Archive for the ‘Nuclear Guardianship’ Category

Hans Blix: It’s Time to Ban the Bomb

In Democracy, Environment, Human rights, Justice, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace on August 1, 2015 at 10:23 pm

Hans Blix, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was 1st Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission from 2000-2003.

For his remarks, go to http://www.project-syndicate.org/print/time-to-ban-nuclear-weapons-by-hans-blix-2015-07

The deal with Iran about nuclear weapons

In Democracy, Justice, Nuclear abolition, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy on July 31, 2015 at 4:19 am

Here is a letter sent to Senator Schumer of New York by John Burroughs of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy. Burroughs’ succinct letter contains the main reasons for supporting the Iran nuclear deal.

Dear Senator Schumer:

The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, a New York City-based nonprofit association of lawyers and legal scholars devoted to analyzing nuclear weapons policy in the framework of national and international law, submits this letter to urge your support for the agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear program. It would be disastrous for the United States now to reject a carefully negotiated agreement supported by an overwhelming majority of the world’s nations, including the Permanent Five members of the Security Council and all of our European allies. If the United States were now to walk away from the deal, unity among the world’s major powers on crucial issues of nuclear nonproliferation would be unlikely ever to be achieved again.

Ami Ayalon, a former commander of the Israeli navy and a former director of the Shin Bet security service, stated in an interview last week that the agreement with Iran is “the best possible alternative for Israel, given the other available alternatives.” (http://forward.com/opinion/312158/this-man-explains-why-iran-deal-is-good-for-israel/)  He is right, and it is also the best available alternative for the United States. Rejection of the deal would cause the international sanctions regime to collapse, leaving Iran free to resume its nuclear program without restrictions. Even if deemed wise and lawful in the abstract, there is in practice no good military option: air strikes would at best set back the Iranian program for a few years, while risking another prolonged war in the Middle East, a war which would be opposed by most of our allies and by the United Nations. This would be a tragic mistake.

John Burroughs, Executive Director

Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy

UN Office of IALANA

866 UN Plaza, Suite 4050

New York, NY 10017

(212) 818-1861; fax (212) 818-1857


New Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship web site

In Democracy, Environment, Human rights, Jefferson Parkway, Justice, Nonviolence, Nuclear abolition, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace, Plutonium, Public Health, Rocky Flats, Wildlife Refuge on July 28, 2015 at 7:38 am

For the new web site, go to: http://www.rockyflatsnuclearguardianship.org/

If you have questions or comments, contact Chris Allred at <christopher.allred@Colorado.EDU>

Manifesto on the Future of War and Climate Change

In Democracy, Environment, Human rights, Justice, Nonviolence, Nuclear abolition, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace on July 10, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Sixty years ago Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell wrote a manifesto opposing war and calling for abolition of nuclear weapons. Please go to the following and sign the new manifesto on the future of war and climate change:  http://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/manifesto-on-the-future-of-war-and-climate-change

Please sign this petition for nuclear abolition

In Democracy, Environment, Human rights, Nonviolence, Nuclear abolition, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace on July 6, 2015 at 10:01 pm


Released From Prison, Anti-Nuclear Activist Nun Megan Rice Speaks Out

In Democracy, Environment, Human rights, Justice, Nonviolence, Nuclear abolition, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace on June 5, 2015 at 10:34 pm


By Lisa De Bode, Al Jazeera America

04 June 15


In an interview with Al Jazeera America, Rice reflects on prison life, Iran and the fight against nuclear weapons


egan Rice, an 85-year-old nun who broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in 2012, along with fellow anti-nuclear activists Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed, was charged with sabotage and damaging federal property and spent about two years in federal prison. They were released on May 16 after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned their sabotage convictions while upholding their convictions for the less serious crime of injury to government property and ordering the original court to resentence them on the lesser crime. They don’t regret their actions, and remain devoted to their cause. “We accomplished what we set out to do.” Walli said. In an interview with Al Jazeera America in Queens, New York, on June 3, Rice reflects on her work.

What did a typical day in prison look like?

I would start with my own personal meditation time, as of 4 a.m. in the morning. I would be free and everybody would still be asleep. Breakfast would begin to be served between 6:30 and 7a.m. I joined everybody for that. Not too many wanted to go to that breakfast, they would sleep through it. It was very quiet at that time. Some people, very few, would be ready to go to a job, mostly in laundry. Some would go and clean. There weren’t enough jobs.

Did you have a job?

No, nobody ever asked me to.

What did you do?

I was writing letters, mostly, or reading, or composing, or reading the excellent articles that people would send, which was part of reading the letters, and responding. And it was possible to email from there. That was the only thing, we couldn’t be on the Internet, but we could receive and send emails. I was also meeting up with people, wanting to talk about personal problems, spiritual matters or their cases.

If we can go back to the moment when you broke into the Y-12 facility …

We don’t use the word “break in” because we didn’t break in. We entered the Y-12 facility, legally. And I’d just like to make the statement that all citizens are required to expose and oppose known crimes, equally responsible, according to their ability, and according to their situation. And we had known well of the crime of nuclear weapons, and we knew what was happening at Y-12, so we entered Y-12 through illegal fences, built for an illegal project, and therefore we had to enter in the way we could, others might enter through various other ways, but we found ourselves unable and we had waited so many years to do this, not consciously knowing but feeling it should be done. So we easily entered the base, in a very simple way, taking no time to cut a little slit that was very neat and to crawl through uninhibited, the four fences, the last three in about 15 minutes.

So when you entered that facility, and you got arrested, what went through your mind?

Thank goodness, we’re able to expose and oppose a known crime, in a very short period of time, in the most comprehensive way, that we could think about, which was using symbols, we labeled the building, and we suggested the effects of this building.

How do you look back on your action?

With great satisfaction. We did what we had planned to do, and we never dreamed we could ever do that.

What has resulted from that?

Well, obviously, it was misinterpreted as revealing a breach in the security system. And it is the breach of the security of the planet itself, so they’ve just attributed their crime to us.

What happens next? For you, for the anti-nuclear cause?

I’m not any more involved in this than any other human being in the world, I just happen to be able to at this point to be consciously involved in it because I’m not having children or grandchildren, being in a retired state, and yet having very good health.

But you’ll continue your activism?

Certainly, as long as I live. As long as it exists it’s going to be a focus, as it is for everybody.

What would you tell nuclear non-proliferation negotiators?

I think it could only be this: Let’s get down to brass tacks and just ban nuclear weapons, as many nations, I think 103, have decided to do. … If nobody had them nobody would want them. Nobody would need them.

Most people in the U.S. aren’t worried about nuclear proliferation on a daily basis.

Many people don’t even know we continue in this, unless there is the proper reporting. But the mainstream press in the U.S. had not even reported that it was happening.

What would you tell them?

Stop being under the control of the military industrial complex, corporate entities that profiteer from the plans at a false need for security or a false pursuit of security, for the sake of profiteering only. So let us transform these industries into that which is enhancing life and not destroying life. And it’s very possible. It would be far more profitable for everybody, not just the corporate elites.

How do you and your community plan to take that message forward?

We haven’t planned specifically [laughs], we’re going to continue, carry on what we’re doing, we’re writing newsletters, we focus on this, if we’re calling up people, say, how are you praying about the ban on nuclear weapons, comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons? Just spreading and planting seeds in people’s minds that this is possible, according to each one’s gifts.

What should have gone better in the Non-Proliferation Treaty negotiations?

There is always the effort of the major powers the U.S., Britain, France, the major nuclear powers, the Soviet Union, to hang on to the profiteering that this is providing, not to countries, but to international corporations that are profiteering off the manufacture of nuclear weapons. The rest of the world is being impoverished and polluted, actively destroyed as long as we keep this up, and don’t actively try to decontaminate and demilitarize, dismantle in a way that people get their just wages and they don’t all go into the top, less than one percent that hold the world’s economy.

What is your opinion on the political debate over lifting sanctions on Iran?

The U.S. has always had to have a Goliath created because it has played the role of Goliath, and to distract it from its superpower drive, it has to have somebody it’s defending itself against. Iran is just one of those, I would say, that has been selected, and of course the oil competition between the two countries has gone back to the turn of the century. But it’s Middle Eastern oil, not U.S. oil. Iranians are just like Americans, human beings, and they’ve been maligned. I’ve met many, many; they’re not too happy with the way some of their leaders are, but we’re not happy with the way some of our leaders are.

Unique Hazards at Rocky Flats

In Democracy, Environment, Human rights, Justice, Nuclear Guardianship, Plutonium, Public Health, Rocky Flats, Wildlife Refuge, Workplace exposure on June 5, 2015 at 8:04 am

Social ecology students, working with Professor John Whiteley at the University of Colorado in Irvine, have produced a web site with much information about Rocky Flats and the nuclear enterprise. See http://uniquehazardsrockyflats.weebly.com/

U.S. General Lee Butler says Get Rid of Nuclear Weapons

In Democracy, Environment, Justice, Nonviolence, Nuclear abolition, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace on June 5, 2015 at 12:55 am

Butler was for years in charge of all nuclear weapons, weather delivered by airplanes, submarines or land-based missiles. Reading this article will help you understand the transformation in his life from an advocate of nuclear destruction to an opponent who calls for the total abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere. According to Butler,   ‘The cold, hard fact of the matter is that a nuclear weapon is, at its very core, anti-ethical. It is simply a device for causing wholesale destruction. Nuclear conflict is essentially an irrational activity, because essentially what you’re doing is signing your own death notice.”

I invite you to read every word of this article. See http://www.wagingpeace.org/lee-butler-dont-give-up/

Appeals Court Overturns Sabotage Conviction of Transform Now Plowshares Activists Arrested at Oak Ridge in 2012

In Democracy, Human rights, Justice, Nuclear Guardianship, Nuclear Policy, Peace on May 9, 2015 at 3:15 am

Appeals court overturns sabotage convictions of Transform Now Plowshares activists, vacates sentences of Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed on all charges and remands for resentencing.


Court suggests decision may lead to release of Rice, Boertje-Obed and Walli

8 May 2015

for immediate release

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision in favor of the Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed who were convicted in 2013 of sabotage for their July 28, 2012 Transform Now Plowshares protest of nuclear weapons production at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

“The purpose of the action of Michael, Megan and Greg was to call attention to the ongoing production of thermonuclear weapons components at the bomb plant in Oak Ridge and, more specifically, to oppose plans to build a new, multi-billion dollar bomb plant—the Uranium Processing Facility—at Y12,” said Ralph Hutchison, coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance. “They were nonviolent protestors in the tradition of Gandhi, not saboteurs. We are pleased the Sixth Circuit appreciated the difference.”

The court ruled 2-1 in a decision handed down on May 8, 2015, that the government failed to prove the Transform Now Plowshares activists intended to “injure the national defense,” a requirement for conviction under the sabotage act.  Disposing of the government’ arguments one by one, the court finally states simply: “The defendants’ convictions under §2155(a) must be reversed.”

The circuit court had the option of merely reversing the sabotage conviction but letting the defendants’ sentences stand on the other charge for which they were convicted—depredation of government property. Noting the lesser charge would have resulted in lesser sentences—the men received 62 month sentences and Megan Rice a sentence of 35 months—under federal sentencing guidelines (“it appears that the guidelines ranges for their § 1361 convictions on remand will be substantially less than their time already served in federal custody.“), the court chose to vacate all sentences and remand the their cases for resentencing on the remaining depredation count.

Michael Walli is currently serving his sentence at McKean federal prison in Bradford, PA; Greg Boertje-Obed is in Leavenworth, KS; Megan Rice is in federal prison in Brooklyn, NY. Her release date is currently in mid-November, 2015.

At this time, it is not clear when resentencing will take place.

for more information

Ralph Hutchison  865 776 5050

Paul Magno 202 321 6650

Sign petition: No ‘prescribed burns’ at Rocky Flats ever

In Democracy, Environment, Human rights, Nuclear Guardianship, Rocky Flats, Wildlife Refuge on April 21, 2015 at 10:15 pm

Last fall when I learned that US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) planned a “prescribed burn” of 701 acres at the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge I posted a MoveOn petition calling for them to cancel the burn. Opposition to the planned burn grew rapidly. 2,870 people signed the petition. On January 29, 2015, FWS canceled the burn. BUT, they said, this was only a postponement. They intend to do more burns at the Refuge in the future.

On learning this I posted a second petition. All who sign it are telling FWS:  “No ‘prescribed burns’ at Rocky Flats ever.” To sign, go to http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/no-prescribed-burns-at

Thanks for signing. Please urge others to sign also. This petition is even more important than the last one.


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