Report on Nuclear Weapons Conference: “Two Minutes to Midnight”

My_Post_8About 100 people came together on Nov. 17 at a conference organized by Prevent Nuclear War/Maryland and Goucher Peace Studies, together with Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility and Maryland Peace Action Network. Conference participants discussed the growing risks of nuclear war and what we can do to create a nuclear-free world.

Speakers and conference participants alike agreed that it is essential to recreate a strong anti-nuclear movement in the U.S., joining the rest of the world in demanding an end to the “nuclear age.”  Such a movement needs to be grounded in intersectionality and economic and racial justice.

We had four outstanding plenary speakers, and if you missed the conference—or if you just want to catch their talks again–you can do so at these links:

v Daryl G. Kimball—Executive Director, Arms Control Association:   “Nuclear Risks and Risk Reduction in the Age of Trump”

v Ira Helfand, former co- president, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War:  “The growing risk of nuclear war and what we can do about it: Back from the Brink”

v Vincent Intondi, Montgomery College professor and author of  African Americans Against the Bomb:  “The Intersection of Race and Nuclear Weapons”

v Ray Acheson, Director, Reaching Critical Will/Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom: The Role of Americans in the Effort to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Breakouts ranged from “Uranium Trafficking: The Inextricable Link Between Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons”  to “Organizing with Students.”  Notes from the seven breakouts will be available on our Website soon, so check back often www.preventnuclearwarmd.org

Many conference participants completed a questionnaire indicating which activities they hope to do with respect to anti-nuclear activism. We now have that questionnaire on-line, so if you have not yet filled it out, we hope you will do so now.  It’s very important for us to have your answers so that we can assess interest and plan better. Click here to fill it out: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X923GTF

This movement-building conference showed the strength of anti-nuclear sentiment in Maryland and provided many exciting new ideas for moving forward in organizing resistance to nuclear weapons. Over 30 organizations, including Anne Arundel Peace Action, cosponsored the event and all will be involved in ongoing efforts to maintain the unity and apply the strategy ideas developed at the conference.

There was a recognition that if we are to organize civil society to force  government to reduce the risk of nuclear war, the work begins here in our own state, Maryland. We hope to review the specific areas of activism attendees are willing to take, and share what activities have the strongest support.

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