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Terrific news from southern California today: early this morning Southern California Edison sent out a press release announcing the permanent shutdown of the two remaining reactors at San Onofre! Here is the press release, and here is the first AP story on the shutdown.
Follow NIRS on Facebook, Twitter, and/or our website (info on all below) for updates today.
That brings the U.S. down to 100 operable reactors--time to get that to double figures (and then single figures)!
Congratulations of Friends of the Earth, Nuke Free California, and all the grassroots groups who worked so hard and relentlessly to make this day happen!
Ask your Mayor to co-sponsor a bold new resolution, Calling for U.S. Leadership in Global Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Redirection of Military Spending to Domestic Needs”!
The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), the nonpartisan association of U.S. cities with populations over 30,000, will be considering this resolution at its June 21 – 22 annual meeting in Las Vegas. The resolution’s lead sponsor is Mayor Donald Plusquellic of Akron, Ohio, a past President of the USCM. Mayor Plusquellic is also a Vice-President of Mayors for Peace, an international association lead by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with over 5,600 members in 156 countries - 197 in the U.S. As of June 4, there are six additional co-sponsors.
The USCM has regularly adopted resolutions since 2004 calling for the commencement of comprehensive nuclear disarmament negotiations to be concluded and implemented by 2020, as proposed by Mayors for Peace. For the past three years, the USCM has also called for deep cuts in nuclear weapons spending and redirection of those funds to meet the needs of cities, and in 2011 adopted an additional resolution, “Calling on Congress to Redirect Military Spending to Domestic Needs.”
This year’s resolution breaks new ground by combining all of these elements in a comprehensive package. The resolution is a fact-filled educational resource that can be used at the local level as an excellent organizing tool! Read the resolution here.
Help us get as many co-sponsoring mayors as possible! Your mayor does not have to be a member of Mayors for Peace to be a sponsor, but this is a great opportunity to ask her/him to join.
Ask your mayor to endorse the resolution! You can download a terrific “Dear Colleague” letter from Mayor Plusquellic here. Please have your mayor send an e-mail message stating her/his desire endorse to both Akron Deputy Mayor Rick Merolla at RMerolla@akronohio.gov AND to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by COB June 20.
To find out if your mayor is a member of Mayors for Peace and see what year the city joined, click here.
If your mayor is not a member of Mayors for Peace, ask her/him to join! It’s easy. For instructions, click here.
Still have questions? Need help? Contact me! - Jackie Cabasso, Mayors for Peace North American Coordinator; Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation;Convener, UFPJ Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security Working Group
By Ann Wright
The city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee and its neighbor Knoxville, are government towns. Oak Ridge has been called “the closed city,” reminiscent of government cities in the old Soviet Union that were closed to the public because of sensitive weapons production and other activities Soviets wanted to keep from prying eyes. In the case of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the U.S. government wants to keep the production of nuclear bombs and their components away from public scrutiny.
Oak Ridge is a tough place to challenge the biggest employer in the area, a southern town where dissent is abnormal and prejudices of all sorts run deep in the culture and heritage.
By Stephen C. Webster - Raw Story
An 83-year-old nun who broke into a Tennessee depleted uranium storage facility in 2012 and splashed human blood on several surfaces, exposing a massive security hole at the nation’s only facility used to store radioactive conventional munitions, was convicted Wednesday and sentenced to a term of up to 20 years in prison.
The only regret Sister Megan Rice shared with members of her jury on Wednesday was that she wished 70 years hadn’t passed before she took direct action, according to the BBC. She and two other peace activists, 64-year-old Michael Walli and 56-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed, were convicted of “invasion of a nuclear facility” in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, even though investigators admitted they did not get close to any actual nuclear material.
The three activists are part of a group called “Transform Now Plowshares,” a reference to the book of Isaiah, which says, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares. They shall learn war no more.” All three face individual sentences of up to 20 years, along with a litany of fines.
As they invaded the Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge, a perimeter fence was cut, several surfaces were spray-painted, banners were hung and activists read from the Bible. They also spread human blood on several surfaces, saying its use was symbolic, meant to remind people “of the horrific spilling of blood by nuclear weapons.”
“The shortcomings in security at one of the most dangerous places on the planet have embarrassed a lot of people,” the activists’ attorney, Francis Lloyd, told members of the jury according to the BBC. “You’re looking at three scapegoats behind me.”
Sister Rice has been arrested between 40 or 50 times committing acts of civil disobedience, according to The New York Times, including once in Nevada after she physically blocked a truck at a nuclear test site.
Depleted uranium munitions like the kind stored at the facility Sister Rice targeted are blamed for some of the worst birth defects and soaring cancer rates seen in post-war Iraq, particularly in the city of Fallujah following the siege of 2004, in which U.S. soldiers killed thousands of civilians.
The city has never recovered, particularly from the use of depleted uranium munitions, and to this day residents suffer from health effects “worse” than those seen following the nuclear detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, according to a study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
“I believe we are all equally responsible to stop a known crime,” Sister Rice said from the witness stand, according to quotes published by her group. She called herself a “citizen of the world” and reportedly smiled as the verdict was read.
This video is from ABC News, aired August 2, 2012.
It took a jury about 2 ½ hours to find the three protesters guilty of a charge of sabotaging the plant and second charge of damaging federal property in July the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge in July.
Defense attorneys said in closing arguments that federal prosecutors had overreached in the charges because of the embarrassment caused by the break-in.
By Dave Lindorff
Willie James Sauls is unlikely to see the outside of a prison. Last fall a court in the state of Texas sentenced this 37-year-old man to 45 years in jail. His crime: he snatched the purse from an old woman.
Thyroid abnormalities have now been confirmed among tens of thousands of children downwind from Fukushima. They are the first clear sign of an unfolding radioactive tragedy that demands this industry be buried forever.
Two years after Fukushima exploded, three still-smoldering reactors remind us that the nuclear power industry repeatedly told the world this could never happen.
And 72 years after the nuclear weapons industry began creating them, untold quantities of deadly wastes still leak at Hanford and at commercial reactor sites around the world, with no solution in sight.
Radiation can be slow to cause cancer, taking decades to kill.
I just had to share the following remarkable speech (which a friend sent to me) given last November by Steven Leeper, head of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation (whose unique background explains his insights). How do these compelling points get spread to high school and college students?
U.S. Working Group for Peace & Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific Statement in Response to Third DPRK Nuclear Explosive Test
1.We come from diverse backgrounds and hold a range of analyses (or perspectives) approaching the proposed North Korean nuclear weapons test and the further militarization of Asia and the Pacific.
Activists from a local peace group blocked the main gate and staged a die-in at the Navy’s West Coast Trident nuclear submarine base for more than a half hour in an act of civil resistance to nuclear weapons.
Nearly fifty people participated in Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action’s annual celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, January 19, 2013.
Under the theme “We Are One,” the day focused on Dr. King’s commitment to nonviolence and his opposition to war and nuclear weapons.
The day’s activities included a viewing of a video about King’s 1967 sermon in opposition to the Vietnam war. That followed with a
discussion of the sermon’s relevance in the context of today’s unending wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and the effects on the poor and disenfranchised in the US, as well as the entire world. Participants also participated in nonviolence training, education about the Trident nuclear weapons system and the Bangor submarine base, and preparations for the vigil and nonviolent direct action planned for the afternoon at Bangor.
By Kourosh Zaibari
By Dave Lindorff
I was asked earlier this week by an reporter for PressTV, the state television network in Iran, if I could explain why the US political system seemed to be so dysfunctional, with Congress and the President having created an artificial budget crisis 17 months ago, not “solving” it until the last hour before a Congressional deadline would have created financial chaos, and even then not solving the problem and instead just pushing it off for two months until the next crisis moment.
The NGO conference entitled "The Middle East without Weapons of Mass Destruction - the Way Forward Civil Society Input" was held on December 14-16 in Helsinki, Finland. It was hosted by the Peace Union of Finland. Yayoi Tsuchida, assistant general secretary of the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) took part in it on behalf of the International Peace Bureau (IPB).
Gar Smith discusses his new book, Nuclear Roulette: The Truth About the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth, which has a foreword by Jerry Mander and Ernest Callenbach. Gar Smith is editor emeritus of Earth Island Journal, a Project Censored award-winning investigative journalist, and cofounder of Environmentalists Against War.
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.
Syndicated by Pacifica Network.
Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!
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Our so-called self-government rarely agrees with what we tell pollsters, and yet it does what it does with our acceptance. We may have fallen for the pretense that we're powerless. Our ignorance and xenophobia should never be underestimated as explanations for what we do. But consider the following public policy and then tell me the clearest explanation isn't that we all want to rush our arrival at death's door.
Not only do we spend over half of public discretionary funds on war preparation without a particular war in mind, but we spend a huge chunk of that on weapons we can never use without destroying life on the planet, including in our own country, including if we use those weapons and nobody else retaliates. The earth has one atmosphere, and if we wreck it with nuclear weapons, it won't matter that we've done so on another continent.
We put these evil, useless, apocalyptic weapons on ships and sail them as close as possible to the most dangerous spots on earth. Then we threaten war with the countries they're floating next to. We stick them on planes and fly them around the skies. Despite hundreds of near-disasters due to human and mechanical mistakes over the years, we spread these weapons (and the energy technology that is closely related to them) to more and more countries. We ignore our treaty obligation to disarm and falsely accuse a nation that has no nuclear weapons yet of violating the treaty, building hostility and the likelihood of war.
The nuclear weapons on planes and ships make nuclear missiles on land obsolete. The United States has 450 land-based Minuteman III nuclear missiles. They are easily targeted. And should they all be destroyed, and should we want to seize the opportunity to all hurry up and die together, the bombs on planes and ships could do the job many times over.
Yet the land-based missiles in the United States are not only still sitting there ready to serve no purpose whatsoever, but they're on high alert. These nuclear-armed missiles could be sent by a U.S. president in 13 minutes or less. Thirteen minutes, with the very real possibility that false information, an electronic glitch or bad signal, or an error in human judgment, would bring the world as we know it to an end.
President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor was about to wake him up in the middle of the night to inform the President that 220 Soviet nuclear missiles were headed our way, when he learned that someone had stuck a game tape into the computer by mistake. Three years later a Soviet Lieutenant Colonel acted out the same scene, with the computer glitch on his side this time. Then in 1984 another U.S. computer glitch led to the quick decision to park an armored car on top of a missile silo to prevent the start of the apocalypse. And again in 1995, the Soviet Union almost responded to a U.S. nuclear attack that proved to be a real missile, but one with a weather satellite rather than a nuke. One Pentagon report documents 563 nuclear mistakes, malfunctions, and false alarms over the years -- so far.
Minuteman III missiles would not, and nothing can, prevent retaliation. Even without retaliation, their unilateral use would ruin the earth's atmosphere -- all over the earth. The missiles' only function is to kill others in a process that kills us too.
Is that what we want? I'm not imagining we have a democracy. I'm not discounting the power of financial corruption. I'm not suggesting that we are all driven by the same lust for power that moves elected officials and their staff. But look at popular opinion. War is exciting. Peace is dull. Oil drilling is sexy. Solar panels are lame. Storms are cool. Safety and survival are not fashionable at all. We have 450 missiles whose sole purpose is to kill us all. They cost us a fortune every year, while we whine and moan about money as if it were all that mattered. And where is the resistance? It's in a handful of activists.
You don't want to die, you say? Freud was a freak? You don't envy penises or intend your accidents or think the slightest little bit about Bill Clinton when you see a cigar? O.K. I'm thrilled to hear it. Go ahead and prove me wrong.
An easy immediate step toward sanity would be to de-alert the missiles so that 24 to 72 hours would be needed to launch. This would increase our security by reducing the likelihood of an accidental or unauthorized launch. Again, those intent on achieving nuclear doomsday could rest assured that U.S. submarines and bombers would remain able to complete that job many times over.
A second obvious step that would also work wonders for our federal budget would be to decommission these missiles.
You don't have to click the links above. You don't have to help end this end-game policy. But don't come crying to me that you want to live. I'll not be inclined to believe it.
Charges were dismissed on Wednesday in federal court in Santa Barbara, Calif., against fifteen people, including four members of Veterans For Peace, who were scheduled to face trial on Wednesday as a result of their nonviolent protest of nuclear warheads at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The 15 had been arrested on February 25th for protesting the launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Video: http://youtu.be/sGYVee9yW9Y
The Veterans For Peace facing trial were Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg of Berkeley, Calif.; Fr. Louie Vitale of Oakland, Calif. and Las Vegas, Nev.; John Amidon of Albany, N.Y.; and Mark Kelso of Las Vegas, Nev.
The district attorney moved to dismiss all charges. Two of the defendants, John Amidon and Toby Blome, wanting to raise their concerns about the Minuteman III missiles in court, offered motion not to dismiss. The judge sided with the district attorney.
Some of the same people will be among those protesting again on November 13th when another missile test is scheduled:
McGregor Eddy, one of the defendants, called the dismissal a victory. "The military," she said, "wants to avoid drawing attention to thermonuclear warheads that serve no purpose and cost a great deal of money. Many young people don't even know about these nuclear weapons. When we say 'nukes' they think of nuclear power."
Fr. Louie Vitale agreed, calling the dismissal "a great victory." Vitale added, "I've been on trial here several times and always lost. This was a victory. And we'll be there in November to protest the next launch."
Vitale said that the public in Santa Barbara had learned a great deal through the work of the coalition formed around this protest and near-trial, including with the help of David Krieger and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
At 7 p.m. PT on Tuesday, October 16th, a free public event called "Putting U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policies on Trial: A Forum with the Vandenberg 15" was held at Faulkner Gallery, 40 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, Calif. Speakers included Daniel Ellsberg, Fr. Louie Vitale, Cindy Sheehan, and David Krieger. The event was cosponsored by Code Pink, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Nevada Desert Experience, Progressive Democrats of Santa Barbara, Veterans for Peace, Western States Legal Foundation, and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Santa Barbara).
"We were protesting a rehearsal of a holocaust," said Ellsberg. "Every minuteman missile is a portable Auschwitz." Video of Ellsberg: http://youtu.be/E-s0_JI8Dp4
"We have 450 land-based Minuteman III nuclear missiles on high alert," said Amidon. Despite hundreds of near-disasters due to human and mechanical mistakes over the years, these nuclear-armed missiles could be sent by a U.S. president in 13 minutes or less. Thirteen minutes, with the very real possibility that false information, an electronic glitch or bad signal, or an error in human judgment, would bring the world as we know it to an end. Minuteman III missiles would not, and nothing can, prevent retaliation. Even without retaliation, their unilateral use would ruin the earth's atmosphere -- all over the earth. The missiles' only function is to kill others in a process that kills us too."
"An easy immediate step toward sanity," Amidon continued, "would be to de-alert the missiles so that 24 to 72 hours would be needed to launch. This would increase our security by reducing the likelihood of an accidental or unauthorized launch. Those intent on achieving nuclear doomsday could rest assured that U.S. submarines and bombers would remain able to complete that job many times over.
"A second needed and obvious step that would also work wonders for our federal budget would be to decommission these missiles. We are also calling for a cancellation of the November 14, 2012, missile (thermonuclear warhead delivery systems) test at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This will save between $20 to $30 million for this one launch."
RootsAction.org has set up an online action page through which people can email the government on this topic:
Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985 and has approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans' organization calling for the abolishment of war. ##
Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985 and has approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans' organization calling for the abolishment of war.
Videos by David Martin
As citizens of the world we have been watching with awe, inspiration and great concern as masses of Indian people have risen up to confront the corrupt partnership of the Indian government and nuclear industry at the Koodankulam and Jaitapur nuclear sites. We have joined in solidarity with the organizers of this movement to resist the nuclear madness in India and in our respective homelands. The US/Indian nuclear partnership has been forced on India through a neocolonial relationship that is demanding the nuclearization of this important strategic ally to the US military industrial machine.
We understand that the plight of the Indian people is our plight as we fight back against the same nuclear madness forced on us by completely corrupted governments. Over 6,000 people face prison for their non-violent opposition to the Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu, India. We stand in solidarity with the tens of thousands of people that are risking their lives to say NO! We stand in solidarity with the fisherman that have lost their lives trying to protect their ocean from the threat of radioactive poisons and the thousands of fishermen that continue to resist. We stand in solidarity with the people of India who have stopped eating in a hunger strike to draw attention to their struggle for a nuclear free future!
By Dave Lindorff
That’s the takeaway from the goofy address by the right-wing, Cheltenham,PA-raised, MIT-educated Israeli prime minister to the United Nations General Assembly Thursday.
By Andrew Kishner of NuclearCrimes.org
In mid-September 2012, revelations that the U.S. had conducted two controversial Z-Machine shots, one on August 27th and another 'sometime between April and June' in 2012, provoked condemnation from two Japanese Hiroshima-based organizations. (The Z Machine, which is operated by the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the nuclear weapons stockpiling arm of the Energy Department, discharges huge bursts of electromagnetic energy, including incredibly strong X-rays, and has been used six times since 2010 on plutonium fuel). The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in traditional fashion, reset its 'Peace Watch Tower' to reflect the most recent of the two Z-Machine 'shots.' The tower has two clocks: one marking the days since the bombing of Hiroshima and the other marking the days since the last nuclear test. The curators consider a Z-Machine 'shot' on plutonium a 'nuclear test.'
By Dave Lindorff
There is a massive deception campaign in the US, and in its global propaganda, which seeks to portray the United States as a poor set-upon nation that would like world peace but just has to keep a military stationed around the globe to “police” all the world’s “trouble spots.”
Remarks at protest at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the International Day of Peace, 2012
Our government likes to lie to us about nuclear weapons. This poor impoverished nation halfway around the world is about to nuke us. No, that one is. The result, of course, is mass murder. But there's another result potentially even worse. We begin to think there's something wrong with being terrified of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. There isn't. This stuff should scare the hell out of us. And the arrogant lunacy of imagining that even an honest and accountable authority, much less our government, could set up a commission to regulate the winds of hell and deadly substances with a half-life as long as the age of the Earth must give us serious pause.