Our Readers Write

Urging Minister Joly

Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention (CNWC, a project of the Canadian Pugwash Group) wrote to Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly in early November, congratulating her on her appointment and urging her to move Canada toward “an active role in the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.” The letter included, as an appendix, an extensive paper setting out a broad program of work flowing from Canada’s participation in and support for the Stockholm Initiative (the paper is available at https://nuclearweaponsconvention.ca/).

The letter urges Canada:

Ernie Regehr, Waterloo, ON

Germans Oppose Nuclear Weapons

Even though the Cold War ended 30 years ago, about 20 US nuclear bombs are still deployed at the German air force base Büchel in West Central Germany. German pilots are trained to take off with these bombs in their Tornado fighter jets when the order comes from the US president, through NATO, to drop them on their targets. This horrifying vision is part of the “nuclear sharing agreement” in NATO, with its nuclear deterrence policy, which includes a nuclear first-strike option.

These weapons of mass destruction—illegal and criminal under German, US, and international law—are scheduled to be replaced by expensive new, precision-guided nuclear weapons, the B61-12, in the near future, in a $10- $12 billion program of the US National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear weapons complex. With about 400 B61-12 bombs to be refurbished, the cost is about $25 million per bomb, according to Hans Kristensen, of the Federation of American Scientists.

Our campaign group “Abolish nuclear weapons—start with us!” currently consists of more than 70 peace movement organizations/groups, which together increase pressure on the German government with the goal of withdrawing the approximately 20 US nuclear bombs from Büchel. Germany must finally sign the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and become nuclear weapons free!

The pressure on Germany’s government is constantly being increased by the Cities and Deputies Appeal and the organization of “Mayors for Peace”, so that Germany’s accession to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons can finally take place. Together with ICAN, our member organizations are working hard for this: 646 parliamentarians, 171 of them members of the Bundestag, have already signed the appeal. In total, 137 cities and four German states have joined the Cities Appeal to support the Treaty or call on the federal government to join it. Also, over 700 Mayors for Peace in Germany have joined the call for the abolition of nuclear weapons, the third biggest number of mayors in the world behind only Japan and Iran. Because of public interest—a poll shows that about 90% of public opinion is against these nukes—our united campaign includes well-established organizations like IPPNW, IALANA, German Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, and DFG-VK.

A “human chain” took place alongside the Büchel air base on September 5, 2021, exactly three weeks before the Bundestag elections. In bright sunshine, many peace activists met for the first time after a month-long Corona break, the reunion creating a great mood. The musical resisters Lebenslaute sang songs, dozens carried banners, and from cars there was benevolent honking and waving.

Marion Kupker, Büchel, Germany

Peace Magazine January-March 2022

Peace Magazine January-March 2022, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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