For immediate release: January 20, 2021
For use re: Entry Into Force 1-22-21 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,
Celebration at Livermore Lab West Gate 8am, 8-foot banners, distancing observed
For more information: Marylia Kelley, executive director,
Scott Yundt, staff attorney,
Contacts for events at nuclear weapons sites in other states listed below
January 22, 2021, will be a historic day for nuclear weapons. On that day, at midnight, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will enter into force, establishing in international law a categorical ban on nuclear weapons, seventy-five years after their development and first use.
The TPNW expressly prohibits the development, testing, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession, deployment, and use or threatened use of nuclear weapons, as well as providing assistance for or encouraging such acts. The Treaty also contains positive obligations to assist victims and achieve cleanup of the past damage stemming from nuclear weapons activities.
The momentous occasion of Entry Into Force will be marked by actions, events, and celebrations around the globe and across the United States.
In Livermore, California, Tri-Valley CAREs will mark this historic date by gathering safely from 8 am to 9:15 am at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (West Gate entrance just off Vasco Road) with multiple 8-foot banners declaring NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE ILLEGAL. Nuclear watchdogs will line the entrance and roadway most used by employees entering the facility to proclaim the news.
Tri-Valley CAREs welcomes this long-awaited date, which its members have worked toward for decades – including the group’s executive director, Marylia Kelley, who participated directly in the negotiations in New York leading to UN adoption of the TPNW in 2017.
“The U.S. has not yet signed or ratified the TPNW, limiting its legal obligations, but that does not mean that we will not feel its moral force,” noted Kelley, who has lived in Livermore since 1976 and led Tri-Valley CAREs since 1983. “With the TPNW entering into force and becoming part of international law, all nuclear weapons – including the 3,900 in the U.S. stockpile – have been declared illegal.”
Further, the TPNW stands on the shoulders of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, as cited in the TPNW’s preamble. “Under the NPT, the U.S. has incurred disarmament obligations it has yet to meet. The TPNW Entry Into Force strengthens existing international law obligating our government even as it ‘plows new ground’ for abolition,” Kelley explained.
“The Entry into Force of the Treaty is a turning point,” said Scott Yundt, the staff attorney at Tri-Valley CAREs. “On the one hand, it is the end of a long process to outlaw nuclear weapons. On the other hand, it is just the beginning of a new movement to confront nuclear weapons states and demand they lift the dark shadow of nuclear annihilation that has loomed over the world for the last seventy-five years.”
At nuclear weapons locations in other states including NM, TN, MO, ID, SC/GA, WI, CO, OH, MD/WDC and TX, similar banners will be held at – and hung on – fences at nuclear plant entrances and related institutions. Additionally, letters will be delivered to members of Congress. University campuses that are engaged in support activities for weapons production will be asked to reconsider their activities, including at UC Berkeley, where our colleagues with the Ecumenical Peace Institute will hold banners. Churches will ring their bells.
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For information about TPNW Entry into Force events at nuclear weapons sites and related institutions:
Marylia Kelley: Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore, CA, 925.255.3589,
Scott Yundt: Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore, CA, 415.990.2070,
Ralph Hutchison: Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, TN, 865.776.5050,
Ann Suellentrop: Physicians for Social Responsibility-KC, MO, 913.271.7925,
Jay Coghlan: Nuclear Watch New Mexico, 505.989.7342,
Joni Arends: Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, NM,
Glenn Carroll: Nuclear Watch South, GA, 404.432.8727,
Amy O’Brien: Snake River Alliance, ID, 208.869.6741,
LeRoy Moore: Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, CO,
Pamela Richard: Peace Action, WI, 510.542.7688,
Vina Colley, Portsmouth/Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety & Security, OH,
Kevin Kamps: Beyond Nuclear, MD,
Hon. Lon Burnam, Peace Farm, TX, 817.721.5846,
For more information, see the Tri-Valley CAREs website a www.trivalleycares.org
For additional background, visit also the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) events page at www.icanw.org/events Tri-Valley CAREs is an ICAN member group. The Campaign won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its work leading to negotiation of the TPNW and its adoption at the UN earlier that year.