From Peace Action President, Kevin Martin
Sixty years ago, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, I was in my mother’s womb. My young, sweet mom was terrified she’d never get to see me be born, as the world teetered on the brink of unimaginable calamity. It’s bewildering to me that nuclear crises bookend my life at this point, especially with my having worked for nuclear disarmament since 1983, but here we are, perhaps closer to nuclear catastrophe than at any time since Kennedy and Khruschev found a path back from the brink.
I don’t think I need to tell you Peace Action has worked to eliminate the scourge of nuclear weapons since its founding as the National Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy in 1957, and that we, with your stalwart support, are still on the job. Despite decades of progress, often undercut by backsliding, humanity has not succeeded in dealing with the existential threat of the weaponized atom.
We see that the current crisis also brings with it the opportunity to re-engage on nuclear disarmament issues at the grassroots level in order to show our government it needs to get serious about reducing, not exacerbating, the nuclear threat.
Peace Action is part of a coalition called Defuse Nuclear War which is doing just that. This month, with the anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis as well as the current threat, is a great time to get active. This Friday, local events are being organized in over 40 cities across the US to sound the alarm. Please click to go to Defuse Nuclear War to find an event near you, and attend if you are able. If not, the website has other helpful tools and suggestions for action including writing letters to the editor (still a great way to get our message out to the public) and social media engagement.
The demands of Defuse Nuclear War are simple and clear:
– End the policy of first use of nuclear weapons;
– Rejoin nuclear arms control and reduction treaties;
– Take US weapons off hair-trigger alert;
– Eliminate land based intercontinental ballistic missiles;
– Support Congressional legislation backing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;
– Move the money to human needs, not war.
(You’ll note the focus is on reducing the acute nuclear danger, not on ending the war in Ukraine, but of course Peace Action is working on that, too.)
At this time of dire threat, we can’t sit back and just rely on politicians to get it right. Kennedy and his advisors almost didn’t in 1962; it was maybe more luck than skill that averted Armageddon. Please get involved with Defuse Nuclear War actions, and invite your family, friends, colleagues and social media audiences to do the same, as we need to broaden our circle. It may be, as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock warns, perilously close to midnight, but we can help turn the clock back on nuclear catastrophe.