Justice and a Nuclear Weapons Free World
Back from the Brink
(January 17, 2022) — Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War is a national grassroots campaign that brings local communities together to build the public support and political will needed to fundamentally change US nuclear weapons policy and prevent nuclear war.
The threat of nuclear war is real and growing, yet many people are unaware of the danger, or the harmful here-and-now impacts of developing and maintaining our nuclear arsenal. Others may be concerned but don’t feel as if they have any say on the issue or a meaningful way to get involved and make a difference. As a result, policymakers don’t hear many concerns about nuclear weapons from their constituents and feel little pressure to act.
Back from the Brink aims to change this equation by helping give everyone a voice on the issue and providing a way to build a politically powerful and diverse constituency demanding real change.
Our five common sense policy solutions include steps the US can take to immediately reduce the threat of intentional or accidental nuclear war while pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate all nuclear arsenals. (The US — like Britain, China, France and Russia — is already obligated under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to take concrete steps toward eliminating its nuclear arsenal.)
Setting upon this path would pave the way for the US to join the 122 nations who voted to adopt the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which is modeled on existing treaties that outlaw other types of weapons considered inhumane, such as biological and chemical weapons, land mines, and cluster munitions. The TPNW makes it illegal under international law to “develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess, or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”
Back from the Brink’s power and potential lies in an organizing model that enables advocates to educate and engage organizations and municipalities in their region as they seek support for the campaign’s policy solutions. Organizers are then able to use local endorsements and municipal resolutions to demonstrate to members of Congress that their constituents want them to take action on comprehensive nuclear weapons policy reform. City by city, state by state, we are disrupting deadly complacency in the US about nuclear weapons and replacing it with a call to action.
We are asking everyone to join us — individuals and organizations, civic leaders and municipalities, counties and states, the public and private sector. Endorse Back from the Brink or organize a Back from the Brink campaign in your community. Together we can prevent nuclear war and build a safer, healthier, and more just world.
Justice and a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World
(January 16, 2022) — In 1957, in Ebony Magazine, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote: “I definitely feel that the development and use of nuclear weapons of war should be banned. It cannot be disputed that a full scale nuclear war would be utterly catastrophic.”
Today, as we honor Dr. King, we’re grateful for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which bans the production and use of nuclear weapons. Yet we’re also mindful that the threat of nuclear war is real and growing. The US and other nuclear weapons states have eschewed the TPNW and are in the midst of a new arms race, while tensions in critical global hotspots give tremendous cause for concern.
Today, we recommit ourselves to social, racial, and environmental justice, and to working in solidarity with communities on the front lines of the struggles that Dr. King and so many others have fought and are fighting. We recommit ourselves to working for a safer, healthier, and more just world — a world without nuclear weapons.
Back from the Brink is pleased to share some recent accomplishments with you, and hope you’ll join us as we launch new and exciting ways to engage with Back from the Brink this year.
BOSTON AND MINNEAPOLIS JOIN BACK FROM THE BRINK!
Boston Councilor Liz Breadon holds 300 signatures from Boston Latin students supporting the resolution.
The City Councils of Boston, MA and Minneapolis, MN unanimously adopted Back from the Brink resolutions in December! Both resolutions were the result of BftB activists’ efforts to get local and state elected officials to sign onto our letter to President Biden and Members of Congress urging bold action on nuclear weapons. We applaud all of the individuals and organizations who helped bring these two major US cities on board, growing our movement and demonstrating powerful new support for nuclear weapons abolition. If you’re interested in organizing a Back from the Brink resolution in your community, we can help — let us know and check out our advocacy tools which include sample resolutions and guidance on the process.
SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE STATUS QUO
The Biden Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) will be released early this year, and all indications are that it will fall short — way short — of any meaningful change in US nuclear weapons policy. Back from the Brink’s policy platform was featured in an open letter calling upon President Biden to revise the NPR to prioritize global nuclear weapons abolition. The letter was organized by Physicians for Social Responsibility, signed by over 1000 individuals, and featured in an ad in President Biden’s Wilmington, DE hometown newspaper.
Back from the Brink was proud to join over 90 organizations in a Joint Civil Society Statement to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) states parties organized by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. The extraordinary statement decries the lack of progress on nuclear disarmament and points to growing support for nuclear weapons abolition from cities worldwide, referencing the over 50 cities that have adopted resolutions supporting Back from the Brink. Although the NPT Review Conference was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement was delivered on January 10th to representatives of all NPT signatory governments.
COMING SOON — NEW WAYS TO ENGAGE WITH BACK FROM THE BRINK!
Back from the Brink activists held a rally on Nov. 27 in Portsmouth, NH to call for nuclear weapons abolition.
Back from the Brink is excited to begin the new year with new ways to engage with our coalition and campaign. You’ll soon be hearing about these initiatives, which are aimed at growing and sustaining local Back from the Brink organizing efforts throughout the country, welcoming new voices and providing Back from the Brink activists with new ways to connect and find common cause and solidarity with other activists, campaigns and movements within their communities.
To learn more, please join us on Tuesday January 18, 1 pm EST for our first Local Organizing Meetup! These monthly gatherings are geared toward sharing local Back from the Brink efforts and learning more about the campaign and how you can get involved in your community. Let us know if you’d like to join us and we’ll send you registration information.
EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE ACTION
- January 20 The 75th Anniversary of the Doomsday Clock announcement by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists provides an excellent media hook for letters to the editor or op-eds.
- January 22 The one year anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will be commemorated by nuclear abolition activists worldwide. Learn more about attending or planning an event in your community by visiting the Nuclear Ban Treaty EIF Facebook group, see event listings on the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ website.
- January 22, 2 pm EST “Climate Change and Nuclear War: What We Can Do About the Twin Existential Threats” webinar by Massachusetts Peace Action featuring Asha Ashokan, Zia Mian, and Dr. Ira Helfand. Register here.
- January 29, 2 — 6 pm EST “Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War: Rebuilding a Broader Movement Conference” online conference by Massachusetts Peace Action that includes a workshop on Back from the Brink. Register here.
- February 28 at 7 pm EST “This Current Moment: US Nuclear Weapons Policy and Back from the Brink” webinar held by New Hampshire Peace Action featuring Michael T. Klare. Register here.
BACK FROM THE BRINK IN THE NEWS
- Nuclear Weapon States Like US Must End the Hypocrisy op-ed by Dr. Robert Dodge in The Hill
- Rally Calls on Biden Advisor to Take World Back from the Brink of Nuclear Conflict, In DepthNH.org
We’re going into 2022 with our eyes wide open to the many real and immediate challenges facing communities and the country. But we are also hopeful and energized as our coalition and campaign continues to build support in communities small and large who understand that a healthy, just, and sustainable world must be a world without nuclear weapons.
We look forward to working with you toward that shared goal in the year ahead.Follow Back from the Brink on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date about the campaign and amplify our content. Please also consider promoting Back from the Brink, a national community-focused coalition working to abolish nuclear weapons. Learn more at www.preventnuclearwar.org.