Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Abolition

Nuclear weapons present an existential threat to humanity and all other life on our planet. In focusing a portion of our demilitarization efforts on nuclear abolition, we aim to create a safer world free from the threat of nuclear detonation – whether that be on accident or otherwise. 

The way we see it, we are already in a nuclear war. That war does not begin with the use of nuclear weapons, it ends with it. By proliferating nuclear arsenals, world leaders are simply promoting a culture of violence and wasting money that could serve humanitarian efforts.

These weapons of mass destruction serve no useful purpose. They pose a threat to all life on earth. They must be abolished.

Nuclear Ban Treaty

On July 7th 2017, a majority of world countries adopted a global agreement to ban nuclear weapons, known as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. According to ICAN (The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), this treaty “prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities.”

The treaty will enter into legal force once 50 nations have signed and ratified it. As of now, it has been signed by 70 countries and ratified by 23. None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons have adopted the treaty. This list includes the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea. 

What We Do 

As a peace organization, we advocate for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. We sponsor educational events and publications meant to engage community members on this important topic and its intersections with other issues including climate change, economic oppression, and inequality. We work to gain support from representatives on the state and federal level for legislation that aligns with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This includes sponsoring a candidate pledge, which was signed by Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA) among other state and municipal candidates in 2018. The pledge reads as follows:

As a candidate for public office, I consider the abolition of nuclear weapons to be an essential step towards a more peaceful, prosperous, fair and just society. I therefore call on the US to sign, ratify, and implement the 2017 International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Until that happens, I will support legislation that would bring local and state governments into compliance with the treaty, as far as it is legally and practically possible to do so.

In addition to our advocacy, we hold a Hiroshima and Nagasaki remembrance event each year for the Western Massachusetts community. This event is meant to create a space for reflection and solidarity, while reiterating the call for the end of nuclear weapons. 

NuclearBan.US

The Resistance Center is a founding partner of NuclearBan.US, a locally-based nationwide campaign to move the United States towards the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The organization is committed to using the Treaty as a tool to educate and mobilize people across the US to support nuclear weapons abolition. 

ICAN 

Both The Resistance Center and NuclearBan.US are official partners of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work on the Treaty. The campaign is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. 

State Legislation

Resolve S.2157

On January 22, 2019, MA State Senator Jo Comerford introduced a petition (with support from Mike Connolly, James B. Eldridge, Rebecca L. Rausch and other members of the General Court) for legislation to create a citizens commission concerning the commonwealth of Massachusetts being in alignment with the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It has been referred to the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.

Federal Legislation 

H. Res. 302: Embracing the goals and provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

On April 11th, 2019, U.S. Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced H. Res. 302, a resolution on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, calling on the federal government and the American people to work towards reducing and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons, rejecting first strike and first use of nuclear weapons, and canceling the trillion dollar program to upgrade and modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The resolution also calls on the President and Secretaries of State and Defense to embrace the goals and provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.

H.R. 2419: Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2019

On April 30th, 2019, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2019, which would require the United States to sign and ratify an international agreement to disable and dismantle America’s nuclear weapons, strictly control fissile material and radioactive waste, and use nuclear-free energy.  Norton has introduced similar bills each year since 1994, after D.C.’s Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion ballot initiative passed in 1993. The goal is to convert the United States to a peace economy, which would occur when the President certifies to Congress that all countries possessing nuclear weapons have begun elimination under an international treaty or other legal agreement.