Western States Legal Foundation Fall/Winter 2014 Newsletter
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Newsletter Fall/Winter 2014

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful new year from everyone at Western States Legal Foundation! We wouldn't still be here without the loyal support of hundreds of individual donors like you. We can't thank you enough!! There's still time to make a tax-deductible donation before the end of 2014. Please give as generously as you can. Visit our website and click on the "Donate" button.

Welcome to the first issue of the Western States Legal Foundation newsletter! By launching this newsletter, we hope to keep our friends and supporters a bit better informed about what we have been doing. Each issue will have a sampling of our recent activities, together with information about upcoming events. Late summer and fall have been busy, with events ranging from the annual Hiroshima Day commemoration at the Livermore Lab to organizing conference sessions at the Climate Convergence Conference in New York City. A focus of our work throughout has been exploring ways to build the broader movements we will need to have an effect on the immense institutions and power structures that sustain nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and an ecologically unsustainable economy driven by forms of competition that also generate militarization and conflict both at home and abroad.
In This Issue:

Open Letter on Nuclear Disarmament to President Obama from U.S. Organizations

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

U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Resolution Calling for Good Faith U.S. Participation in Nuclear Disarmament Forums; Commends Marshall Islands for bringing lawsuits against Nuclear-Armed States

A Nuclear Weapons and WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East? Prospects and Challenges

August Nuclear Free Future Month

Annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab

Nuclear Disarmament, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change: Making the Connections at the September People's Climate Change March in New York

First UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

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

WSLF Receives Global Citizen Award from East Bay UN Association October 26 UN Day

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

Drop Beats not Bombs Benefit for WSLF in Santa Rosa

Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons

How Does WSLF Do It?

Open Letter to President Obama from U.S. Organizations
Mr. President: It's time to move from talk to action on nuclear disarmament

For this first issue we're reaching back to April to report on one of our major initiatives and share a favorite photo.
WSLF Executive Director Jackie Cabasso presents the Open Letter to President Obama to the U.S. government delegation to the NPT PrepCom at UN Headquarters in New York, April 30, 2014
On April 30, 2014 Western States Legal Foundation (WSLF) Executive Director Jackie Cabasso delivered a 4-page Open Letter to President Obama signed by 107 U.S. organizations to the U.S. delegation at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee Meeting for the 2015 NPT Review Conference taking place at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The letter describes the dismal U.S. record in response to a series of new disarmament initiatives launched in recent years by governments of non-nuclear weapon states, both within and outside the UN.
This was the third letter in a series initiated by WSLF, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Peace Action, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, American Friends Service Committee and Peace Action New York. The letter, with its initial 61 signatures, was sent on April 16 to President Obama and the other officials cc'd. It was published by Truthout on April 21 and by Counterpunch on April 23.

Here's how the letter opens:

Dear President Obama,

During the closing session of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on March 25, 2014, you cited a number of concrete measures to secure highly-enriched uranium and plutonium and strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime that have been implemented as a result of the three Nuclear Security Summits, concluding: "So what's been valuable about this summit is that it has not just been talk, it's been action."

Would that you would apply the same standard to nuclear disarmament! On April 5, 2009 in Prague, you gave millions of people around the world new hope when you declared: "So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Bolstered by that hope, over the past three years, there has been a new round of nuclear disarmament initiatives by governments not possessing nuclear weapons, both within and outside the United Nations. Yet the United States has been notably "missing in action" at best, and dismissive or obstructive at worst. This conflict may come to a head at the 2015 Review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

We write now, on the eve of the third Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting for the 2015 Review Conference of the NPT, which will take place at UN headquarters in New York April 28--May 9, 2014, to underscore our plea that your administration shed its negative attitude and participate constructively in deliberations and negotiations regarding the creation of a multilateral process to achieve a nuclear weapons free world. This will require reversal of the dismal U.S. record.

Among a long litany of examples, the letter notes: "In March 2013, Norway hosted an intergovernmental conference in Oslo on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons, with 127 governments in attendance. Mexico hosted a follow-on conference in Nayarit, Mexico in February 2014, with 146 governments present. The U.S. boycotted Oslo and Nayarit. Austria has announced that it will host a third conference, in Vienna, late this year." And it calls on the President " to declare that the U.S. will participate constructively and in good faith in the third intergovernmental conference on humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons to be held in Vienna late this year."
The full text of the letter is at wslfweb.org/docs/Obamaletter4.28.pdf
Update: On November 7, the State Department announced that the United States would attend the Vienna conference to "present the U.S. perspective."
Facing the Dangers of 21st Century Great Power War: A Conference on the Centenary of World War One

This conference, held May 3, 2014, in New York City, provided an opportunity for reflection and discussion on the world wars of the last century, and about the risks of great power war today. The conference was held alongside the 2014 preparatory committee meetings for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review conference. It brought together activists and academics with knowledge and experience relevant to emerging dangers in key regions, from wars, resource conflicts and profound ongoing political realignments in the Middle East, to growing tensions in the Western Pacific over territory and resources as well as the U.S. strategic "pivot" to Asia. Speakers addressed the risks of great power war, the implication of those dangers for peace and disarmament efforts, and the kinds of movements we will need to build to forge a path to a more peaceful world.

The Conference conveners and sponsors were the American Friends Service Committee, Peace and Economic Security Program, International Peace Bureau, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung--New York Office, and the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and its U.S. affiliates, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Western States Legal Foundation.

Material from the conference, including texts of addresses, the conference program and call, and audio or video of the panels, can be found at http://afsc.org/resource/facing-dangers-21st-century-great-power-war-conference-centenary-world-war-i   Andrew Lichterman, senior policy analyst for WSLF, spoke on the first panel. The text of his address is linked here: Looking forward, looking backward: World War I, today's risk of great power war, and nuclear disarmament.

Andrew Lichterman, WSLF senior research analyst, at the Facing the Dangers of World War I Conference, New York City, May 3, 2014,
U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Bold New Resolution Calling for Constructive Good Faith U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums; Commends Marshall Islands for bringing lawsuits against U.S. and 8 other Nuclear-Armed States

Note: WSLF Executive Director Jackie Cabasso, servers as Mayors for Peace North American Coordinator. She worked closely with U.S. members of Mayors for Peace on this initiative.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), the non-partisan association of America's big cities, on June 23, 2014 unanimously adopted a sweeping new resolution Calling for Constructive Good Faith U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums at its 82nd annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. According to USCM President Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento, California, "These resolutions, once adopted, become official USCM policy."

Recalling that "August 6 and 9, 2015 will mark the 70th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed more that 210,000 people by the end of 1945," the resolution notes that "the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) continue to suffer from the health and environmental impacts of 67 above-ground nuclear weapons test explosions conducted by the U.S. in their islands between 1946 and 1958, the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima-sized bombs detonated daily for 12 years."

On April 24, 2014, the RMI filed "landmark" cases in the International Court of Justice against the U.S. and the eight other nuclear-armed nations, claiming that they have failed to comply with their obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law to pursue negotiations for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, and filed a companion case in U.S. Federal District Court. In its resolution, the USCM "commends the Republic of the Marshall Islands for calling to the world's attention the failure of the nine nuclear-armed states to comply with their international obligations to pursue negotiations for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons, and calls on the U.S. to respond constructively and in good faith to the lawsuits brought by the RMI."
Upon hearing news of the USCM resolution, RMI foreign minister Tony de Brum stated, "We appreciate very much the US Conference of Mayors supporting our modest efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. This endorsement is acknowledged with deep gratitude on behalf of the Government and the People of the Marshall Islands, and most especially those who have lost loved ones in the mad race for nuclear superiority, and those who continue to suffer the scourge of nuclear weapons testing in our homeland."

The USCM also "calls on the President and Congress to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement, and to redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities."
Recalling the U.S. commitment under the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to pursue negotiations in good faith on the elimination of nuclear weapons, the resolution notes that "forty-four years after the NPT entered into force, an estimated 16,400 nuclear weapons, most held by the U.S. and Russia, pose an intolerable threat to humanity, and there are no disarmament negotiations on the horizon" and that "the U.S. and the eight other nuclear weapon possessing states are investing an estimated $100 billion annually to maintain and modernize their nuclear arsenals while actively planning to deploy nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future."

The resolution states that "according to the General Accounting Office, the U.S. will spend more than $700 billion over the next 30 years to maintain and modernize nuclear weapons systems," and that "this money is desperately needed to address basic human needs such as housing, food security, education, healthcare, public safety, education and environmental protection."
Reflecting current international tensions, the resolution warns that "the U.S.- Russian conflict over the Ukraine may lead to a new era of confrontation between nuclear-armed powers, and nuclear tensions in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and on the Korean peninsula remind us that the potential for nuclear war is ever present" The resolution "urges President Obama to engage in intensive diplomatic efforts to reverse the deteriorating U.S. relationship with Russia."

The USCM "calls on the U.S. to demonstrate a good faith commitment to its disarmament obligation under Article VI of the NPT by commencing a process to negotiate the global elimination of nuclear weapons within a timebound framework, under strict and effective international control, at the May 2015 NPT Review Conference, and to press the other nuclear weapon states to do likewise."

The USCM also "calls on its membership to Proclaim September 26 in their cities as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and to support activities to enhance public awareness and education about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination."

The resolution notes that Mayors for Peace, with over 6,000 members in 158 countries, representing one seventh of the world's population, continues to advocate for the immediate commencement of negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2020, and that "Mayors for Peace, with members in the U.S. and Russia; India and Pakistan, and Israel, Palestine and Iran can be a real force for peace." The USCM "expresses its continuing support for and cooperation with Mayors for Peace," and "encourages all U.S. mayors for join Mayors for Peace."

The resolution was sponsored by Mayor Donald Plusquellic of Akron, Ohio, past President of the USCM and a Vice-President of Mayors for Peace, and 26 co-sponsoring mayors from cities in Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maine, California, Minnesota, and New Mexico.

Mayors for Peace is an international association, founded in 1982 by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States Conference of Mayors is the national non-partisan association of cities with populations over 30,000.

Full text of the resolution, with 27 mayoral co-sponsors: http://wslfweb.org/docs/MSPUSCMsponsorsfinal.pdf

More information about Mayors for Peace: www.mayorsforpeace.org and www.2020visioncampaign.org
A Nuclear Weapons and WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East? Prospects and Challenges

An unprecedented assembly of current and former Israeli Knesset (Parliament) members and local and international peace and human rights activists met in Haifa, Israel, on December 5-6 2013 to call for a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and for a world free of nuclear weapons. The following day, international participants travelled to Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, for a seminar on the legal, health and environmental impacts of Israel's nuclear and chemical weapons programs on Palestinian and Israeli Arab populations. Sponsored by the Womens International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), WSLF Executive Director Jackie Cabasso travelled to Israel to take part in the conference and has reported on it to a number of WILPF branches and other organizations.Watch a video of her June 29, 2014 presentation to the Silicon Valley Humanists here.

About the Haifa Conference

Faced by the immediate threat of another catastrophic war in the Middle East and the derailed Helsinki conference that would have created a process for precluding such a war, an historic Conference was initiated by Israeli citizens under the slogan, "If Israel won't come to Helsinki, Helsinki will come to Israel." The new Israeli Coalition for Nuclear Weapons and WMD Disarmament in the Middle East, convened by former members of the Israeli Knesset Issam Makhoul, the first member to raise the question of Israel's nuclear arsenal, in 2000, and the former Speaker, Avraham Burg, organized the conference to break new ground in challenging the taboo against Israeli citizens talking openly about Israel's unacknowledged nuclear arsenal.

A Declaration issued by the Haifa Conference for a Nuclear Weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone on January 13, 2014 signed by the Israeli and international participants, summarizes the main findings and outcomes of the Conference.

Directly confronting Israeli government, the Declaration boldly declares: "Fifty years having passed since the Dimona Reactor was built, the Israeli coalition believes that now is the time for new anti-nuclear thinking that will save citizens in Israel and the peoples of the region from the horror of nuclear weapons-not only in the case that Israel is attacked with these weapons, but also in the case that it becomes the attacker."

The Declaration expresses hope in recent developments, "recogniz[ing] the importance of the two agreements that for now avoid war: Syria to abolish its chemical weapons; and Iran with the international group of nations, to diplomatically address their differences over Iran's nuclear program," and "welcom[ing] the upcoming negotiations in Geneva to end the war in Syria and the ongoing negotiations with Iran."

The Declaration calls upon the international community to support the demands of the new Israeli coalition and to further the campaign for a Nuclear Weapons and WMD Free Zone in the Middle East. As the Declaration concludes: "The members of the coalition believe that the time of nuclear ambiguity has long since passed, and that the global and regional circumstances demand a new policy. This policy would recognize the end of the Israeli nuclear monopoly. With two options posed before us-either nuclear weapons for all, or complete WMD Disarmarmament in the region, including Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia and others-our choice is very clear: we stand for a Middle East Free of Nuclear Weapons and all Weapons of Mass Destruction."
August Nuclear Free Future Month
Building out from the traditional Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemorations conducted around the country, since 2006, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) has declared August "Nuclear Free Future Month," providing an opportunity for groups opposed to nuclear weapons and power to spread their message and to stimulate recognition of the relationship between nuclear technologies and the broader crises engendered by the deepening polarization of wealth and political power and by economic growth and technology choices that are ecologically unsustainable.

WSLF has been active with United for Peace and Justice since its inception in 2002, and has convened its Nuclear Disarmament/Redefining Security working group since 2003. By consistently striving to locate nuclear weapons issues in a broader peace and justice context, WSLF has been instrumental in raising the visibility and importance of nuclear disarmament as a central issue in the struggle against U.S. empire and global military-industrial complexes.

WSLF Executive Director Jackie Cabasso, an elected member of UFPJ's Steering Committee for many years, since September 2013, has been serving as a National Co-convener for UFPJ. WSLF Senior Research Analyst, Andy Lichterman, also a member of UFPJ's Coordinating Committee, maintains the Nuclear Free Future Month website. Visit www.nuclearfreefuture.org for a wealth of resources and action opportunities.
Annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab
WSLF Executive Director Jackie Cabasso speaking at the August 6 Hiroshima commemoration. WSLF Board member Wislon Riles Jr. emcee'd together with Patricia St.Onge.
On August 6, 2014, the 69th anniversary of the United States atomic bombing of Hiroshima, WSLF with partner organizations including Tri-Valley CAREs, American Friends Service Committee and Physicians for Social Responsibility, organized a rally and nonviolent protest at the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory, where the U.S. is spending billions of dollars to modify and upgrade nuclear weapons. Titled Failure to Disarm, the rally highlighted the landmark litigation filed in April in the International Court of Justice by the tiny Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) against the nine nuclear weapons states for their failure to disarm under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law. The RMI also filed a separate case against the U.S. in the Federal Court in San Francisco. The complaint specifically cites Livermore Lab's activities to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile as a breach of the NPT and violation of international law.

The rally was emceed by WSLF Board member Wilson Riles and his partner, Patricia St. Onge. WSLF Executive Director Jackie Cabasso addressed resurgent U.S. militarism in Asia-Pacific, and WSLF Board member Dannette Lambert delivered the "call to action." At 8:15 am, the exact time the Hiroshima bomb detonated, an air raid siren was sounded, followed by moment of silence.

From the rally site, more than 100 people processed to the West Gate of the Lab and took part in a traditional Japanese Bon dance. Following the dance, the sirens sounded again, this time in remembrance of the victims of the atomic bomb dropped by the U.S. on Nagasaki, on August 9, 1945. The sirens signaled a die-in. Those who chose to lie down in the gate area were outlined in chalk. 30 people who did not disperse when the police order was given were arrested. The chalk outlines left briefly behind were a solemn reminder of the shadows of human beings vaporized by atomic bombs 69 years ago that still haunt the walls and sidewalks of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

View a video overview of the day

View Jackie Cabasso's rally talk

Read the text of Jackie's talk

August 6th 2015 will be a major anniversary, marking the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Japan. Planning for the 2015 Livermore Lab action is already underway. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 5, 2015 in Oakland. Let us know if you're interested in volunteering.
Nuclear Disarmament, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change: Making the Deadly Connections at the September People's Climate Change March in New York
Clockwise from top left: Executive Director Jackie Cabasso speaking at WSLF's Climate Convergence workshop in New York with Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony DeBrum and Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie;  Tony DeBrum speaking at Climate March rally: United for Peace and Justice Climate Convergence workshop; Jackie, WSLF Board Member John Burroughs, and colleagues from peace movement organizations at the Climate March.
In September, WSLF staffers Jackie Cabasso and Andrew Lichterman were in New York City for a series of events organized around the massive People's Climate March. WSLF, together with American Friends Service Committee and Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, and with support from the Jane Addams Peace Association, organized a three hour conference workshop, titled "Deadly Connections: Challenging Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change," at the Climate Convergence Conference held at Saint John's University. Tony DeBrum, Foreign Minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, spoke about his country's historic International Court of Justice case calling for the nuclear-armed states to comply with their disarmament obligations, and Mayor Frank Cownie of Des Moines, Iowa, a member of Mayors for Peace, long active on both nuclear disarmament and climate change, talked about what could be done on the local and regional level. Other speakers addressed the current state of nuclear arsenals, the push to sell nuclear power as a climate change solution, and the relationship between nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and the growing risk of war among nuclear armed countries.

For video of the entire workshop, including talks by WSLF's Jackie Cabasso and Andy Lichterman, click here. WSLF published an information brief for distribution at the climate march and surrounding events, Nuclear Weapons and Climate Change in the Age of Corporate Globalization.

WSLF also arranged for Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony DeBrum to speak at the Peace and Justice rally at the climate change march; the Marshall Islands, a low-lying island nation vulnerable to sea level rise and a site for both atmospheric nuclear testing during the Cold War and ballistic missile testing today, are a place where the intersection of nuclear weapons and climate change issues is strongly visible. Video of his rally talk and an interview are at the links below:

Tony DeBrum rally talk

Tony DeBrum climate march interview

With hundreds of thousands of people attending from around the country, the week of the climate change march provided the opportunity for a variety of events aimed at cross-issue organizing. Both Jackie and Andy serve on the national Coordinating Committee for United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ). UFPJ held a face to face Coordinating Committee meeting and an all-day informal drop-in gathering for UFPJ members remaining in New York the Monday following the climate march. WSLF staff also played a leading role in organizing a UFPJ workshop at the Climate Convergence conference, with organizers from a variety of UFPJ organizations reflecting on their experience of a decade of peace work in a multi-issue coalition, and what elements of that experience are useful for building the broad movement we need to make progress in slowing global warming. Video of that workshop, facilitated by WSLF executive director Jackie Cabasso, can be found at the link below.

UFPJ workshop, "Uniting Our Strategies to Stop War and Save the Planet."
First UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

The climate march weekend also provided a chance for a multi-issue coalition planning disarmament events around the May 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference to hold an initial organizing meeting. Plans include a large-scale international conference in New York City on April 24-25 and a march, rally and peace festival April 26. The Call to Action for the Spring 25 mobilization for a nuclear-free, fair, democratic, ecologically sustainable and peaceful future can be found here.
WSLF staffers were the initial drafters of the call to action, and Jackie is one of the three overall conveners for the Spring mobilization. Both Jackie and Andy serve on the international organizing committee.

The Spring Mobilization was launched with the release of the Call to Action on September 26, the first UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. (see IPS wire service story, "2015 a Make-or-Break Year for Nuclear Disarmament," with quotes from WSLF executive director Jackie Cabasso.) WSLF also presented a local workshop in Berkeley on the International Day, "The Nuclear Threat, Yesterday and Today: A Workshop on Nuclear Weapons," together with the Western Institute for Social Research. The workshop featured WSLF staffers Andy Lichterman and Jackie Cabasso, and WSLF Board member, Marcia Campos.
The Nuclear University and U.S. Power in the Pacific: Time for a New Free Speech Movement?

WSLF is part of the Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific, a network of organizations and scholars focusing on the U.S. Pacific Pivot and the intertwined complex of economic and military tensions in the Western Pacific and South Asia. On October 23, WSLF and partner organizations presented an evening workshop at UC Berkeley with a particular focus on the role of our region and the University of California in US power projection in the Pacific. See the event program and video of all the presentations at the links below.

Video of the workshop presentations

Event program
WSLF Receives Global Citizen Award from East Bay UN Association on October 26 UN Day
United Nations Association award presentation, left; WSLF staff, board members, and friends at the awards dinner
On October 26, the official United Nations Day, Western States Legal Foundation was presented with the 2014 Global Citizen Award for Effective Contributions to Peace and Human Security by the United Nations Association East Bay Chapter. WSLF was one of three organizations to receive the award, the others being the International Rescue Committee and the Nonviolent Peace Force. The awards were presented at a gala dinner event at the International House in Berkeley, with about 250 people in attendance.

Read Jackie Cabasso's acceptance remarks on behalf of WSLF

On November 15, Cabasso was a featured speaker at "Peace Forum 2014: Forging Peace and Human Security: From Aspiration to Action", co-sponsored by the United Nations Association-East Bay.
Nongovernmental Organization Statement to the First Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations: Nuclear Weapons and the International Security Context

Every year in October, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, concerned with disarmament matters, meets in New York. In recent years, the First Committee has made time for statements by nongovernmental organizations. This year, WSLF drafted and coordinated a statement on Nuclear Weapons and the International Security Context, presented October 28, 2014, by WSLF Board member and Executive Director of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy John Burroughs. The statement was endorsed by 100 international, national, regional and local organizations in 11 countries.

Statement text and list of signing organizations
Drop Beats Not Bombs Benefit for Western States Legal Foundation in Santa Rosa

On November 22, Lynda Williams, a long-time friend and associate of WSLF, organized a benefit dub music event at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa, co-sponsored by the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County. The event gave us an opportunity to reach out to new supporters and reconnect to some old friends-we very much appreciated the opportunity. The Arlene Francis Center is a lovely place for events, with a performance space, cafe, and a side gallery (WSLF installed a poster exhibit from the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation in the side gallery for the event). Thanks to all our hosts!
Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons

"The 70th anniversary in a few months of the first nuclear weapon explosion is an opportunity to reflect on the imminent danger upon us.... Nuclear disarmament is not a concession, but a right and an obligation to honor our idea of humanity and civilization. We must not perceive disarmament as a dream, but as a pending task." --Statement of OPANAL (Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean), presented to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Dec. 9, 2014

In early December, WSLF executive director Jackie Cabasso attended the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, hosted by the government of Austria, in Vienna. The conference, the third in a series, examined the horrific consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, as well as the growing risks of their authorized or unauthorized use and the lack of adequate response capabilities. Representatives from 158 countries, the International Committee of the Red Cross, civil society and academia heard chilling testimonies by hibakusha (Japanese atomic bomb survivors) and nuclear testing victims from the Marshall Islands, Australia, and a Nevada Test Site downwinder. The conference included expert presentations on the health effects of radiation, the blast, fire and radiation aftermath that would result from the detonation of a 200 kiloton bomb on a hypothetical military base in Europe, the current nuclear postures and targeting policies of the nuclear-armed states, and the applicability of existing international humanitarian law to nuclear weapons.

On display at the conference was the current impasse on nuclear disarmament. A growing number of countries not possessing nuclear weapons expressed deep disappointment with the lack of progress in any existing disarmament forum. At the same time the leading nuclear-armed states remain as recalcitrant as ever, epitomized by arrogant and condescending statements by the United States and Britain. (Russia, France, China, Israel and North Korea boycotted the conference.) Vienna sets up the potential for a tense confrontation at next spring's Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, where non-nuclear weapon states will be demanding a new diplomatic process to achieve nuclear disarmament. Western States Legal Foundation (WSLF) is playing a leading role in planning for NGO activities including an international conference, march and rally at the NPT.
How Does WSLF Do It?

How Does WSLF Do It? Remarkably, WSLF does all of this-and much more-with only two paid staff people. WSLF's Board of Directors is a remarkable hands-on working group whose members share the organization's commitment to social transformation through nonviolence and democratic, non-hierarchical decision making. They provide a wealth of skills and expertise and actively participate in the organization's many activities. We maintain a wicked sense of humor and try to have fun-at the best of times and the worst of times we play miniature golf together! With almost no support from foundations, WSLF depends on the financial support of hundreds of loyal individual donors. Please join them! Visit our web site to donate.

Western States Legal Foundation · 655 13th St. Suite 201 · Oakland, CA 94612 · USA · +1 501 839 5877 · www.wslfweb.org