With the tide turning on some issues, it’s time to step up the struggle for peace abroad and civil liberties at home. Two Bush administration priorities gravely threatening these core values are the USA Patriot Act and the drive to develop new nuclear weapons.

With the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60 years ago, a scourge was unleashed for the first time that could wipe most life from the face of the earth. Since then most of the world’s people have supported removing that scourge forever. Today, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its 2005 Review Conference are key to that goal.

The 1972 NPT commits the U.S. and the other weapons states to ending the nuclear arms race and achieving nuclear disarmament. They reiterated this pledge at the 2000 NPT Review Conference.

As the first nation to develop nuclear arms and the only nation to use them in war, the U.S. has a special responsibility to be first to fulfill this commitment. But instead, the Bush administration’s 2002 Nuclear Posture Review called for improving existing nukes, and designing and building new ones. It also announced its nukes are targeted on seven countries, including Russia and China.

The May 1 March for “No Nukes, No Wars” kicks off a new phase in the people’s drive to win total nuclear disarmament starting with the United States, and to end U.S. involvement in wars abroad and bring our troops home once and for all.

At home, the USA Patriot Act, passed in haste after Sept. 11, has jeopardized nearly every civil liberty the American people hold dear. Under the heading “domestic terrorism,” it potentially subjects every people’s organization to Orwellian surveillance and draconian penalties. The Patriot Act has brought wholesale interrogation, harassment, jailing and summary deportation of tens of thousands of U.S. residents by making racial and national profiling, rather than judicial proof, the standard for action. The Act is before Congress for renewal this year. Hundreds of communities have denounced its devastation of our constitutional rights and rejected implementing its provisions.

Tell your representatives in Congress: No Nukes, No Wars, No USA Patriot Act!