Friday, November 5, 2021
Greetings of peace!

Are you or you group ready to ask your local government to pass a Back from the Brink resolution? Help is Available! Sherry Simon of the Pax Christi USA National Council, and Patrick Henry, professor emeritus at Whitman College, have both offered to answer your questions. Below are their stories. Please let us know if you are working on a Back from the Brink Resolution in your local city or town. Email me at rlowell@paxchristiusa.org.

(After their stories, scroll down below further to find more resources to engage on nuclear disarmament work happening now.)
Sherry Simon got Little Rock, Arkansas to sign on to Back from the Brink. Here’s her story:

Pax Christi Little Rock members have long struggled without much success to convince those with political power in Arkansas to support our efforts towards denuclearization. Recently, however, we discovered a new approach that made a real difference and allowed us entrance into this political sphere. Pax Christi Little Rock has a Speaker Series where we invite a “peace partner” to speak with us each month. These partners are usually leaders in local, state or national organizations that contribute to peace and nonviolence in our world through social justice. In July, we asked Capi Peck and Kathy Webb, representatives for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, to present information on their program. It just so happens that these two individuals are also Little Rock city directors. Granted, Capi and Kathy are more progressive than many in our government. However, until we got to know their story and we introduced them to the inner workings of Pax Christi, they had not responded to our requests for support on issues of denuclearization. We sent a personal request for them to sign on to the Back from the Brink officials’ letter to President Biden, and Capi Peck responded immediately with a resounding Yes. This has led us to rethink our approach. We have experienced the connection that comes from showing interest in the stories/interests of our government officials and then sharing our background with them. I think that telling our stories to one another is the only way we can mend the increasing divide in our country on many issues and that it is returning to our personal grassroots approach that can transcend our tendency to categorize and condemn one another.

Sherry can be reached at sherrysimon@sbcglobal.net or 501-258-8653.
Patrick Henry asks: "Are you or your group ready to ask your local government to pass a Back from the Brink resolution or urge our government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)?"

Patrick tied his presentation to the City Council to specific ways that nuclear weapons pose a threat to Walla Walla, WA. The following are four of the items noted in the resolution:

  • Walla Walla lies 171 miles from Wellpinit, Washington where, in 1955, Midnite Mine, a uranium mine, was built on Spokane Tribe of Indians Reservation. It operated from 1955-1965 and from 1968- 1981, providing uranium for the production of nuclear bombs.

  • Our testing, production, and use of nuclear weapons makes clear the racial injustice and harm to human health from uranium mining on indigenous land, from 67 nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands, from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and from the contamination of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. 

  • Walla Walla is situated 66 miles from Hanford, Washington where, at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the plutonium was produced that was used in the bomb that destroyed the city of Nagasaki and killed 80,000 human beings on August 9, 1945.

  • The 1300 nuclear warheads sitting at the Kitsap Bangor Naval Base just 18 miles from Seattle make the area a major strategic target in any war, nuclear or otherwise.

Patrick can be reached at henrypg@whitman.edu.
>> Find infographics and videos connecting nuclear disarmament and climate change for use during COP26 (taking place now) on our website and our Twitter and Facebook feeds. To find out more from Pax Christi International on the campaign, click here.

>> Watch all the sessions of The Gospel & Nuclear Disarmament Study Circles with incredible guest speakers on our website at this link.

As always, Back from the Brink info and other resources on nuclear disarmament can be found on our site at this link.
In peace,

Ronnie Fellerath-Lowell
Pax Christi USA
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