On January 22nd, 2021 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force and became international law. With the entry into force of this groundbreaking treaty, nuclear weapons are now illegal under international law. Our sincere appreciation to everyone who joined us and our partners at Washington PSR on January 21st for an online celebration to mark the Treaty’s entry into force and explore how it advances nuclear justice. It was so inspiring to celebrate this watershed moment for the nuclear justice movement with you, share a celebratory toast, hear from a few speakers working for nuclear justice, and connect with each other and celebrate together.
Speakers for our January 21st online celebration included:
- Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer
- Dr. Vincent Intondi, Director of the Institute for Race, Justice, and Civic Engagement at Montgomery College and author of African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement
- Kianna Juda-Angelo, Pacific Islander advocate, founder of Living Islands, and co-founder of COFA Alliance National Network
- Stan Shikuma, President of the Japanese American Citizens League (Seattle Chapter)
- Dr. Hideko Tamura Snider, hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor), anti-nuclear activist, and One Sunny Day Initiatives founder
Additional remarks by former Oregon State Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer and former Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz , who championed resolutions in support of the treaty at the state legislature and city council, and Hanford Downwinder and long-time anti-nuclear activist Pat Hoover. Our event host was performing artist, educator, community organizer, and Oregon PSR Advisory Board member Chisao Hata. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation for this event was provided by Fingers Crossed Interpreting.
January 22nd, 2021 marked an historic milestone for this landmark treaty. Prior to its adoption, nuclear weapons were the only weapons of mass destruction not banned under international law, despite their catastrophic humanitarian consequences. Now, with the Treaty’s entry into force on January 22nd, we can call nuclear weapons what they are: prohibited weapons of mass destruction, just like chemical weapons and biological weapons.
This is the first nuclear weapons treaty to call out the disproportionate impacts of nuclear weapons on Indigenous people and women and to address the need for survivors assistance and environmental remediation, and it provides a legal framework for lasting nuclear disarmament.
The US is not yet a signatory to the Treaty, and instead of joining with the majority of countries in the world in support, it is doing its best to undermine it, so we have more work to do here to follow the lead of countries in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere that have helped negotiate this landmark treaty.
Please continue reading to learn more about the nuclear ban treaty, upcoming events and opportunities to take action, and the movement for nuclear justice.
- Learn more about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
- Sign the petition to OSU to use some of their $4.3 million nuclear security grant to include modelling dismantling the US nuclear weapons arsenal, the only truly way to secure these inherently dangerous weapons of mass destruction (individuals and organizations are encouraged to sign, and you don’t have to be from Oregon).
- Call your Senators and Congresspeople and ask them to sign the parliamentarian pledge. There are only 10 Congresspeople to have signed so far, and no Senators, and they need to hear from constituents. Special thanks to Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal for pledging their support for the nuclear ban treaty. Also, huge thanks to the members of Oregon's state legislature who have signed the pledge at our request, by far the most of any state in the country! Those include Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, Sen. Michael Dembrow, Sen. Jeff Golden, Rep. Dacia Grayber, Rep. Ken Helm, Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, Sen. Kate Lieber, Rep. Susan McLain, Rep. Pam Marsh, Rep. Rob Nosse, Sen. Deb Patterson, Rep. Khanh Pham, Rep. Karin Power, Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Rep. Andrea Salinas, Rep. Tawna Sanchez, Rep. Sheri Schouten, Rep. Janeen Sollman, Sen. Kathleen Taylor, Sen. Rob A. Wagner, and Rep. Anna Williams.
- Join us on March 12-14th for the Marshall Islands Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day.
- Join us for the opening of the Japanese American Museum of Oregon (May 6th, time to be determined, visit the museum’s website for updates).
- Join us in Washington State for a nuclear activism photo event along the Salish Sea.
- Visit Oregon PSR’s nuclear weapons and nuclear justice resource page and Washington PSR's nuclear weapons page to learn more.
Thanks again for joining us in celebrating the nuclear ban’s entry into force! We will continue to strive for true and lasting nuclear disarmament and nuclear justice, and we hope that you will join us in this important work.