Women’s March & Rally to Ban the Bomb – June 17 – March to Support a Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons
Date: April 24, 2017
Saturday June 17th – New York City- Support the UN in Adopting a Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons
Women Ban the Bomb is a women-led initiative building on the momentum of movements at the forefront of the resistance, including the Women’s March on Washington. It will bring together people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, races, abilities, nationalities, cultures, faiths, political affiliations and backgroundsto rally and march on Saturday, June 17th 2017 in New York City and around the world in support of negotiations taking place at the United Nations for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.
Values and principles
Nuclear weapons pose a direct threat to Mother Earth—to our air, water, climate, and sources of food. The humanitarian disaster that would result from even a single detonation, by accident or design, would overwhelm our planet and our communities. Control over these weapons is in the hands of an elite few—leaders of governments of a handful of countries that have decided they should have the right to threaten the extinction of the entire planet, or to commit genocide against entire populations. The impact of any use of nuclear weapons will be felt globally.
- A world without nuclear weapons is not only possible, but a necessity to our human survival. Humanity has the right to live with dignity, free from the fear and threat of nuclear annihilation.
- The possession, use, or threat of use of nuclear weapons is abhorrent to morality and the principles of humanity.
- Any nuclear detonation—whether accidental or intentional—will create a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions.
- Our governments have a duty to serve the best interests of all people, rather than investing in weapons of mass destruction that can only result in death, poverty, and war.
- Financial and scientific resources currently being squandered on maintaining nuclear arsenals should be redirected to further social justice and economic equality for all, as well as to address the serious ecological crises resulting from human activity (i.e. climate change).
- Colonized and indigenous peoples have largely borne the brunt of nuclear devastation – from the mining of uranium and the testing of nuclear weapons on their land, to the dumping, storage and transport of plutonium and nuclear wastes, and the theft of land for nuclear infrastructure. The historic destruction of Native peoples’ land, water, and air must end, and reclamation and reparations made for generations of suffering.
- A treaty banning nuclear weapons, with or without the nuclear-armed states as parties, is a positive and necessary step toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. Such a treaty will make it illegal for any signatory country to possess nuclear weapons and will impose economic, legal, political, and social barriers to nuclear weapon possession. It will further stigmatize nuclear weapons and help compel their elimination.
Purpose and goals
Based on these beliefs, we will come together in support of a global nuclear ban treaty as a step toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons. We recognize the courage of countries that have decided to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons; that have refused to concede to the power of those states that threaten the world with nuclear extinction.
We see a link between the stand these countries have taken and the stand for social and economic justice that individuals are taking around the world. We recognize the efforts and work of communities of color, including the efforts of Black, Brown, and Latina women working to raise awareness of the structural violence behind environmental issues, including those related to nuclear weapons and to broader issues, such as access to clean water.
We march on Saturday, June 17th in New York City to:
- To call upon all of us to join together to protect Mother Earth from destruction.
- To raise the moral responsibility of all states to work toward nuclear disarmament and the peace and security of our shared world.
- To demand that the nuclear-armed states recognize that the vast majority of the world believes that nuclear weapons must be prohibited and eliminated.
- To end the financial and intellectual burden imposed on our collective societies by these weapons of mass destruction.
- To bring international and domestic attention, through the media, to this historic convening where a treaty banning nuclear weapons is being negotiated.
- To center and lift up the efforts of brave countries that resisted pressure from nuclear-armed states by voting in favor of negotiating this treaty at the United Nations.
Why women lead
Women, as well as people of color and LGBTQIA people, have played a pivotal role in the peace and antinuclear movements. We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. We walk alongside our Indigenous sisters and their peoples who have been fighting, for generations, against the effects of nuclear testing and uranium mining. We stand with the Hibakusha, atomic bomb survivors who continue to suffer from the bombings of Japan in 1945, and those subjected to nuclear testing around the world since then. We invoke the spirit of Native communities, the Hibakusha, and the millions who have protested, lobbied, petitioned, and given their lives to ban the bomb.
In 1982, we marched a million strong to speak out against the nuclear arms race; 35 years later, we will march again, because today the stakes are even higher and the dangers even greater.
Women lead because:
- Strong, principled, fearless women have historically played leading roles in movements for peace and social justice. In 1915, a unique group of women met in an International Congress in The Hague, Netherlands to protest against World War I, then raging in Europe, to suggest ways to end it and to prevent war in the future. The organizers were prominent women in the International Suffrage Alliance, who saw the connection between their struggle for equal rights and the struggle for peace. These women rejected the theory that war was inevitable and defied all obstacles to their plan to meet together in wartime. They assembled more than 1,000 women from warring and neutral nations to work out a plan to end WWI and lay the basis for a permanent peace. Out of this meeting theWomen’s International League for Peace and Freedom was established.
- Patriarchy throughout the world is content with the status quo that preserves white male power in every way over all marginalized and vulnerable communities. We cannot rely on elected officials and the governments of the world to act in the interest of our communities and Mother Earth.
Changing the Game on Nuclear Weapons
March 29, 2017 – More than 120 countries are participating in the talks to negotiate a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons since Monday March 27th- in the UN headquarters in New York. While the nuclear weapons states and their allies are not in the room, the tenants of the ban treaty are counting on the de-legitimisation effects of the treaty to drive the world toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
On the three first days of this first session, that will last until Friday, delegates expressed their will to anchor the treaty and its preamble in the humanitarian considerations that have been the driving pitch to lead to these negotiations, and confirmed their conviction that there is the need to fill a legal gap: nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction which are not yet prohibited by law.
“This is an historical moment, the negotiations are focusing on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons and lead toward their total elimination” said Co-President of the International Peace Bureau, Reiner Braun, “this is what the vast majority of peoples have been seeking for years, and we must make sure the treaty opens the door to elimination.” Civil society representatives, experts and survivors of the atomic bombings have been contributing to the debate, reflecting the role that they have played to start these negotiations.
As well expressed today by the Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago, the feeling in the room is very serious and committed: “We are standing on the precipice of history as we seek to shatter the chronic stalemate that has existed in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation for far too long.” While the ghosts of the nuclear weapons states and their allies are haunting the room, participants seems convinced that a ban treaty will change the game, provide a strong tool for public opinions to pressure their governments and open the eyes on the dangers of an accidental or intentional detonation that will occur if keeping nuclear weapons forever.
Indeed, experts are now convinced that the question about the next nuclear detonation is not “if”, but “when”, as new studies and declassified documents show the vulnerabilities of the whole nuclear infrastructure. “An efficient ban treaty is absolutely needed,” stresses Mr. Braun, “ and if we want to be effective in changing the policies and practices of nuclear-armed and nuclear-reliant states, the treaty must prohibit all the activities that enable all current policies and practices. It must be simple, clear, efficient and goal oriented”.
This week should provide a clear ground for the President of the Conference Mrs. Elayne Whyte Gómez from Costa Rica to present a draft treaty before the next and last round of negotiations from June 15 to July 7th. Civil society is already calling for a global day of demonstrations on July 17 lead by women’s organisations to demonstrate the strong commitment to ban nuclear weapons and free the world from the threat of nuclear weapons.
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