share them


Related posts

In light of the upcoming review of the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and the fact that organizations throughout the country and worldwide are organizing to press the U.S. to substantially reduce its stores of nuclear weapons, it seems like a good time to use social media to get EVERYONE on board!

(See 5 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference on #NoNukesTuesday )









There are three centers of power that will impact nuclear disarmament: the President, the Congress, and the people. One of them will have to make nuclear disarmament happen.

(See Countdown to U.S. Nuclear Disarmament (With or Without the Politicians) )







How do you formulate a statement that can somehow convince the United States to eliminate its threatening nuclear weapons?  How do you formulate the 10th request? Or the 100th? Knowing all the time that the United States is in the position -- will always be in the position -- to say, "No" ?  At what point does it dawn on you that the United States will never give up its nuclear weapons, because it has the power and the rest of the world doesn't?

(See 360 Degree Feedback in New York (2014 NPT Prepcom and How the World Views the United States))

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Key 2015 Events for Nuclear Disarmament Movement Organizers


Recognizing that there are already several major U.S. events in 2015 being organized by the nuclear disarmament movement, I have begun compiling them below, and on the corresponding state-by-state listing.

Please tweet @scarry with additional events for listing.

(In the near future, I hope this static list will be supplanted by a dynamic listing, so additional events can be added directly by users.)



JANUARY 2015

. . .


FEBRUARY 2015

February 28 - March 1
New York, NY
Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction
A project of The Helen Caldicott Foundation


MARCH 2015

February 28 - March 1 (see above)

March 28 - April 3
Nevada
Nevada Desert Experience - Sacred Peace Walk


APRIL 2015

March 28 - April 3 (see above)

April 24 - April 26
New York, NY
Peace and the Planet Conference and Rally
* April 24/25 - An international peace, justice and environmental conference
* April 26 - A major international rally, march to the United Nations and peace festival

April 27 - May 22
United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
NPT Review Conference ("RevCon")
* Call for NPT-related organizing 
* NPT brief overview
* NPT Home page at UN 

MAY 2015

April 27 - May 22 - NPT Review Conference ( see above)

JUNE 2015

. . .


JULY 2015

. . .


AUGUST 2015

August 6 - 9
Santa Fe, NM
Campaign Nonviolence National Conference
* Aug 6 - Mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima with the annual sackcloth and ashes peace vigil and call for nuclear disarmament near the National Labs.
* Aug 9 - Mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki with the annual sackcloth and ashes peace vigil and call for nuclear disarmament near the National Labs.

August 6
Hiroshima, Japan
"August 6, 2015 will be the 70th anniversary of the bombing [of Hiroshima]. Annually, there are events such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, with guest speakers, and the Lantern Floating Ceremony, in which lanterns float on the river as petitions for peace. Additional special events for the 70th anniversary are to be announced."

August 9
Nagasaki, Japan
[August 9, 2015 will be the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Commemoration events are held annually and, as with Hiroshima, it is expected that additional special events for the 70th anniversary are to be announced.]


SEPTEMBER 2015

. . .


OCTOBER 2015

. . .




NOVEMBER 2015

. . .




DECEMBER 2015

. . .


Saturday, December 13, 2014

US NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT: 3 Things Every Tuesdayista Needs to Do

Okay . . . so #NoNukesTuesday is off and running. We've got a rapidly growing number of people tweeting, retweeting, me-tweeting, and otherwise spreading the demand for #nucleardisarmament every week on social media.

Time is of the essence - we're shooting for a mass mobilization for Spring 2015.

Here is how "Tuesdayistas" (participants in #NoNukesTuesday ) can be really intentional in their efforts, and really up the ante!


(1) Connect the local to the national

The call has been made for a focus on New York City in April/May 2015, during the RevCon (review conference) of the NPT at the UN.

Expect something BIG to happen in New York!

Actions nationwide -- like these "No Iran War" rallies in 2012 --
paint a picture that is impossible for powerholders in
Washington, DC, to ignore.
But we need organizing happening throughout the country, city by city, town by town, starting now.

What Tuesdayistas can do: Find out where organizing activity for #nucleardisarmament is happening in your area and spread the word like crazy.

(And do it on Twitter on #NoNukesTuesday -- so people in one locale can take encouragement from what people in other locales are doing -- and see the movement standing up before their very eyes.)


(2) Make it happen in "real time"

The NPT RevCon is taking place in New York City in April/May.  What we REALLY need is a snowballing campaign for #nucleardisarmament in the days and weeks and months ahead, so that by the time the US representatives get to RevCon, they have already gotten the message.

We need to be doing things in January and February and March.

What Tuesdayistas can do: Make things happen in January and February and March.

(Pull out that shiny new 2015 date book today and start planning . . . .)


(3) Get this thing to go viral

The weekly antiwar tweeting actually began in 2011 - with #AfghanistanTuesday. From the very beginning, we realized that every Tuesdayista needed to recruit more Tuesdayistas. The only way we can truly multiply our impact, we can't leave it to chance.

The definition of Tuesdayista is to invite more people to become Tuesdayistas (and they'll invite more (and they'll invite more) and . . . ).

What Tuesdayistas can do: Go through your list of Twitter followers. Invite them to become Tuesdayistas!

(To go viral, we need -- on average -- every Tuesdayista to bring along just ONE (or more) additional Tuesdayistas. To make sure this thing works, try to do more than your share. Can you bring TWO? TEN? THIRTY? )


Check out the #NoNukesTuesday community on Google+!

Related posts

In light of the upcoming review of the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and the fact that organizations throughout the country and worldwide are organizing to press the U.S. to substantially reduce its stores of nuclear weapons, it seems like a good time to use social media to get EVERYONE on board!

(See 5 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference on #NoNukesTuesday )









There are three centers of power that will impact nuclear disarmament: the President, the Congress, and the people. One of them will have to make nuclear disarmament happen.

(See Countdown to U.S. Nuclear Disarmament (With or Without the Politicians) )








How do you formulate a statement that can somehow convince the United States to eliminate its threatening nuclear weapons?  How do you formulate the 10th request? Or the 100th? Knowing all the time that the United States is in the position -- will always be in the position -- to say, "No" ?  At what point does it dawn on you that the United States will never give up its nuclear weapons, because it has the power and the rest of the world doesn't?

(See 360 Degree Feedback in New York (2014 NPT Prepcom and How the World Views the United States))

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A DEAL'S A DEAL! (What part of "nuclear disarmament" doesn't the US understand?)

Find out why the nations of the
world left Vienna determined upon
a global nuclear weapons ban.
Hundreds of diplomats and civil society representatives have just concluded a conference in Vienna on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. The clear message is that the vast majority of nations of the world are determined to bring about a global ban on nuclear weapons.

In light of the energy and determination expressed by the participants in Vienna, it is very important to underline the U.S. part of the equation.

Simply stated: the U.S. has already ratified the treaty in which it promises nuclear disarmament, and it's up to the people of the U.S. to assure that this promise is honored.


Article 6

It is extremely important that every US citizen know what the US has committed itself to by signing the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Article 6 of the NPT states:

"Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes 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, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." (emphasis added)

(See "THE TREATY ON THE NON-PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS( NPT ) (text of the treaty) on the UN website.)

World to US: DISARM!
Far too many people think that the NPT is about freezing the status quo, and preventing additional states from obtaining nuclear weapons. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. The NPT is based on a quid pro quo: nuclear "have-nots" agree to not acquire nuclear weapons, and nuclear "haves" agree to disarm.

The nations of the world meet at the United Nations in New York City in April/May 2015 for the every-five-years review of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  The main item of business will be: will the nuclear "haves" -- foremost among them the U.S. and Russia -- honor their treaty obligation to move rapidly toward complete elimination of their nuclear weapons?


Take it from someone who knows

El Baradei:
" . . . obligation . . . "
If you think I am overstating the case, don't just take it from me. Nobel Peace prize winner Mohamed El Baradei spent his career enforcing the terms of the NPT, eventually managing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In his letter to the the recent Vienna conference he emphasized:

"Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Weapon States not only have an obligation to negotiate in good faith towards nuclear disarmament, but equally in the words of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) 'the obligation to achieve a precise result: nuclear disarmament in all its aspects'. However, after more than four decades of undertaking these obligations, the nuclear-weapon states are moving in the opposite direction. Nuclear weapon modernization programmes continue and will assure that these inhumane weapons will haunt us until the end of the century." (emphasis added)

El Baradei has been an eloquent and unstinting advocate for the type of promise-keeping by all parties -- especially including the US -- that is the only hope of saving us from nuclear disaster. His book The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times is a must-read for all of us working for peace. Or just read "Towards a safer world" in The Economist (October 16, 2003), in which El Baradei emphasizes: "the asymmetry [the NPT] endorsed was never intended to be permanent. The nuclear-weapon states agreed to move towards full disarmament—a commitment renewed 'unequivocally' by all five states as recently as 2000—although without a timetable." El Baradei's recent speech at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard -- "Between an Elusive Peace and a Haunting War" -- underlines the urgency of disarmament.


Who is "the US"?

One thing that is becoming more and more clear to me: too many people think that accomplishing nuclear disarmament is all about President Obama, or other leading politicians.

The fact is that we are the US . . .  President Obama does what we tell him to do . . . and when "the US needs to do something" that translates into "we need to make sure that that 'something' happens."

They're just the clerks.
WE'RE making the rules!
When the nations of the world meet on the NPT at the United Nations in New York City in April/May 2015, it is the responsibility of US diplomats to show significant progress on eliminating U.S. nuclear weapons. It is the responsibility of the mass of the U.S. people to do whatever it takes to assure that those diplomats -- the workers who represent us -- do so.

That is the reason for the call for nationwide mass mobilization -- starting NOW!

 

TAKE ACTION:

Read the Spring 2015 Call to Action and commit.

Find activists near you and organize

Help us take this message viral:
every Tuesday on Twitter - #NoNukesTuesday.


Related links

People in the UK are demonstrating that when enough people bcome vocal "no nukes" activists, politicians who purport to represent them are compelled to become vocal "no nukes" activists, too.

(See "No Nukes Politician" -- IS There Such a Thing ??? )



Elaine Scarry demonstrates that the power of one leader to obliterate millions of people with a nuclear weapon - a possibility that remains very real even in the wake of the Cold War - deeply violates our constitutional rights, undermines the social contract, and is fundamentally at odds with the deliberative principles of democracy.

(See Reviews of "Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" by Elaine Scarry )











We should all learn from the the activism of people in the UK against the stationing of Trident nuclear-weapons-equipped submarines in Scotland.

(See We're Rooting for You, Scotland! (Trident NO Scotland YES) )