"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel

Monday, June 21, 2010

Time to Think Outside the Bomb!


Albert Einstein once said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." At a time when the President (Obama) pledges to take steps leading the way to a nuclear weapons-free world, and in the next breath speaks of the importance of a strong nuclear deterrent (and funds new bomb-making facilities) it becomes dreadfully obvious that the same thinking that got us into our current nuclear mess will never get us out of it. What's up with $7 billion to construct 3 new nuclear weapons production facilities??? Talk about false hope!

There are many challenges facing the nuclear abolition movement, not the least of which is the essential, and unarguable, fact that the subject of abolishing nuclear weapons is simply not sexy. It doesn't have legs. It just doesn't keep, let alone get, most people's attention. But don't tell that to the Think Outside the Bomb's (TOTB) traveling show! These young people are thinking outside the box (and definitely way Outside the Bomb) as they connect with people - both young and old and everywhere in between - as they cross the nation, and they are determined. Here's how they describe themselves:
TOTB is a national network of youth activists and organizers for nuclear abolition who wish to create a world free of nuclear weapons and nuclear power. We seek to build community and working knowledge through our national tour, by offering critical information on the state of the US Nuclear Industrial Bombplex, as well as a critical look at how we engage in resistance. As we travel the country this summer, we will engage in dialogue with local activists and organizing groups. We will focus on the issue of nuclear abolition and stress its intersections with other global movements, including: movements for sustainable energy, environmental movements, labor movements, and movements that oppose the state of global capitalism, among others. We will also speak of creating a positive and affirming culture of resistance, speaking of the sustainable and reciprocal infrastructures of Permaculture, as well as focusing our messaging through artistic creative expression.
The lineup for any of the cities on TOTB's nationwide tour includes a presentation on their Disarmament Summer Campaign and Permaculture Encampment, information and reports on the human and environmental costs of nuclear weapons, puppet theatre, musical performance and "incendiary spoken word". Hot Stuff indeed! These are seriously (and passionately) creative gatherings by dedicated young people who hope to connect with other young people as well as those with many years of experience in any of the struggles for a sustainable, peaceful, nuclear weapons-free world. TOTB's nationwide tour is not a one way communication; it is an intentional dialogue in which they hope to build a grassroots, consensus-based, nonviolent direct action movement.

TOTB might very well be coming to your city or a city near you (if it hasn’t already been there); find out by clicking here. They are just about to hit the West Coast, and they are rockin along the way to their big New Mexico Encampment. This is definitely not “old school”. This is tying things together that should have been long ago. It is only our thinking and labeling that separates things, and it is that very thinking and labeling that is moving civilization toward the brink of ecological and economic collapse.

If you are in the Seattle area, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action is hosting TOTB on Thursday, July 1st. Join us at 7:00 PM at University Lutheran Church in Seattle’s University District for an unforgettable evening of education, entertainment and sharing of ideas and experience. This is what a grassroots movement looks like at its best - passionate people connecting with others, working for a peaceful, sustainable world.

The generations that brought nuclear weapons into the world and maintained them well over six decades are not (if we are to believe Einstein) the ones who will bring about a livable world for future generations. It will more likely be the younger people with new, fresh ways of thinking who will bring about that change, and TOTB is working hard to empower them to do just that. These young people aren’t just talking about “hope”, they are building it every day, and it is the kind of hope in which we really can believe!