JULY 30, 2020
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SF Bay PSR invites you to join us, and local and national partners, in commemorating the 75th anniversary (August 6 & 9) of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that by the end of 1945 led to the deaths of more than 200,000 innocent human beings, while ushering in the Nuclear Age that continues to place human civilization at the precipice of extinction.
With the COVID pandemic and our unfolding climate emergency occupying much of our attention, we have simultaneously been placed in increased peril by the initiation of a new nuclear arms race, whereby the U.S. and other nuclear weapons states (NWS) are modernizing nuclear weapons to make them more “usable” and deadly. These developments have been fortified by our government’s concurrent unilateral abandonment of key arms control measures such as the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and the Open Skies Treaty, and its threat to not renew the New Start Treaty that provides limits on strategic nuclear forces that could decimate the world in an instant. To make matters worse, the Trump Administration and congressional allies are now proposing funding to restart explosive testing of nuclear weapons, abandoning the moratorium that the U.S. has respected rather than ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
All of this is happening in the context of the Trump Administration’s daily unveiling of a “New Cold War” refocused on the demonization of China and amplified by racist and xenophobic rhetoric aimed at deflecting from the administration’s colossal and criminal failures to stem the COVID pandemic. This has provided the pretext for heightened military confrontation in the Pacific region, as well as justification for expanding the already bloated military and nuclear weapons budget. As such, despite the heroic efforts of Congresspersons Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan to introduce an amendment to the current National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would cut the military budget by 10%, the powers of the military-industrial complex prevailed in an overall bipartisan vote to reject this measure, with only 92 Democrats and 1 Independent voting in favor.
This underscores the immense challenge we will face under any administration to significantly defund massive and increasingly dangerous military programs and to leverage the resources we need for a robust Green New Deal; a GND that could jump-start the just and sustainable economy we need to recover from the shocks of COVID, and provide the basis for developing the societal resilience we need to survive the impending assaults of climate change. Diverting the estimated $4 to $6 million an hour the U.S. plans to spend on nuclear weapons over the next three decades to our real human needs would provide an exemplary down-payment toward our common future.
As we did decades ago to help stop the dangerous nuclear escalation between the Soviet Union and our nation, PSR will be speaking out strongly against this latest resurgence of U.S. militarism that further distracts us from dealing with the immanent threats to global security we face at this moment. Irrespective of the Chinese contribution to mutual geopolitical tensions, our country needs to engage China constructively to help halt the current COVID pandemic and prevent further outbreaks, and to tackle the immense problems of our common climate emergency.
This is certainly a time for all of us to pull together to reject the manifold levels of institutional violence that repress and divide our rising movements for racial equity and social change, exemplified by the brutal attacks of unidentified federal forces on largely peaceful protesters in our cities, and through the rise in global militarism supporting continued corporate domination of our biosphere. Defunding these multiple structures of militarized dominance, including the nuclear weapons that remain the pinnacle of global power and violence, needs to be a priority woven into our growing intersectional movements if we are to succeed in restoring our planetary health, and safeguarding the conditions of our existence.
In honoring those who perished decades ago through the indescribable explosions and Black Rain that devastated Japan, we of SF Bay PSR remain committed to our part in this difficult, but necessary human struggle for peace, equity, justice and survival.