With the Doomsday Clock moved forward to three minutes before midnight, peace, faith, environment and labor organizations across the country and around the world are busily mobilizing for the Peace and Planet conference and march at the United Nations April 24-26 as 175 nations assemble for the five year review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
A ‘Global Wave‘ of symbolic public actions in cities around the world to ‘Wave Goodbye to Nuclear Weapons’ is also being organized with photos and videos to be shared on-line and at the conference.
Over 1,000 delegates from Japan are planning to attend, including some who survived the horrific U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki seventy years ago when those cities were obliterated by use of nuclear weapons against civilian populations. The Japanese delegation will also include union members and elected officials who will present over five million signatures to the United Nations calling for nuclear abolition.
The mobilization comes in the midst of new nuclear threats, as 47 Republican Senators shamefully attempt to dismantle negotiations and push for a confrontation with Iran, while in the Ukraine which is on the border between nuclear-armed NATO and Russia, U.S. intervention provokes a dangerous confrontation with Russia.
In Connecticut, plans are underway for a peace train with reserved cars on MetroNorth to participate in the international rally, march to the United Nations and peace festival scheduled for Sunday, April 26 at 1 pm.
Peace mobilizations have been held each five years during the NPT review. This year for the first time all social movements are urged to participate. Organizers have linked the threats to civilization from nuclear war and climate scorching with the global crisis of wars and violence, the urgency of cutting military budgets and funding human needs, and ending militarization of the police and racist police practices.
Conferences plenaries and workshops will share information and analysis, build and further integrate movements for the longer term and to have an increased impact on the NPT review process.
In January the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its Doomsday Clock forward to three minutes before midnight, the first adjustment since 2012, citing “unchecked climate change and global nuclear weapons modernization,” with a call to “dramatically reduce proposed spending on nuclear weapons modernization programs, and re-energize the disarmament process.”
The NPT was signed in 1970 to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and ensure their abolition. At that time the five countries with nuclear-weapons were the United States, the Soviet Union (now Russia), Britain, France and China. Since then four more nations have developed nuclear weapons: Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea.
In Article 6, the NPT calls for swift negotiations among the nuclear weapons-holding states to disarm and rid themselves and the world of the nuclear arms. For seven decades they have completely avoided carrying out this requirement.
Petitions calling for nuclear abolition are being circulated in every country as part of the effort to build turnout for the Peace and Planet mobilization. Organizations from 17 states have endorsed to date including New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, California and Washington. The full list, the petition and further information is available at peaceandplanet.org.
Photo: Peace marchers at United Nations five years ago during the last NPT review. Peace and Planet