Dear Oregon PSR Supporter,
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all. In my work as a surgeon, I am inspired to see the collective work of everyone in the hospital. Nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, x-ray technicians, house cleaners, and so many more are all pulling together to care for the sick and injured despite personal risk. Health care workers are putting the needs of our communities first, despite the challenges of limited supplies of personal protective equipment and a paucity of COVID-19 tests. Our entire community is stepping up and making major sacrifices by closing businesses and staying home from work. Community members are pitching in by making masks and gowns.Read more
The work of Oregon PSR’s Peace Program to ensure healthy communities free from the injustice of war, militarism, racism, and nuclear weapons has rarely felt more urgent. In this time of global pandemic, as our interconnectedness across the planet becomes apparent, the folly of spending exorbitant amounts of money on nuclear weapons rather than meeting basic human needs is starkly visible. Our partners at International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) have created the useful infographic above illustrating the disproportionate spending on nuclear weapons in contrast to the urgent health needs to address the pandemic.Read more
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting all Oregonians, regardless of their legal status. But while families are reeling, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents continue to target immigrant Oregonians for arrest, sending them to crowded detention centers described as “powder kegs” where doctors are concerned COVID-19 could “spread like wildfire.”
All Oregonians and their families must feel safe to seek medical help or gather the necessary supplies to keep their families safe. If people are scared to seek treatment due to immigration enforcement concerns, the impact and spread of COVID-19 could worsen. We must take bold action to protect our communities.
With the submission deadline for our 2020 Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship having passed, we're delighted to announce the members of this year's judging team and the Keynote Speaker for the April 25th Awards Ceremony.
Left to right: Oregon PSR's Dr. Catherine Thomasson, along with Dr. Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, and Sahar Yarjani Muranovic testify in support of a resolution encouraging diplomacy with Iran at Portland City Hall last November (photo by Mike Hastie).
As health professionals and public health advocates, we know that war is never healthy for children or other living things. War between the United States and Iran would be a humanitarian catastrophe, so we must act now to prevent further escalation and save lives.
The Trump administration unilaterally withdrew the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal, which was working as planned to effectively and verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The assassination of Suleimani will likely bolster the arguments of those in Iran who advocate for Iran to work harder and more quickly to obtain them. At this moment, we're not just risking potential regional conflict, we're also risking potential nuclear conflict.
As tensions rise, now is the time to raise our voices to say NO to war and YES to diplomacy.
Call Congress now: Congress must act to prevent another catastrophic war in the Middle East. Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley have both made statements opposing escalation and insisting on Congressional war powers, as have Congresspeople Blumenauer, Bonamici, and DeFazio. Call and thank them for doing everything they can to prevent war. Unfortunately, Congresspeople Schrader and Walden have been silent. If you live in their districts, call and insist that they speak up for peace, diplomacy, and the Constitution, which gives Congress, not the President, the power to decide to go to war. Even if your congressperson votes for peace, it helps for them to hear from their constituents that we support them as they are hearing from pro-war lobbyists in DC all the time. Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3131
Update 1/30/20: Two important bills passed the House of Representatives today, largely on party line votes. Oregon Congresspeople Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio and Schrader voted for both while Congressman Walden voted against. Call your congressperson and let them know what you think of their vote.
- H.R. 2356 - “a bill by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to repeal the 2002 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), which has been used by administrations of both parties to cover combat in Somalia, Yemen and Iran.” Oregon Congresspeople Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio and Schrader are all cosponsors.
- H.R. 5543 - “measure to be offered by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) is H.R. 5543, a bill with 79 co-sponsors to prohibit US military action against Iran without prior congressional approval.” Oregon Congresspeople Blumenauer, Bonamici, and DeFazio are all cosponsors.
On November 7th, National PSR hosted the Visionary Leaders Awards Reception and Symposium in Washington, DC. The awards recognize individuals and organizations for their exemplary efforts in advancing nuclear weapons abolition and addressing environmental risks to human health, including the catastrophic consequences caused by climate change, through collaborations that strengthen PSR’s mission.
Among this year’s honorees were Kelly Campbell, Executive Director of Oregon PSR, and Regna Merritt, our recently retired Healthy Climate Program Director. Kelly was also a panelist at an afternoon symposium of Women Leaders on Nuclear Disarmament and Climate Disruption.Read more
On November 13th, 2019, Portland City Council adopted two resolutions in support of peace and diplomacy. Introduced by Commissioner Amanda Fritz, the first resolution puts Portland on record supporting the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the second one supports diplomacy, not war, with Iran. The resolutions were led by Oregon PSR and the American Iranian Friendship Council and supported by a broad coalition of community organizations.
“Today, we are sending the message to our representatives in Washington, and the national and international community, that the City of Portland is committed to the protection and health of human life and the environment,” explained Commissioner Amanda Fritz, the sponsor of both resolutions. “These resolutions serve as a platform for our community members to see themselves reflected in our values and priorities as a City.”
Dear Oregon PSR Supporter,
This has been a year of transition, growth, and transformative partnerships for Oregon PSR. When I look back at the past year, I am proud to see how we’ve strengthened authentic partnership with communities most impacted by the injustices of climate chaos and nuclear weapons. At the same time, we’ve had more elected officials reaching out to us for our input on policy, as well as more health professionals finding a home for their activism within Oregon PSR. In the face of the overwhelming challenges of our times, I am convinced that Oregon PSR has a critical role to play in building movements for a healthy future.Read more
It is with great pleasure that Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility announces our twelfth annual Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship. Any 11th or 12th grade Oregon high school student may enter by submitting an original essay, poem, or narrative work (maximum 600 words) in response to the following question: "How would an effective movement for climate justice benefit immigrant communities?"Read more
The 13,850+ nuclear weapons in the world today pose an unacceptable threat to humanity. Even without a nuclear war, the development, testing, and possession of nuclear weapons cause unacceptable humanitarian and environmental harm. Recognizing this, 122 nations voted in July of 2017 at the United Nations to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The United States boycotted the treaty negotiations and plans to spend $1.2 trillion over the next decade on a vast nuclear weapons buildup which will further fuel a renewed global nuclear arms race.