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Half Life: Celebrating 30 Years of Peace and Nuclear Disarmament with Special Guests Dennis Kucinich, Daniel Ellsberg, Rose Aguilar, and and Representative Barbara Lee

In February, Western States Legal Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary at the First Congregational Church in Oakland with a reception and an evening of lively discussion about prospects for disarmament in the current global context. For more on the event including full video of talks by Kucinich, Ellsberg, Lee, and WSLF Executive Director Jacqueline Cabasso, click here.

Western States Legal Foundation (WSLF) is a non-profit, public interest organization founded in 1982, which monitors and analyzes U.S. nuclear weapons programs and policies and related high technology energy and weapons programs, with a focus on the national nuclear weapons laboratories.

WSLF recognizes that nuclear weapons affect the environment, the economy, the role of violence in society, and democracy itself. Rather than enhancing our "national" security, nuclear weapons threaten our fundamental human security. WSLF seeks to abolish nuclear weapons, compel open public environmental review of nuclear technologies, and ensure appropriate management of nuclear waste. Grounded in nonviolence and rooted in both international and environmental law, the principle guiding WSLF's activities is democratization of decision making affecting nuclear weapons and related technologies.

Program areas:

  • Research and analysis on current U.S. nuclear weapons policies, ongoing nuclear weapons research, testing, and production activities, and their impacts on international security.

  • Research and analysis on other high technology weapons programs, such as ballistic missile defense and efforts to further militarize outer space, which threaten international stability and make the elimination of nuclear arsenals more difficult to achieve.

  • Assisting communities affected by the health and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons research and production and of other nuclear technologies.


    WSLF is a founding member of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons. WSLF has been a member since 1989 of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, and is affiliated with the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, the International Peace Bureau, and the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

    Some notes on our site format:

    We have tried to keep our site graphically simple so that it will load quickly on older equipment and in regions which do not offer fast internet connections. Many of our longer documents, however, are in acrobat pdf format, and are relatively large files. We have marked these downloads accordingly. Acrobat Reader for pdf files is available for free. You can go to the site where it is available for download by clicking here.

    Contact Information:

    Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director
    Western States Legal Foundation
    655 13th Street, Suite 201
    Preservation Park
    Oakland, CA 94612 USA
    phone: (510) 839-5877  

    Site updated March 26, 2017

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What's New

IALANA Discussion Paper: Selected Elements of a Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

Message Delivered to Foreign Ministers of the Latin American and Caribbean States assembled February 14, 2017 in Mexico City to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Tlatelolco

Publication: The Fierce Urgency of Nuclear Zero

Video: Trump and the Bomb, A conversation with Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, February 8, 2017.

Remarks by Mayor T.M. Franklin Cownie of Des Moines, Iowa, lead US city for Mayors for Peace, to the International Affairs Standing Committee at the 85th Winter Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors Washington, DC, January 18, 2017

"A circle that can't be squared: Broad-spectrum arms racing and nuclear disarmament," book chapter in new UN publication.

Disarm Now: We Stand with Nuclear Survivors for Global Justice: Rally and Nonviolent Direct Action at Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab on Tuesday, August 9, the 71st anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki..

U.S. Conference of Mayors Unanimously Adopts Resolution "Calling on the Next U.S. President to Pursue Diplomacy with Other Nuclear-Armed States; Participate in Negotiations for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons; Cut Nuclear Weapons Spending and Redirect Funds to Meet the Needs of Cities"

Martin Luther King Memorial Community Reading: Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence Tuesday, April 5, Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza, Oakland, California

Letter to President Obama calling for a moratorium on testing of hypersonic precision weapons

Northern California Climate Mobilization, Oakland, California, Saturday November 21, 2015

Disarmament, the Sustainable Development Goals, and Power Presentation by Andrew Lichterman, United Nations 70th Anniversary event, San Francisco, October 25, 2015

The Challenge of Disarmament: Still Nonviolence or Nonexistence
Presentation of the Western States Legal Foundation to the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, October 16, 2015

WSLF’s Andrew Lichterman to receive Peace Advocate of the Year Award, Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center, Walnut Creek, CA, 6 pm Saturday October 24, 2015

The Golden Rule Meets SF Fleet Week: Sailing for a Nuclear Free World! Wednesday, October 7, 7pm, Veterans' Building, San Francisco

Apology to a Whale: Words to Mend a World, Book Launch Benefit for WSLF, Berkeley, CA, Saturday, October 10, 2015

70 Years of Nuclear Weapons:At What Cost?
August 6 Hiroshima Action at Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab

Who Has the Bomb?
Philip MuIdari interviews WSLF Executive Director about the Iran nuclear agreement.

Nuclear Affairs: What in the World is Happening? WSLF event at Cafe Valparaiso, Albany, Thursday July 23, 2015.

U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Resolution "Calling for Effective Implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Disarmament Obligation and Redirection of Nuclear Weapons Spending to Meet the Needs of Cities"

Automated warfare, weapons modernization, and nuclear war risk, Andrew Lichterman, presentation at NPT Review Conference NGO side event, April 28, 2015

Western States Legal Foundation Statement to the 2015 NPT Review Conference

Statement to the 2015 NPT Review Conference on behalf of the Peace and Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World

Peace and Planet Mobilization, New York City, April 24-26, 2015

Peace and Planet Mobilization Op Ed, MLK's Call to Honor Peace, Justice and Our Planet Still Challenges Us.

Ukraine: Time to Step Back from the Brink, Western States Legal Foundation Commentary, February 2015

Press conference: No New AUMF-- End Endless War!

Disarmament: Missing in Action, Western States Legal Foundation Commentary, Spring 2015

Nuclear Free California meets to discuss strategies to shut down Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

WSLF Fall/Winter 2014 Newsletter

Climate Convergence workshop, "Deadly Connections: Challenging Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change" Video and other materials now available

The Nuclear University and U.S. Power in the Pacific: Time for a New Free Speech Movement? Video of workshop now available

Nongovernmental Organization Statement to the First Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations: Nuclear Weapons and the International Security Context, October 28, 2014

Call for Spring 2015 Mobilization at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review

The Nuclear Threat, Yesterday and Today: A Workshop on Nuclear Weapons
Friday, September 26, 2014, 6:00-8:30pm

Climate Convergence Workshop
Deadly Connections: Challenging Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change

Saturday, September 20, 2014
St. John's University 51 Astor Place Room 107, New York City

Nuclear Weapons and Climate Change in the Age of Corporate Globalization, WSLF Information Brief, Fall 2014.

Media Advisory: "Failure to Disarm: Holding Our Government Accountable" August 6 Hiroshima Commemoration, Protest & Nonviolent Direct Action at Livermore Lab Highlights Courageous "Nuclear Zero" Lawsuits Brought by the Marshall Islands

Hiroshima Action August 6 at Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab

U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Bold New Resolution Calling for Constructive Good Faith U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums

Dinner—Music–Information at Café Valparaiso-- WSLF benefit and updateCafé Valparaiso, 1403 Solano Ave, Albany, June 26, 6pm.

Facing the Dangers of 21st Century Great Power War: A Conference on the Centenary of World War I

Looking forward, looking backward: World War I, today's risk of great power war, and nuclear disarmament, address by Andrew Lichterman at Facing the Dangers of Great Power War conference

Open Letter calling on President Obama to move from talk to action on nuclear disarmament

Global Day of Action Against Military Spending Activities

WSLF Ukraine resources

Report from the 5th Nagasaki Global Citizen's Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons November 2--4, 2013.

Urban Shield and the Militarization of the Civilian State, Western States Legal Foundation Information Brief, October 2013

Film screening of the Ultimate Wish: Ending The Nuclear Age and panel discussion, New York City, September 26. With WSLF Executive Director Jacqueline Cabasso.

The Rush to Bomb Syria: Undermining International Law and Risking Wider War, Western States Legal Foundation Briefing Paper, September 2013.

WSLF 30th Anniversary Summer Newsletter and Appeal

Photos now available from our 30th Anniversary celebration!

Hiroshima Action August 6 to Protest Nuclear Weapons at Livermore Lab: Daniel Ellsberg to Speak at Rally; March and Nonviolent Direct Action to Follow

Mayors for Peace 2013 Action Kit


The role of science and technology in driving nuclear weapons modernization: a reappraisal, Andrew Lichterman, address at NPT PrepComm NGO side event, April 2013

Issue Update: Subcritical Tests, Western States Legal Foundation, Fall 2012.

Nonviolence or nonexistence, democracy or nonexistence, Andrew Lichterman, address to Hiroshima remembrance gathering, August 5, across the street from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California.

Publications and Presentations

The Rush to Bomb Syria: Undermining International Law and Risking Wider War, Western States Legal Foundation Briefing Paper, September 2013.

The role of science and technology in driving nuclear weapons modernization: a reappraisal, April 2013

Nonviolence or nonexistence, democracy or nonexistence, Andrew Lichterman, address to Hiroshima remembrance gathering, August 5, across the street from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California.

Atoms for Peace,Then and Now, Western States Legal Foundation Commentary, Summer 2012.

The Bechtel Corporation: San Francisco's Engineers of Empire, Western States Legal Foundation Nuclear Connections series, Summer 2012

There's Nothing Good About Nuclear Power, Address, Jacqueline Cabasso, Berkeley Rally for a Nuclear-Free California, June 19, 2012

Rhetoric vs. Reality: Nuclear Dangers in a Time of Growing Global Economic and Environmental Crisis, Western States Legal Foundation Information Bulletin, Spring 2012.

New report on nuclear weapons modernization world wide

Vandenberg Air Force Base: Where the Present and Future of U.S. Warmaking Come Together Western States Legal Foundation Information Brief, Spring 2012

Nuclear Connections: Weapons and Power in the Age of Corporate Globalization, Western States Legal Foundation Information Brief, Fall 2011

Nuclear Weapons at What Cost?, Western States Legal Foundation Information Brief, Spring 2011

START: One Small Step for Arms Control, One Giant Leap Backward for Disarmament? WSLF Commentary, Winter 2011

"Nuclear Disarmament, Civil Society, and Democracy,"Disarmament Forum, 2010 No.4

The START Treaty and Disarmament: a Dilemma in Search of a Debate WSLF Commentary, December 2010

NPT 2010: Rhetoric vs. Reality WSLF Information Bulletin May 2010

Civil Society, Disarmament and the Need for New BeginningsCommentary in Disarmament Times, April 2010

Book: Beyond arms control: challenges and choices for nuclear disarmament, April 2010

NPT 2010: Putting President Obama's Disarmament Rhetoric to the Test
By Executive Director Jacqueline Cabasso, Peace Culture Newsletter No. 64 , April 2010

NPT 2010: Rhetoric vs. Reality,
Address by Executive Director Jackie Cabasso, Brasilia, February 2010

More publications...

WSLF in the news

What's Next for the Nuclear Disarmament Movement? Lawrence Wittner, Yes! Magazine (Blog), June 14, 2010

Other Voices TV Executive Director Jackie Cabasso discusses her experiences at the recent UN conference on nuclear weapons. June 1, 2010

U.N. Nuke Meet Ends with Good Intentions and Empty Promises, Inter Press Service, May 29, 2010

International News Net World Report New START pact between Russia and the USA Round Table discussion with Jacqueline Cabasso and William Hartung May 26, 2010

Some Activists Losing Faith in Obama Nuclear Weapons Agenda Friday, May 7, 2010 By Elaine M. Grossman Global Security Newswire

If You Love This Planet: A Weekly Radio Program with Dr. Helen Caldicott Jacqueline Cabasso with the latest on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts Recorded May 6, 2010

U.S. plans major increase in nuclear budget By Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer Chugoku Shimbun, Hiroshima March 8, 2010 (posted online March 12, 2010)

WSLF board member Andrew Lichterman on KPFA Radio's Against the Grain, February 3, noon.

Press Releases

U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopts resolution "Calling for U.S. Leadership in Global Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Redirection of Military Spending to Domestic Needs"

Off-site commentary by WSLF staff and volunteers

Most recent pages added:

Military Spending: Researching Impacts on your Campus or Community

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Doctrine Page

Civil Liberties and Government Secrecy Page

Iraq Resources Page

War and Law page