The Russian anarchist, Peter Kropotkin, once said (in An Appeal to the Young), Ay, all of us together, we who suffer and are insulted daily, we are a multitude whom no man can number, we are the ocean that can embrace and swallow up all else. When we have but the will to do it, that very moment will Justice be done: that very instant the tyrants of the Earth shall bite the dust. O.K., so I'm no anarchist, but he had a good point: numbers matter. When we gather together, we can do so much more than we can alone. In matters of nuclear abolition, numbers really matter. To keep nuclear abolition on the front burner from Moscow to Washington, and everywhere in between, we need to be working together in common cause.
The Washington Nuclear Disarmament Network had its first meeting in Seattle on May 27, 2009 at the office of Peace Action of Washington. This initial meeting brought together members of diverse organizations, including American Friends Service Committee, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Peace Education Fund, Raging Grannies, Third Millennium Foundation and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, to work more closely together towards our common goal of nuclear weapons abolition.
Understanding the need for a statewide coalition at a time when nuclear disarmament is no longer a subject discussed only behind closed doors, the Washington Nuclear Disarmament Network will work to involve more individuals and organizations in efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. The initial meeting began with a focus on historical and current efforts, and then moved into a brainstorming session, which yielded a wealth of potential activities for this coalition.
One important initial action has been getting people (and organizations) interested (and involved) in the U.S. Navy’s proposal for a second wharf for handling Trident missiles at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor (at a time when we should be downsizing our nuclear arsenal). The coalition has been working to get individuals and groups to attend meetings, and submit testimony and comments in opposition to the Navy’s proposal.
The movement to abolish nuclear weapons has been re-energized by recent political events, and the Washington Nuclear Disarmament Network has the potential to be a significant player on a regional level. Working together with common purpose, our coalition can engage significantly more organizations and individuals in our region, and educate, motivate and incite them to work together towards our ultimate goal – nuclear abolition.
There are other networks in other areas; a great example is the Los Angeles Area Nuclear Disarmament Coalition. Perhaps there is one in your area. If not, what are you waiting for??? Start your own! Make some contacts, start networking, and put it together. Be the change!
Towards Nuclear Zero (and Peace),
Notes: This post is an adaptation of the article written for the July 2009 Ground Zero Newsletter. Click here to read the newsletter, which is full of great content thanks to the input of many dedicated Ground Zero members. The image used in this post is from the Nukes of Hazard Blog, a project of The Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation.
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