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Working Groups

Part of the Abolition 2000 Global Network

(work in progress)

ADMINISTRATION FOCUS: This group will work to focus attention on the nuclear weapons policies and activities of the Executive branch, trying in particular to create forums for discussion and criticism of nuclear weapons policies. Its first initiative was an October, 1999 teach-in at the University of Michigan on nuclear weapons issues, where the organizers invited administration officials to participate and to publicly debate critics of existing nuclear weapons policies. (they declined) This teach-in model will hopefully be extended to other campuses. Resource materials and videos of sessions from the October 1999 teach-in are available. A repeat of this program is intended during the Fall 2000 election campaign and an effort will be made to engage presidential candidates on nuclear weapons and related questions.

*Convener: Alan Haber (Peace and Environmental Coalition for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, and Megiddo Peace Project, Michigan); (734)761-7967

AFFECTED COMMUNITIES: Communities across the country have been affected by a half century of nuclear weapons research, testing, and production. They range from workers at DOE facilities to people who live downwind from those facilities to armed services veterans exposed to nuclear tests. Many of these groups already have organized to put pressure on the Federal government to clean up the environmental damage, to perform meaningful health and environmental studies, and to provide compensation. These groups share many of our concerns, and often already are committed to abolition of nuclear weapons. This working group will focus attention on the destructive legacy of nuclear weapons, and will work to integrate these communities and their concerns into the broader campaign.

*Convener: Joseph Gerson (American Friends Service Committee);
(617) 661-6130

(local movement building and making the connection to other issues): Through discussing and organizing around the way nuclear weapons are connected to other social ills and injustices, from local ecological devastation, distorted government spending priorities, and a culture of violence which stretches from the state to the street to global inequality, we can deepen our own understanding of what must be done to achieve abolition of nuclear weapons, as well as the understanding of those we hope to persuade. We then open up the possibility that we will become part of a larger movement which can make the changes which could make abolition possible. This working group will explore ways to make connections on the local level with other organizing efforts which share some of our concerns, and by doing so to help create the social movement needed to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons. Two working papers are now available: Some Thoughts about the Path to Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and Strategies for Organizing in the United States, and Up From the Concrete: Making Connections and Building Coalitions for a US Movement to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

*Convener: Andy Lichterman (Western States Legal Foundation); (510) 839-5877

This ever-evolving working group is focussed on developing efforts to mobilize public opinion via existing networks and groups in civil society (such as service groups, churches, women's groups, environmental groups, etc). The primary effort is outreach to such groups, inviting them to affirm the Abolition 2000 statement and commit to educating their members on nuclear abolition, making the connection to local concerns. We are working with specific locations to develop models that can be mirrored elsewhere.

*Conveners: Pamela Meidell (The Atomic Mirror, California);
(805) 985 5073; Jonathan Schell (The Nation Institute, New York);
(212) 209 5417

CONGRESSIONAL FOCUS: This working group will focus on initiatives relevant to nuclear weapons abolition in the U.S. Congress. Examples include the Markey and Woolsey resolutions, aimed respectively at scaling back U.S. nuclear weapons research and production programs and at encouraging the Administration to engage in meaningful negotiations to achieve abolition. Its work encompasses grassroots efforts to mobilize widespread attention to particular measures and issues pending in Congress.

*Convener: Ellen Thomas (Proposition One, Washington, DC);
(202) 265-5389

DEMOCRACY, POWER AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS: This working group has taken responsibility for following through on the commitment made in Santa Barbara to develop a carefully thought out statement on the relationships between democracy, power and nuclear weapons. A draft statement was prepared for discussion at the Ann Arbor meeting in October, 1999. At that meeting, it was decided that this working group be made permanent in order to continue addressing these issues as a living process.

*Convener: Alan Haber (Peace and Environmental Coalition for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, and Megiddo Peace Project, Michigan); (734)761-7967

Nonviolent direct action long has been a central part of the movement to abolish nuclear weapons. Despite a lack of media coverage, direct action continues at weapons and government facilities around the country, from the Nevada Test Site, to the weapons laboratories in Livermore, California and Los Alamos, New Mexico, to Washington D.C. and the newly opened Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, also in New Mexico. This working group will be a place for people involved in particular direct action campaigns to raise national awareness of their activities and to exchange ideas and information. It also will try to provide resources which will be broadly useful, for example nonviolence training materials and lists of nonviolence trainers.
*Convener: Matteo Ferreira (Shundahai Network); (702) 647-3095

This group will focus on the activities of the nuclear weapons and production complex, and will explore the impacts of continuing nuclear weapons research on the global test ban and nonproliferation regime and on efforts to achieve abolition. It will also examine the overlap between nuclear weapons research technologies and other emerging arms races which affect chances for abolition, including anti-ballistic missile technologies, space weaponry, and possible next-generation nuclear weapons. The group will be both a means to coordinate research efforts and to distribute relevant information within the campaign and to a wider public.

Conveners: Jackie Cabasso (Western States Legal Foundation),,
(510) 839-5877; Sally Light (Tri-Valley CAREs),, (925) 443-7148

The cycle of nuclear materials mining and nuclear weapons testing and production always has had a disproportionate impact on indigenous people world-wide. Nuclear weapons testing has occurred for the most part on the lands of indigenous peoples, without regard for their sovereign rights, and with devastating effects on people and their lands. Indigenous people have taken the lead in many parts of the globe both in making the connections between nuclear weapons and the effects of the entire cycle of nuclear materials, nuclear power, and nuclear weapons production, and in advocating for nuclear weapons abolition. This working group will provide a focus for making these voices heard both inside and outside the movement.

Conveners: Michele Xenos (Shundahai Network),; (702) 647-3095; Richard Salvador (Pacific Islands Association of NGOs)

This working group aims at coordinating the abolition campaign in the United States with efforts world-wide, including Abolition 2000 and other efforts in particular nations and regions to eliminate nuclear weapons. With the emergence of a new nuclear weapons and ballistic missile race in South Asia, growing controversy over possible theatre and domestic ballistic missile deployments, and the stagnation of arms control negotiations, this working group will help the abolition campaign in the U.S. remain aware of the effects U.S. nuclear weapons and military policies have on efforts to achieve abolition in other nuclear weapons states and globally.

Conveners: Alice Slater (Global Resource Action Center for the Environment, New York); (212) 726-9161; Richard Salvador (Pacific Islands Association of
NGOs); David Krieger (Nuclear Age Peace Foundation); (805) 965-3443

: This working group will be a place to develop and share media strategies. Its initial focus was to coordinate a cohesive and nationally visible campaign launch on October 11, 1999.

*Convener: Steve Kent (Kent Communications, New York);
(914) 424-8382

This working group initially focused on the NATO 50th anniversary meeting in Washington, D.C. in April, and the likelihood that NATO nuclear weapons policies would be debated there. There has been interest in continuing this as a working group, since the controversy over NATO nuclear weapons policies, including a refusal to renounce first use, a potential counter-proliferation role for nuclear weapons, and the expansion of NATO's military scope to include broad out-of-area combat roles is likely to continue for a long time. This group has now been combined with the International Connections and Issues Working Group (see above).

The Religious Working Group serves to facilitate and develop the participation of faith-based organizations, institutions and individuals in the work of the US CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS. The working group compiles and develops educational and action resources for use locally, regionally and nationally, and serves as a forum for the development of campaign strategies and projects with faith-based groups.

*Convener: Dave Robinson (Pax Christi USA); (814) 453-4955 ext.235

This group was formed initially to respond quickly to the legislation pending at the time of the Santa Barbara meeting authorizing further research and limited deployment of an anti-ballistic missile system by the United States. Ballistic missile defense continues to be a key issue of concern for advocates of nuclear weapons abolition, due to continuing development of the system, its potential to revive a multilateral nuclear arms race, and the controversy over its possible extension in the Western Pacific. Action planned for this year include: a conference on April 14-17 in Washington, D.C., “Star Wars Revisited: An International Conference on Preventing an Arms Race in Space”; and an International Day of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space on Oct. 7.

*Conveners: Janet Michelle Cuevas (Promoting Enduring Peace, New York)
enduringpeace@ Bruce Gagnon (Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Florida); (352) 337-9274

: This working group aims to raise the level of awareness among young people about nuclear weapons and efforts to abolish them. It will work on the teach-ins discussed in the Administration focus working group above. It will also attempt to gather and broaden the distribution of existing nuclear weapons abolition materials aimed at a youth and campus audience.

*Convener: Odile Hugonot Haber (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and Peace and Environmental Coalition for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Michigan); (734) 761-7967

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