Nuclear Disarmament Program in DC Sunday Nov. 8

November 2, 2015


All Souls Church, a Unitarian church in Northwest Washington that has long promoted peace and social justice action in the Adams Morgan/Mount Pleasant/Columbia Heights community and in the world, is especially concerned with nuclear weapons abolition, and has developed strong relationships with Japanese peace groups. Next Sunday, the Church will host 27 members of Rissho Kosei-kai (RKK), a worldwide Buddhist organization, visiting from Japan, for a public forum on nuclear disarmament.

Heiwa Peace Program: Peacemaking, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, and Disarmament
All Souls Church Unitarian 1500 Harvard Street NW @ 16th Washington DC 20009
Sunday, November 8, 1:30 – 3:45 P.M.

Speakers will include members of RKK including Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors), American University Professor Peter Kuznick, Bruce Knotts, Director, Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office and yours truly. For more information, please see All Souls Church

Peacefully Yours,

Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action

Nuclear-Free Future Awards – Symposium in DC this Thursday

October 27, 2015


“Think Nuclear-Free” Symposium, Thursday, October 29, 11AM-5PM, Goethe Institute, 812 7th Street NW, with the Nuclear-Free Future Laureates including Austrian Amb. Alexander Kmentt, chair of the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons conference; the Cree Youth of Mistissini, Quebec; Sister Megan Rice from the Ploughshares; Cornelia Hesse-Honegger from Switzerland; and Foreign Minister Tony deBrum from the Marshall Islands.  Free and open to the public, including lunch.


For more info, see


To register, RSVP to Goethe Institute,

After the Iran Nuclear Agreement: Will the Nuclear Powers Also Play by the Rules

September 29, 2015

Peace Action board member Larry Wittner on History News Network

By L

Dr. Lawrence Wittner ( is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany. His latest book is a satirical novel about university corporatization and rebellion, What’s Going On at UAardvark?

Тягач МЗКТ-79221 (комплекс Тополь-М)” by ru:Участник:Goodvint – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

When all is said and done, what the recently-approved Iran nuclear agreement is all about is ensuring that Iran honors its commitment under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) not to develop nuclear weapons.

But the NPT—which was ratified in 1968 and which went into force in 1970—has two kinds of provisions. The first is that non-nuclear powers forswear developing a nuclear weapons capability. The second is that nuclear-armed nations divest themselves of their own nuclear weapons. Article VI of the treaty is quite explicit on this second point, stating: “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

What has been the record of the nuclear powers when it comes to compliance with the NPT?

The good news is that there has been some compliance. Thanks to a variety of nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements negotiated among the major nuclear powers, plus some unilateral action, the world’s total nuclear weapons stockpile has been reduced by more than two- thirds.

On the other hand, 45 years after the NPT went into effect, nine nations continue to cling to about 16,000 nuclear weapons, thousands of which remain on hair-trigger alert. These nations not only include the United States and Russia (which together possess more than 90 percent of them), but Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. If their quarrels—of which there are many—ever get out of hand, there is nothing to prevent these nations from using their nuclear weapons to lay waste to the world on a scale unprecedented in human history.

Equally dangerous, from the standpoint of the future, is that these nations have recently abandoned negotiating incremental nuclear disarmament agreements and have plunged, instead, into programs of nuclear weapons “modernization.” In the United States, this modernization—which is projected to cost $1 trillion over the next 30 years—will include everything from ballistic missiles to bombers, warheads to naval vessels, cruise missiles to nuclear weapons factories. In Russia, the government is in the process of replacing all of its Soviet era nuclear weapons systems with new, upgraded versions. As for Britain, the government has committed itself to building a new nuclear-armed submarine fleet called Successor, thereby continuing the nation’s nuclear status into the second half of the twenty-first century. Meanwhile, as the Arms Control Association recently reported, China, India, and Pakistan “are all pursuing new ballistic missile, cruise missile, and sea-based delivery systems.”

Thus, despite the insistence of the nuclear powers that Iran comply with the NPT, it is pretty clear that these nuclear-armed countries do not consider themselves bound to comply with this landmark agreement, signed by 189 nations. Some of the nuclear powers, in fact, have been quite brazen in rejecting it. Israel, India, and Pakistan have long defied the NPT—first by refusing to sign it and, later, by going ahead and building their own nuclear weapons. North Korea, once a signatory to the treaty, has withdrawn from it.

In the aftermath of the Iranian government’s agreement to comply with the treaty, would it not be an appropriate time to demand that the nuclear-armed nations do so?

At the least, the nuclear nations should agree to halt nuclear weapons “modernization” and to begin negotiating the long-delayed treaty to scrap the 16,000 nuclear weapons remaining in their arsenals. Having arranged for strict verification procedures to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, they should be familiar with procedures for verification of their own nuclear disarmament.

After all, isn’t sauce for the goose also sauce for the gander?

– See more at:

No Nukes! President Obama Keep Your Promise!

July 2, 2015

We want a nuke free world Picture Petition 014

It was President Obama who created the expectation that our country would lead a global effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons.  In his Prague speech in April, 20009 he committed the U.S. to this goal: “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Instead, the President has committed to completely rebuilding all three legs of the U.S. nuclear triad – strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and nuclear-armed submarines (SLBMs) and calls for spending $350 billion over the next decade and up to $1 trillion over the next 30 years.  Military experts agree that we cannot afford these costs and we can be just as secure, and probably more so, with far fewer nuclear weapons.

Sign Peace Action’s petition to President Obama.  Together, let’s hold him to his promise to lead the world to a future without nuclear weapons.

With just 18 months left in his presidency, there are concrete steps he can take immediately to show our nation is prepared to lead the world to that goal.  Some of them, like stating the US will not be the first nation to use nuclear weapons in war, taking our nuclear arsenal off ‘launch on warning’ status and initiating negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention to eliminate all nukes worldwide, as Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires, don’t require Congressional approval.

Sign our petition to President Obama.  As we approach the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki we are reminded today’s nuclear weapons pack much greater destructive power and their use would be a catastrophe unlike any the world has ever seen.

Peace Action chapters are already planning 70th anniversary Hiroshima and Nagasaki commorations.  They will be reaching out to their local communities using earned media to educate the public on the danger that is still very much with us and what we need to do to abolish these doomsday weapons once and for all.

Each year, Peace Action sends a delegation to Japan to participate in observances there.  We will continue to work with our international partners to insure a strong presence at the United Nations as the UN works to repair the damage done at the NPT review when the United States blocked consensus on a final statement. 

Please sign our petition and then forward it to your family and friends..  Ask them to join in this effort to press President Obama to use the final 18 months of his presidency fulfill his promise “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Now that would be a legacy he could be proud of.

Join Peace Action at the US Social Forum in Philadelphia this Friday, June 26!

June 22, 2015

Geneseo chapter

Peace Actionistas from the national office and our Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania affiliates will give presentations and lead discussions on various peace and justice issues at three different sessions this Friday, June 26th at the US Social Forum at Temple University in Philadelphia.

1. Massachusetts Peace Action on a Foreign Policy for All, 8:30 to 10:00 am, Temple University Mitten Hall Room, 1801 N. Broad St.

2. Peace Action of New York State board chair Jim Anderson and Student Coordinator Natia Bueno, along with American Friends Service Committee’s Joseph Gerson and Sofia Wolman, Shattering Silos – Building Connections Between Peace and Disarmament, Social, Economic and Racial Justice and Climate Change Movements, 10:30AM-noon – Temple University Gittis Student Center – Room 217 A, 13th St. and Montgomery Ave. This workshop is a follow-up to our Peace and Planet organizing in New York in April and May.

3. No Wars, No Warming! Justice at Home, Peace Abroad! Explore Solutions for our Communities! Organized by Coalition for Peace Action’s Ed Aguilar and Alesha Vega along with colleague organizations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, this Peoples Movement Assembly will explore a variety of peace and justice issues. National Executive Director Kevin Martin will speak at 4 pm on the prospective peace deal with Iran and prospects for a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Middle East, and Code Pink co-founder (and Peace Action Advisory Board member) Medea Benjamin will recount her recent trip to Korea as part of a women’s peace delegation. 1:00 – 5:30 pm (presented in four separate sessions, see previous link for details) Reel Cinema, ground floor, Temple University Gittis Student Center, 13th St. and Montgomery Ave.

Hope to see you there!

Join us next week for Human Rights on the Hill at UDC!

May 29, 2015
Martin pontificating as usual!

Martin pontificating as usual!

Our executive director, Kevin Martin, will be speaking next Wednesday at 10:30 am, but the whole lineup for this annual course organized by former national Peace Action board member Joshua Cooper is outstanding, hope you can make one or more of these sessions!

Please join us at one or more sessions of this, the 14th annual Human Rights on the Hill program, organized by Joshua Cooper of the Hawaii Inst. for Human Rights at UDC David A. Clarke School of Law.  Each year, Cooper magically assembles an absolutely terrific line up of human rights activists, lawyers, government officials and policy wonks – see schedule below – to whose presentations interested students and citizens of all ages are cordially invited.

Venue: UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Street address: 4340 Connecticut Ave.,Washington, DC 20008

The weeklong program is free, but please register here:

If you’d like to donate to support the program go to: and choose the general fund with a note to “HR 14”

Schedule:  14th Human Rights on the Hill 

Monday, June 1

9:00 a.m. The Peoples Voice at 70; From the Green Room in San Francisco to the Global Stage of Diplomacy & Decision-Making: Strong NGOs Means Stronger UN and The Best World Possible.

Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Four Freedoms Forum

10:30 a.m. The Universal Periodic Review of the United States of America

Amanda J. Wall, Attorney Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State

12:00 p.m. Universal Periodic Review of the United States of America

UN Webcast TV

1:30 p.m. Business & Human Rights at the United Nations and the United States of America: The UN Forum & Working Group on Business and Human Rights Early Results as well as Current National Action Plan Progress and the Upcoming Initial Treaty Negotiations

John Richardson, Professorial Lecturer, School of International Service, American University

3:00-7:00 p.m.  TBA – Watch this space!

8:00 p.m. at Busboys & Poets

The News: Jeffrey Brown with Gwen Ifel

Tuesday, June 2

9:00 a.m.  The Universal Periodic Review of the United States of America:

An Opportunity to Organize Partnerships Across Communities in Our Country to Unite People for Rights Realization

Joshua Cooper, Executive Director,  Four Freedoms Forum

10:30 a.m. Local Human Rights Lawyering: Implementation of International Recommendations to Realize Right in Individuals Lives at the Community Level

Lauren Bartlett, Research and Training Director, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law & Director of Law Clinics and Assistant Professor of Law Ohio Northern University Petit College of Law

12:00 p.m. Universal Periodic Review of the United States of America

UN Webcast TV

1:30 p.m.  Gender Justice and Women’s Rights: Beijing+20 Beyond the Beltway in Our Beautiful Communities, Tarah Demant, Senior Director, Identity and Discrimination Unit, Amnesty International USA

3:00 p.m. The Implementation of the Universal Periodic Review Recommendations in the United States of America

Sakira Cook, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

7:00 p.m. at Busboys & Poets.  Stolen Futures:  Palestinian Children in Israeli Military

No Way to Treat a Child Campaign American Friends Service Committee

Wednesday, June 3

9:00 a.m. The United Nations Human Rights Charter Bodies and NGOs Ability to Advocate for Fundamental Freedoms

Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Four Freedoms Forum

10:30 a.m. Peace is a Human Right: The UN Efforts on Demilitarization from NPT to Small Arms

Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action 

12:00 p.m.  Testify! Voices for Human Rights in the U.S.


12:30 p.m.  U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:  Current Status and Challenges Ahead

Jorge Araya, Secretary, Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Eric Rosenthal, Executive Director, Disability Rights International

1:30 p.m. The U.S. Foreign Policy of Drones & the Denial of Human Rights

Jeff Bachman, Ethics Peace & Global Affairs Program Co-Director, American University

3:00 p.m.  Implementation of the UPR Recommendations for Indigenous Peoples Human Rights in the U.S.

Christina Snider,  National Congress of the American Indians

5:00 p.m.  Strategies for Eco-Innovation: Open Source or Orthodox IP?

Jeremy DeBeer, Professor of Law, University of Ottawa

8:00 p.m.  White House Freedom of Speech Action

Implement the UPR Recommendations

Bring Human Rights Home

Thursday, June 4

9:00 a.m. The United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies Process & Participation: Growing a National Human Rights Movement Through the Ratification, Reporting and Realizing Recommendations from the UN Committees Responsible for Human Rights

Joshua Cooper, Executive Director, Four Freedoms Forum

10:30 a.m. A People Forgotten: Diego Garcia and the Exiled People of the Chagos Archipelago

David Vine, American University

12:00 p.m. The Treaty Bodies Bringing Human Rights Home

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

1:30 p.m. Islamophobia & Muslims as Targets of the War on Terror:  Origins & Impacts

Maha Hilal, Deputy Executive Director, National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms

3:00 p.m. Panel: The United Nations Tells U.S. Government That Guantanamo is a Black Hole: Now What? A National Response to Restore Human Rights

James G. Connell III, Attorney

Raashid Williams, Major

Jennifer Kamorowski

Kim Lanoue-Chapman

Maha Hilal

Friday, June 5

9:00 a.m. Gun Violence in the United States of America

Jamira Burley, Senior Campaigner, Gun Violence and Criminal Justice,  Amnesty International USA

10:30 a.m. Bringing Human Rights Home

Jasmine Heiss, Senior Campaigner, Individuals at Risk, Amnesty International USA

12:00 p.m. The Lady Aung San Suu Kyi

Freedom to Lead

1:30 p.m.  A U.S. Congressional Mechanism to Promote and Protect Human Rights Around the World: The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission




Take Action: Tell President Obama to stop protecting Israel’s nuclear weapons monopoly in the Middle East

May 28, 2015


Disappointingly but not surprisingly, the month-long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon) at the United Nations ended last Friday in failure.  The United States and other nuclear powers continue to blow off their Article VI treaty obligation to negotiate the elimination of their arsenals, preaching abstinence to the non-nuclear states from a barstool while indulging in an outrageous binge of “modernization” of their nuclear weapons enterprises (the U.S. is the worst, planning to spend up to $1 trillion of our tax dollars over the next 30 years to upgrade all parts of the nuclear weapons complex).

There was no consensus reached at the NPT RevCon to strengthen and extend nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation measures as the United States (joined by the United Kingdom and Canada) blocked a proposal by Egypt to convene a conference to create a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone.  This isn’t the first time the U.S. put Israel’s desire to pretend it doesn’t have nuclear weapons above humanity’s interest in abolishing these doomsday weapons before it’s too late.

ACTION: Please write President Obama to protest the U.S.’s intervention to protect Israel’s nuclear arms monopoly in the region and demand he reverse course and work to convene the Middle East conference, as agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The Middle East conference was to have been held in 2012, but was never convened, due to Israeli and U.S. opposition. Furthermore, urge him to initiate negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention to eliminate all nukes worldwide, as the NPT’s Article VI requires.

The failure to agree to proceed toward a WMD-Free Zone conference, something advocated by all states in the region other than Israel, is particularly short-sighted.  The U.S. and its “P5+1” negotiating partners (France, China, the UK, Russia and Germany) are in the home stretch of crucial negotiations that would close off Iran’s potential paths to a bomb.  Israel’s nuclear weapons monopoly needs to be acknowledged and addressed or it will remain a stumbling block to regional peace and world security.

Peace Action was proud to be one of the co-conveners of the Peace and Planet mobilization, bringing thousands of peace and disarmament activists from around the world to New York just before the NPT RevCon. Peace and Planet is also a promising initiative to demand rapid progress toward global nuclear weapons abolition, as part of a broader peace and justice movement.

The failure of the obstinate nuclear states at the NPT RevCon is unacceptable.  Please take a moment to let the president know your views.


Peacefully and Disarmingly Yours,

Kevin Martin
Executive Director
Peace Action

P.S. If you want to read more on the NPT RevCon outcome (or lack thereof), please see my article on our Peace Blog


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