Today is the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). These are dark times, indeed, as nations still worship the false (nuclear) idols they believe provide security (through "deterrence") and bolster national pride. Nuclear weapons are truly a dark cloud hanging over humanity, and it has become increasingly clear that it will take a massive people's movement to convince our governments to take real steps to abolish these omnicidal weapons.
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference that will take place in May 2010 is a make-it-or-break-it gathering that will demonstrate either real resolve, or as in the case of the recent Copenhagen gathering, business as usual. In both cases, the world can no longer afford business as usual. We the people must pressure our governments to make the NPT a valid treaty with real and binding deadlines for disarmament.
There are many ways to get involved, through national and international coalitions (such as the Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Free World), organizations (such as the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation) and local organizations in your area. Here in the Seattle, Washington area we have Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (GZ), which has resisted Trident and worked for abolition for over 32 years. Over the next few months, leading up to the NPT Review Conference, there will be many opportunities to get involved.
In the next few weeks there will be a couple of events addressing the Trident nuclear weapons system. A group is planning to ring in the New Year in a novel way with a vigil at the gates of Kings Bay (Georgia) Trident nuclear submarine base. You can learn about the Alternative New Year activities by clicking here. On the opposite side of the U.S., GZ will honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, January 16, 2010 with a day of nonviolence training, planning, and a vigil and nonviolent direct action at the gates of the Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base. Click here for the poster and schedule.
Whatever you may do on New Year's or around the MLK weekend, be sure be engaged on some level in the coming months, and be sure to keep the pressure on as we approach the NPT Review Conference. We cannot be complacent; we have seen how things play out (Copenhagen) without massive grassroots political pressure. Let's start preparing now for May 2010. The stakes are high, but the rewards are great! Keep your light shining!