Prohibiting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons

Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 12:30pm

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A nuclear exchange between the US and Russia would incinerate hundreds of millions of people immediately, and lead to a Nuclear Winter which would slaughter an estimated 7 billion of the Earth’s 7.7 billion people, mostly through starvation.  Building back civilization would require over 1,000 years  [Daniel Ellsberg talk, 12/13/2020].   A U.S. nuclear strike against China would result in a similar catastrophe.

These are the stakes.   As a step toward reducing the danger of Nuclear War, a coalition of groups has called upon Congress to legislate – and the President to declare – that the United States will neither initiate nor threaten to initiate the first use of Nuclear Weapons.

With the support of a growing number of members of Congress, and President Biden’s 2019 statement that he has supported “No First Use” for twenty years, we have a real chance to take an important step toward reducing the risks of nuclear war in the next year by getting a No First Use policy declared and legislated into law!

Join us on May 15 at a conference to discuss and implement “Prohibiting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons.”  Register to attend.  The conference is free but we appreciate donations to support this work.

Confirmed Speakers (partial list):

  • Rep. Ted Lieu (California)
  • Special message from Sen. Ed Markey
  • William Perry (Sec. of Defense in Clinton adm.)
  • Ira Helfand (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)
  • Elaine Scarry (Harvard; MA Peace Action; CPDCS)
  • Zia Mian (Princeton)
  • Tom Collina (Ploughshares Fund)
  • Joseph Gerson (CPDCS)
  • John Burroughs (Lawyers Com for Nuclear Disarm)
  • Kennette Benedict (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)
  • Joe Cirincione (Quincy Institute)
  • Max Tegmark (MIT)
  • Tom Unterrainer (Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation)
  • Monica Montgomery, John Isaacs (Council for a Livable World)
  • David Swanson (World Beyond War)
  • Carley Towne (CODEPINK)
  • Anna Baker (GBPSR)
  • Kevin Martin (PA)
  • David Borris (CAPA)
  • Erica Fein (Win Without War)
  • Denise Duffield (PSR)
  • Jonathan King (MAPA/MIT)
  • William Hartung (Center for International Policy)

Breakout Topics:

  • Why No First Use Will Keep Us Safer
  • Communications & Messaging 
  • Social Media / Street Theater / Artivism
  • Congressional Strategy
  • Recruiting/Organization Building
  • Back From the Brink
  • Stopping the Money Pit Missile and Reducing Nuclear Weapons Budgets

Declaring and legislating a No First Use policy would be a major step to help avoid:

  • A US nuclear attack that escalates
  • Russia or China attacking the US due to a false alarm
  • Violating the US Constitution by a first strike act of war
  • US threats of a nuclear attack which amount to bullying and blackmailing other countries, and which carry unacceptable risk of starting a general nuclear war.

Cosponsors:  Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security (CPDCS); Mass Peace Action; Council for a Livable World; CodePINK; Chicago Area Peace Action; NY Peace Action; Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility; Maine Peace Action; MIT Radius