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.
On September 20, 2014, Western States Legal Foundation and partner groups presented a two part workshop at the Climate Convergence Conference in New York City, "Deadly Connections: Challenging Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change," the day before over 300,000 people marched in the City demanding action to stop global warming. Part one of this workshop addressed the ways that climate change will intensify conflicts and war risks generated by a system based on competition among immense organizations and endless growth. It also will explore the role in the global economy of state-dependent high-tech enclaves, including the nuclear energy sector and the military-industrial complex. Part two provided perspectives from people working on a variety of initiatives from the local to the global aimed at finding ways to make progress when the politics in national capitals is locked up. Presenters include organizers working in grassroots networks, a U.S. mayor who works on climate change and disarmament, the foreign minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a nation directly affected by both climate change and nuclear colonialism, and a lawyer representing the Marshall Islands in their historic World Court case holding the nuclear-armed states to account for non-compliance with their disarmament obligations.
This page has video of both workshop sessions, presentation texts where available, and some additional related videos. Check back for additional presentation texts, which will be added as they are received. Click on the title link above for the "Deadly Connections" workshop page.
On October 23, 2014, California affiliates of the Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific presented a workshop at the University of California at Berkeley titled "The Nuclear University and U.S. Power in the Pacific: Time for a New Free Speech Movement?" Video of presentations by Dr. Gray Brechin, author, Imperial San Francisco; Arnie Sakai, Moana Nui Network; Christine Hong, Assistant Professor, UC Santa Cruz; Stephen McNeil, American Friends Service Committee and Andrew Lichterman and Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, are now on-line. Texts of the presentations of some presentations also will be posted as they become available. For the workshop videos and materials, click on the title link above.
This statement was coordinated by Western States Legal Foundation and drafted by Andrew Lichterman, Jacqueline Cabasso, and John Burroughs. For a copy of the full statement and list of endorsing organizations, click here.
Spring 2015 mobilization for a for a nuclear-free, fair, democratic, ecologically sustainable and peaceful future.
2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the United States atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It also marks 45 years since the first five nuclear powers agreed in Article VI of the NPT to undertake good faith negotiations for the elimination of their nuclear arsenals. It is long past time for the world’s people to call to account all those who exercise power by threatening nuclear annihilation.
We call upon the parties to the NPT to use the 2015 Review Conference to immediately, without delay, develop a time-bound framework for negotiating the total ban and elimination of all nuclear arsenals.
We call on the four states outside the Treaty that have nuclear arms, India, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan, to join in any such negotiations, immediately and without delay.
We urge all people who hope to build a fair, democratic, ecologically sustainable and peaceful future to join us in New York City and around the world for international days of action, including:
An international peace, justice and environmental conference – April 24 & 25;
A major international rally, march to the United Nations and peace festival – April 26;
Nonviolent demonstrations, protest actions and numerous side events to press our demands for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, and for economic justice and environmental sustainability;
The presentation to the NPT Review Conference of millions of signatures on petitions calling for nuclear weapons abolition;
Youth and student organizing; and
An Interfaith Service for Nuclear Weapons Abolition
Let our numbers be so large that our voices are certain to be heard inside the UN and around the world!
University of California, Berkeley
Room/Building: 60 Evans
Thursday, October 23, 2014
6:00 PM -- 9:30 PM
The U.S. Pacific Pivot: overview
The Marshall Islands: Ground Zero for nuclear colonialism
California, US power in the Pacific, and the University
Universities: intellectual arsenals for U.S. power
Presenters: Corrina Gould, Ohlone elder; Dr. Gray Brechin, author, Imperial San Francisco; Paul Otoko, Marshall Islands elder; Arnie Sakai, Moana Nui Network; Christine Hong, Assistant Professor, UC Santa Cruz; Stephen McNeil, American Friends Service Committee; Andrew Lichterman and Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation
Sponsors: American Friends Service Committee; Western States Legal Foundation; Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific; San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility; Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program, Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California at Berkeley
The Nuclear Threat, Yesterday and Today: A Workshop on Nuclear Weapons
Friday, September 26, 2014, 6:00-8:30pm
September 26, 2014 has been declared by the United Nations as the first International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Join the Western States Legal Foundation and the Western Institute for Social Research (WISR) in an evening of analysis and discussion, reviewing the state of the world's nuclear arsenals, their role in the global economy and in growing great power confrontations, and new approaches to disarmament. The workshop will be held at The Western Institute for Social Research, 2930 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 300, Berkeley.
Click here for a flier and program for the event.
Climate Convergence Workshop
Deadly Connections: Challenging Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, and Climate Change
Saturday, September 20, 2014, 9:00 a.m. St. John's University 51 Astor Place Room 107, New York City
Conference Registration: http://convergeforclimate.org/
Nuclear weapons and climate change are the two existential threats that face humanity, and the military is one of the largest contributors to climate change. Part one of this workshop will consider the ways that climate change will intensify conflicts and war risks generated by a system based on competition among immense organizations and endless growth. It also will explore the role in the global economy of state-dependent high-tech enclaves, including the nuclear energy sector and the military-industrial complex. The second part of the workshop will provide perspectives from people working on a variety of initiatives from the local to the global aimed at finding ways to make progress when the politics in national capitals is locked up. Presenters include organizers working in grassroots networks, a U.S. mayor who works on climate change and disarmament, the foreign minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a nation directly affected by both climate change and nuclear colonialism, and a lawyer representing the Marshall Islands in their historic World Court case holding the nuclear-armed states to account for non-compliance with their disarmament obligations. For the full program of this two part workshop, click here. For a pdf flyer for this workshop, click here.
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 pdfmsword
Bay Area peace and justice advocates will mark the 69th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan at the Livermore Lab, where the U.S. is spending billions of dollars to create “new and modified” nuclear bombs.
The Wednesday, August 6, 2014 event is titled, “Failure to Disarm: Holding Our Government Accountable.” Participants will gather at the northwest corner of the Livermore Lab (at Vasco & Patterson Pass Roads). The event begins at 7:30 AM.
The one-hour program will feature music, art and speakers, including Western States Legal Foundation Executive Director Jackie Cabasso. Rick Wayman of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation will offer the keynote address on the recent lawsuits brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands against the U.S. and 8 other nuclear powers for their “Failure to Disarm.”
At 8:30 AM, there will be a “call to action,” immediately followed by a procession to the Livermore Lab West Gate, where a Japanese folk dance will be performed. Those who choose will peaceably risk arrest. Others will witness and support.
For more information, contact Western States Legal Foundation at 510-839-5877 or Tri-Valley CAREs at 925-443-7148. For a pdf flyer for the event, click here.
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
Article by Jackie Cabasso, WSLF Executive Director and Mayors for Peace North American Coordinator. For a pdf of the article click here.
Join us for an update on Western States Legal Foundation's recent and upcoming activities — with dinner and music.
Thursday, June 26, 2014. Dinner: 6 pm.
Program: 7 pm.
Enjoy delicious Chilean and Latin American cuisine accompanied by the music of Duamuxa, followed by updates from WSLF Executive Director, Jackie Cabasso, Senior Research Analyst, Andy Lichterman, and WSLF Board members. Find out what's happening in nuclear disarmament land and how WSLF is engaged in current challenges and opportunities. Café Valparaiso, 1403 Solano Ave, Albany. No-host dinner (pay your own way).
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 will be 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.
This is the third letter in a series initiated by the Western States Legal Foundation, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Peace Action, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, American Friends Service Committee and Peace Action New York . It is timed to coincide with the upcoming 2014 Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting for the 2015 Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which will take place at UN headquarters in NY, April 28 – May 9. The letter, with the 61 initial signatures, was sent this week to President Obama and the other officials cc’d. The final letter, now with 107 organizational signers, will be hand delivered the U.S. delegation and the NPT Prepcom. We will also are publishing and distributing it as an "Open Letter to President Obama" as widely as possible.
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.
April 14, 2014 has been declared as the fourth Global Day of Action Against Military Spending (GDAMS), coinciding with the release by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) of its annual statistics on global military spending. GDAMS was initiated by the International Peace Bureau, recipient of the 1910 Nobel Peace Prize, and is coordinated by an international coalition of organizations including the American Friends Service Committee, Peace Action, and United for Peace & Justice. You can find out more about GDAMS at www.demilitarize.org
WSLF supporters now have the opportunity to order pictures from our 30th Anniversary celebration!
These photos were taken for us by James Lerager, a peace activist, professional photographer, and long-time friend of WSLF. If you were at the event, you might find great photos of yourself with friends, family members, or even with one of our celebrity guests!Click here to view and order photos.
On June 24, the US Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted the Mayors for Peace resolution Calling for US Leadership in Global Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and Redirection of Military Spending to Domestic Needs. Click here for a list of ideas on how to use the resolution and for links to resources, including a model city council resolution that can be adapted for use in your town or city. Mayors are well placed to understand the impacts of bloated military spending on human needs and on the public services we all depend on. This powerful statement calling for new priorities provides us with a wonderful opportunity to get that message heard! Let’s run with it!!
WSLF Executive Director Jacuqeline Cabasso is North America coordinator for Mayors for Peace.
Bay Area peace and justice advocates will mark the 68th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the Livermore Lab, where the U.S. is spending billions of dollars to create “new and modified” nuclear bombs.
The Tuesday, August 6, 2013 event is titled, “Unfinished Business and Our Most Urgent Responsibility; Banning the Bomb at the Livermore Lab and Globally.” At 7 AM, participants will gather at the northwest corner of the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory, Vasco Road and Patterson Pass Road in Livermore.
The program will feature Okinawan music by Genyu Kai, Taiko drummers, speakers and more. Daniel Ellsberg will deliver the keynote address. Also featured will be Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, a survivor of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Attorney Loulena Miles will discuss current nuclear weapons activities at Livermore Lab and author Cecile Pineda (Devil's Tango; How I Learned the Fukushima Step by Step) will illuminate the bomb's connections to nuclear power. Pete Yamamoto, the “Mayor of J-Town,” will read a poem.
Immediately following the program, at approximately 8:15 AM, will be a “call to action,” in which participants will be invited to march a short distance to the Livermore Lab West Gate. Those who choose will nonviolently risk arrest. Others will witness and support.
This event is organized collaboratively and is cosponsored by the Livermore Conversion Project, Western States Legal Foundation and many other groups. For more information, contact Western States Legal Foundation at 510-839-5877 or Tri-Valley CAREs at 925-443-7148.
Click here for a downloadable flier with event details, nonviolence guidelines, sponsoring organizations, and information about the August 5 Peace Camp Out on the back. (The flier can be printed in color or grey scale.)
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Las Vegas June 21-24, unanimously passed a resolution CALLING FOR U.S. LEADERSHIP IN GLOBAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND REDIRECTION OF MILITARY SPENDING TO DOMESTIC NEEDS”! For a press release summarizing the process and the resolution, click here. For the full text of the resolution and the list of co-sponsors, click here.
Daniel Ellsberg, WSLF Executive Director Jacqueline Cabasso, Rose Aguilar, Dennis Kucinich. Photo by James Lerager
Representative Barbara Lee introduces
Dennis Kucinich. Photo by Myles Boisen.
"You know you've accomplished something," wrote Gar Smith for the Berkeley Daily Planet, "when a birthday rolls around and Barbara Lee, Dennis Kucinich and Daniel Ellsberg all show up for the party. That was the case on February 10, when the Western States Legal Foundation marked its 30th year as a nuclear watchdog." "An Anti-nuclear Half-Life Celebration Rocks an East Bay Night," Berkeley Daily Planet, , February 14, 2013.
Emceed by KALW radio host Rose Aguilar and featuring keynote addresses by Dennis Kucinich and Daniel Ellsberg, the event drew hundreds of WSF supporters and friends. Representative Barbara Lee introduced Dennis Kucinich, and WSLF Executive Director Jacqueline Cabasso reminisced a bit about WSLF, and also gave an overview of current struggles against nuclear weapons and nuclear power. (Video of these talks are linked below). The plenary was preceded by a reception featuring a variety of food offerings from local businesses.
The WSLF staff and board extend their thanks to all those who have supported us for the last three decades, and also to the many volunteers who helped to make this anniversary event a success.
The role of science and technology in driving nuclear weapons modernization: a reappraisal,By Andrew Lichterman, talk delivered at an NGO side event organized by the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility on the role of science and technology factors driving nuclear weapons modernization, during the 2013 Preparatory Committee meetings for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, April 23, 2013.
Nuclear Connections is a series of brief analyses that explores the relationship between nuclear institutions and the global economy and its power structures, with an emphasis on organizations and institutions with a physical presence in the San Francisco Bay Area and the American southwest.
The Reaching Critical Will project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom has released a new report on nuclear weapons modernization. The report, titled Assuring Destruction Forever: Nuclear Weapon Modernization Around the World, can be downloaded for free and hard copies are available for $8 from the Reaching Critical Will website (click here).
The report explores in-depth the nuclear weapon modernization programs in China, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and analyzes the costs of nuclear weapons in the context of the economic crisis, austerity measures, and rising challenges in meeting human and environmental needs. It features three pieces by WSLF authors. Andrew Lichterman, senior research analyst for Western States Legal Foundation, wrote the chapter on the United States and a chapter on the role of civil society and social movements in creating the requisite political will for disarmament, and John Burroughs, Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy and a WSLF Board member, wrote a chapter on international law and nuclear weapons.
The chapters also are available separately as pdf files. Below are the links to chapters written by WSLF staff and board members.
There will be a launch event for the report in Vienna, Austria on Thursday May 3, one of a number of NGO events scheduled alongside the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty preparatory committee meeting the first two weeks of May. The launch event will be in Room M2 of the Vienna International Center, May 3, 1:15–2:45p.m.
A collaborative work of non-governmental researchers and activists who critically examine the mainstream discourse of nuclear weapons. With contributions by Western States Legal Foundation executive director, Jacqueline Cabasso, Board members Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs, and Counsel Michael Veiluva, the book explores some of the most important challenges that governments and civil society face at the 2010 NPT Review Conference and beyond, highlighting the prospects and pitfalls for nuclear disarmament in the current world order. Throughout, the authors demonstrate that nuclear disarmament must be pursued in the context of a broader movement for social and economic justice and equality.
Edited by Ray Acheson
Published by Reaching Critical Will, a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Read on line or order paperback: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/resources/books/beyondarmscontrol.html
NPT 2010: Rhetoric vs. Reality
Address by Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director, Western Stats Legal Foundation
Public Hearing, Challenges to Peace and National Sovereignty--The NPT Review, Brasilia, Brazil, April 7, 2010
Burdens of Proof: Iran, the United States, and Nuclear Weapons A Global View
by Michael Veiluva, Western States Legal Foundation Counsel (Paperback - July, 2009)
Burdens of Proof, by Michael Veiluva, offers a rare and unique set of insights into the ongoing and complex political and legal implications surrounding the United States and Iranian political negotiations over Iran's growing nuclear program. Grabbed right from today's political headlines, author Veiluva adds valuable information that will inform and enlighten anyone concerned with today's international political situation. Veiluva's Burdens of Proof examines several fundamental themes critical to understanding the current state of U.S./Iranian relations: the "cold war" that has existed between the two countries since 1979, Iran's nuclear program, the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency, American nuclear weapons developments, and the international legal implications of the U.S.'s doctrine of preventative war. Written as a one-stop guide for anyone interested in the current crisis with Iran, Burdens of Proof brings a new voice to the complex debate over Iran's perceived ambitions and the rule of international law.
Order from Amazon: click here
WSLF IN THE NEWS: WSLF staff and board members appearing or quoted in print and electronic media
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 Executive Director Jacqueline Cabasso, quoted here, provided the background for this story during an interview conducted at the 4th Global Citizens Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in February, in Nagasaki, Japan.
A segment on the KPFA show Against the Grain featured WSLF's Andrew Lichterman talking about nuclear weapons issues in the context of the global economic crisis. The show is archived on the KPFA web site and can be accessed there. The segment was a portion of a a longer talk delivered at the Alameda Public Affairs Forum, the full talk can be accessed as an mp3 file. Links to both are below.
This page provides links to information and research tools useful for researching the campus and community impacts of military research and of weapons production, with an emphasis on pages which provide links to further resources.
Links to a variety of information and opportunities to take action to contest the rapid erosion of civil liberties resulting from the U.S. government's approach to its open-ended "war on terror." This page also has links to resources on government secrecy and freedom of information, including several sites providing good information on how to pursue Freedom of Information Act requests from the initial request through litigation.