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Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, TPNW: UN NYC

Colonialism : Control by one power over an area or people; when one nation subjugates another, exploiting it, often while forcing its own language and values.

We see this play out inside of nuclear violence. 

The US military (among other colonizing forces) stole land and resources, performed nuclear tests and/or exploited indigenous populations to mine toxic materials, or work in the plants. Often controlling the narrative around the projects through secrecy or disinformation, knowingly harming the public and escaping accountability.

The Deterrent fallacy : to further steal and exploit, investing our resources in the modernization of weapons that aren’t to be used, “ideally.” Rather, these weapons (proliferated by the hundreds) would be kept as a show of force to hold over other nations as a threat—knowing that if these weapons were to ever be used again, it has the proven potential to cause global devastation, known as Nuclear Winter. The damage to our climate by a nuclear catastrophe, whether by the deliberate use of a weapon or a highly probable accident, has the potential to lower the earth’s temperature by 1 to several degrees, causing a global famine, and halt our already-fragile interconnected world systems.

The theory of deterrence is merely a twisted psychological comfort, but cannot prevent accidents, cyber attacks, terrorism, etc. And the more immediate reasoning is the harm that must take place in the manufacturing process. 

This is why we must organize our city (and beyond) to be a nuclear free zone.

Nick Ritchie from the University of York shared this valuable resource concerning the Treaty :

“The TPNW has been enforced for 3 years and has made an impact. It has brought the fight for nuclear justice to the fore. But the pace of progress has not matched the pace of the problem at hand. It’s time to take a stand and put the interest of humanity first.” Melissa Parke, ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons) said on the first day of the week-long Second Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW, held at the UN NYC the last week of November.

Delegates from every country that have ratified the treaty each stated how their government is enforcing or universalizing the TPNW, stressing the importance in educating the public about nuclear threat.

Now is the time to educate and mobilize people to call on their representatives and REFUSE nuclear technology in our city– or anywhere else.

Nuclear violence will continue to ravage life on earth if left unchallenged. Collective safety and security require us to abolish nuclear weapons. 

The Minister of Science and Innovation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr. Gilbert Kabanda Kurhenga, made this powerful statement: “[The TPNW] is not just a legally binding instrument, it’s a tool of informing the community of nuclear risk; to spur the international community to avoid these weapons. Science and technology should be utilized to improve living standards, medical advancements– not nuclear weapons. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”

Nuclear weapons are not an inevitable reality. They are illegal according to international law. We must move our country into the future, investing in human need and divesting from militarism.

Making this information accessible to the public is a necessary step in this movement. Using art and media is a profound way to reach people where they are, and we have that creative power. Upon returning from NYC, I held a small teach-in with our local slam poetry team, Fountain City Poets. They are ready to learn more about this fight–educating themselves so they can effectively educate others. We as young people understand that our future hangs in the balance, and we deserve a livable world, free from nuclear threat.

Nuclear abolition is an existential imperative for humanity. And we will keep organizing until KCMO, like NYC, is a nuclear weapons free zone.

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Man hanging origame peace cranes.