Media Advisory; For Immediate Release: August 3, 2021
Fri., Aug. 6, 9:00 am PDT (live/pre-recorded); Mon., Aug. 9, 9:00 am PDT (rebroadcast)
Marylia Kelley, Tri-Valley CAREs, Livermore; cell, 925-255-3585, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation; cell 510-306-0119, email@example.com
Grace Morizawa, Asian Americans for Peace and Justice; cell, 510-289-1285, firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT: “Nuclear Weapons & Climate Change: Shine a Light, Stop the Hate, Lower the Heat,” annual rally and protest at the gates of Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory. This year, the first portion of the rally will be held in person and live-streamed. The remainder of the program will be pre-recorded and broadcast online. Program highlights include up-to-the-minute reports at the gates of the Lab, music, a virtual march, and more!
WHEN: Hiroshima Day, Friday August 6, the live portion of the program, which will be live-streamed, will start at 9:00 am and conclude with a symbolic “Peace Wave” at approximately 9:35 am. The pre-recorded portion of the program, including footage of the 2019 march to the gates of the Lab and die-in, will immediately follow, ending at 10: 45 am. Nagasaki Day, Monday August 9, the entire program will be rebroadcast online, from 9:00 am – 10:45 am.
WHERE: The live, in person portion of the August 6 rally will take place at the West Gate of the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory on South Vasco Road and Westgate Avenue in Livermore. The August 6 program will be broadcast at https://youtu.be/w254eN84S_s
The entire program will be rebroadcast on August 9 at https://youtu.be/OB57nQAcSWQ
WHO: Our live, in person Livermore rally speakers include Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka, a Nagasaki A-bomb survivor, Marylia Kelley, with Tri-Valley CAREs, and international law expert John Burroughs. Our pre-recorded keynote speaker is famed Pentagon planner and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. Other speakers are Tsukuru Fors, Marcina Langrine and Benetick Kabua Maddison, young Marshallese activists, and Nell Myhand, with the California Poor People’s Campaign. (Photos and short bios for all speakers and musicians follow the text of this release.)
WHY: Nuclear weapons were worse than worthless in preventing and containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, according to a report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, in 2020, the nine nuclear-armed states spent $72.6 billion on nuclear weapons, with the U.S. leading the pack at $37.4 billion, or $70,881 per minute!
We celebrated entry-into-force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on January 22, 2021. The TPNW prohibits the possession, development, testing, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons for those countries that have signed and ratified it, but the nuclear-armed states boycotted the negotiations and continue to reject the new treaty.
Just six days later, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced it is keeping the hands of its Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest we’ve ever been to global annihilation, stating: “By our estimation, the potential for the world to stumble into nuclear war—an ever-present danger over the last 75 years—increased in 2020.”
The Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab is central to the escalating the nuclear dangers we face. The Livermore Lab is one of two labs that has designed and continues to design and develop all U.S. nuclear warheads. More than eighty-five percent of the Lab’s funding from the Dept. of Energy in the coming year is slated for nuclear weapons activities.
What we need instead is unprecedented worldwide cooperation to eradicate the Coronavirus and prepare for future pandemics, and to address a cascade of converging crises including climate change, poverty, racism, and rising authoritarian nationalisms.
Rally speakers will illuminate these connections to help the public understand why action is needed now to change the course of national policy – and history, and to demand anew the global abolition of nuclear weapons and the redirection of resources to meet human needs and protect the environment.
MORE: On July 27, 2021, the Berkeley City Council unanimously adopted a resolution Calling on the U.S. to Negotiate the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. In the resolution, “[T]he City of Berkeley calls on the President and Congress to redirect funds currently allocated to nuclear weapons and unwarranted military spending to address decades of inaction on infrastructure, poverty, the growing climate crisis, and rising inequality.” The City of Berkeley also “calls on the United States government to reverse its opposition to the 2021 TPNW and to welcome the Treaty as a positive step towards negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on the achievement and permanent maintenance of a world free of nuclear weapons, in conformity with requirements of international law preceding the TPNW by decades.” (City Council: 07-27-2021 – Regular Meeting Agenda – City of Berkeley, CA, consent calendar, item 26.)