Anti-Nuclear, Buy Open Borders

The Nuns, the Priest and the Bomb

A good group of people came out to The Nuns, The Priest, and the Bomb, playing last Friday at Meaningful Movies in Gig Harbor. The organizers invited me to bring books, read from Open Borders and field the after-movie discussion. The movie featured dangerous direct non-violent action by elderly people who entered high-security places: Bangor’s Trident Submarine Base in Bangor, WA and Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee. The audience applauded these actions. They favored increased travel into “enemy” countries and friendships across borders, the subject of my memoir. Over half-dozen people went home with my book tucked in their pockets, hopefully, to be inspired to move from fear to action. There is a No First Use bill awaiting votes in both houses of Congress right now. Why not call your member of Congress and encourage him or her to sign on to this bill? It’s easy to do by calling the Congressional Hotline: (866) 255-3207 Watch this TED talk by a nuclear scientist if you aren’t convinced we need to do something NOW.

Watch this and then do something. You’ll be glad you did.

Together, we can stop this madness. Citizens made a difference before. We can do it again. That’s the way Democracy works. Betsy

Anti-Nuclear

Happy Birthday

TPNW celebrates one year!

This weekend marked an important day for the anti-war movement. One year ago, on July 7th, 2017 the UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Well over a hundred countries voted in favor of the Treaty; the countries abstaining all have nuclear weapons.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) recognize China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and United States as possessing nuclear weapons as well as the four (India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea) which have acquired such weapons without being party to the NPT. Most of these states did not even participate in the treaty negotiations.

Don’t let this refusal to consider the ban get you down. It feels as though we are in a worse state of emergency than at the time of the events in my book, Open Borders. In fact, the Doomsday clock has been moved closer to midnight. (It was set a 4 minutes to midnight in 1981 after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and U.S. President Jimmy Carter pulled the U.S. from the Olympics in Moscow.)

The coalition of organizations world wide called ICAN are coming up with some pretty original ideas about how to capture the attention of the countries with a nuclear arsenal. More about that in the coming posts.

Today I want to celebrate the birthday of this audacious move involving the United Nations by telling you that Costa Rica just ratified the TPNW Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The total signator countries is 59; the total countries who have ratified the treaty is 11. Ratification means the democratically elected national assembly of Costa Rica voted to ratify.

I haven’t seen reference to this action on the internet but from what I know about Costa Rica’s gradual reduction of dependence on the US and the recent election of a progressive president, this ratification could be seen as a “nose-thumbing” gesture toward the US administration’s escalation of nuclear threats. Good for them.

 

Anti-Nuclear, Historical Memoir, Political Activist

NoWar

Dear friends,

I recently received an email from the author and writing teacher who launched me on this writing path, Natalie Goldberg.

On Wednesday, February 7th, I went to Upaya Zen Center [Natalie lives in Santa Fe] and listened to Kaz Tanahashi’s dharma talk.  He talked about war.  He lived through WWII in Japan.  He is very afraid that by November we will go to war with Korea.  37% of democrats and over 80% of republicans are for it.
After the talk, I came home, took an old pink pillowcase, and painted “no war.”  The next day, a friend came and helped me wire it up to my stone wall, facing the street, on Cerro Gordo.  No war.  We just cannot do this with Korea.  No atom bombs.  Please let’s do all we can to prevent war.  The simplest act–the “no war” pillowcase sign–counts.  It’s a solid statement of our stance against destruction, and a solid declaration of our love and respect for earth, for our fellow human beings, those we hold close to us and vow to protect, friends we’ve kept in touch with and those long gone, and the strangers we sit next to on the bus to work, or that one stranger Katagiri who a long long time ago boarded a plane from Asia, settled in Minnesota, and shared zen with me, with America.
 
 
Let’s heed the call, take a stand together, and make and display our “no war” sign.  Share an image/s of your sign.  Share this call to action with friends;  post on social media.
Thank you, Natalie, for your inspiration.
We need to do what so many of us did in 1980: search for the truth about this new threat to our planet. Target Seattle was such a movement. Perhaps the rejuvenated and re-dedicated work being done by Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility is the way to go.
I made a pillow case sign myself and hung it beside my mail box.
Join me. Betsy
Historical Memoir, Memoir

What can we do?

As the storm clouds of nuclear build up gather, we might ask ourselves “what can we do?” as ordinary citizens to prevent nuclear war. Mayor Charlie Royer asked that very question in 1980. By 1984, thousands of people across Washington state and around the country were educating themselves about the threat to nuclear war.

The mayor’s words open the twenty-six minute multimedia show, now on you tube. This show was seen by hundreds of people between 1984 and 1990 up and down the east coast and in towns around the country. It was a bulky show to put on, with its 6 slide trays, two projectors, dissolve unit, speakers, wires and amplifier.

I took my grandchildren to see the Glosnost to Goodwill show at the Washington History Museum in Tacoma. “That’s Grandpa Don’s voice!” more than one grandchild declared. He died before all of them were born. The story of this trip is about to be pubished by Epicenter Press. OpenBorders.

A new movement is slowly emerging to take citizen diplomacy to world leaders to prevent the current threat of nuclear war. Who can imagine or tolerate the administration’s plans to devise an offensive technology for North Korea’s underground defense system? Can’t we talk?

Ever optomistic about the power of a small group of people determined to change the world, I remain,

Betsy Bell