— Ojai, California’s nuclear-free resolution: A call to action

From Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)

May 24, 2018
By Bob Dodge, MD

On April 10, 2018, the city of Ojai, California adopted a resolution declaring the city the first nuclear-free zone in decades. Against the backdrop of events over the past year, and recognizing the catastrophic human consequences of any use of nuclear weapons plus the exorbitant costs of nuclear weapons production and maintenance, the City Council adopted the resolution unanimously.

The background for our Resolution began last November when I approached one of our city council members about the proposal. He was supportive and encouraging of the process. On November 18th, during public comments, I challenged the City Council to take a stand on behalf of the citizens of Ojai regarding the greatest public health threat we face, that of nuclear war, and declare our city a nuclear-free zone. I encouraged them to consider a future response when our children’s children ask us: “What did you do when the planet was threatened?” We will be able to say we took a stand for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The Council that night agreed to put the Resolution on a future agenda.

One week later, the California Thomas fire started with Ojai at the epicenter. I requested our efforts be postponed until the city could return to some semblance of normalcy. On February 13, the Council Resolution was introduced by Councilmembers Francina and Weirick. Speaking on behalf of the Resolution, I advised the Council that as city leaders and first responders—just as in our recent fire—they had a responsibility to protect the citizens of Ojai. I stated—as a physician—that  there was no adequate response to a nuclear attack and that prevention by abolition of these weapons was the only response. After discussion, the Council unanimously voted to consider the Resolution.

At their April 10th meeting, the Council announced that the Resolution was adopted unanimously!

This bold Resolution has three main components.

First, it adopts the five point “Back From The Brink” resolution that many PSR chapters are championing.  “The city council, on behalf of the residents of Ojai, call on the United States and our elected officials to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war” via:

  • Renounce the option of using nuclear weapons first.
  • End the president’s sole, unchecked authority to launch a nuclear attack.
  • Take U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert.
  • Cancel the plan to replace the entire U.S. arsenal with enhanced weapons.
  • Actively pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

Secondly, the City Council declares Ojai a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone by prohibiting a variety of nuclear weapons-related activities within the city.

The third section, titled “Nuclear Free Contracts and Investments,” includes guidelines for city contracting and investment of funds.  The resolution calls for divestment from institutions and companies that are involved in the financing, manufacture, development, stockpiling and testing of nuclear weapons.

Recognizing that Ojai is but one small Southern California community, the resolution concludes with this appeal to other communities:

“Conscious of the magnitude of destructive capacity of modern nuclear weapons, we recognize that our proposal would have little meaning on its own. We therefore appeal to our neighboring counties and cities to make similar statements on the half of the citizens they represent”.

This appeal has already had an effect on neighboring communities. A group of middle school students from R.J. Frank Academy of Marine Science and Engineering, aware of the Ojai action, just challenged the city of Oxnard to protect their future and adopt a similar resolution. California State Assembly member Monique Limón has introduced California Joint Resolution 33 calling on the state to adopt the “Back From the Brink” resolution. Ultimately, we all have an opportunity and role to play in bringing forth a future free of nuclear weapons.

Text of the Ojai resolution

Text of California Joint Resolution 33, introduced by Assembly member Monique Limón

Nuclear weapons divestment information from “Don’t Bank on the Bomb”

“Back from the Brink” resolution and background

https://www.psr.org/blog/2018/05/24/ojai-californias-nuclear-free-resolution-a-call-to-action/

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— A People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea — sign and forward

From davidswanson.org

October 27, 2017

Alarmed by the threat of a nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea, concerned U.S. peace groups have come together to send an open message to Washington and Pyongyang.

Click here to add your name to the People’s Peace Treaty.
https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13108&tag=WBW171027&track=WBW171027

The People’s Peace Treaty will be sent to the governments and peoples of Korea, as well as to the U.S. Government. It reads, in part:

Recalling that the United States currently possesses about 6,800 nuclear weapons, and has threatened the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea in the past, including the most recent threat made by the U.S. President in his terrifying speech to the United Nations (“totally destroy North Korea”);

Regretting that the U.S. Government has so far refused to negotiate a peace treaty to replace the temporary Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953, although such a peace treaty has been proposed by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) many times from 1974 on;

Convinced that ending the Korean War officially is an urgent, essential step for the establishment of enduring peace and mutual respect between the U.S. and DPRK, as well as for the North Korean people’s full enjoyment of their basic human rights to life, peace and development – ending their long sufferings from the harsh economic sanctions imposed on them by the U.S. Government since 1950.

Add your name now.

https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13108&tag=WBW171027&track=WBW171027

The People’s Peace Treaty concludes:

NOW, THEREFORE, as a Concerned Person of the United States of America (or on behalf of a civil society organization), I hereby sign this People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea, dated November 11, 2017, Armistice Day (also Veterans Day in the U.S.), and
1) Declare to the world that the Korean War is over as far as I am concerned, and that I will live in “permanent peace and friendship” with the North Korean people (as promised in the 1882 U.S.-Korea Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation that opened the diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Korea for the first time)***;
2) Express my deep apology to the North Korean people for the U.S. Government’s long, cruel and unjust hostility against them, including the near total destruction of North Korea due to the heavy U.S. bombings during the Korean War;
3) Urge Washington and Pyongyang to immediately stop their preemptive (or preventive) conventional/nuclear attack threats against each other and to sign the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;
4) Call upon the U.S. Government to stop its large-scale, joint war drills with the armed forces of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan, and commence a gradual withdrawal of the U.S. troops and weapons from South Korea;
5) Call upon the U.S. Government to officially end the lingering and costly Korean War by concluding a peace treaty with the DPRK without further delay, to lift all sanctions against the country, and to join the 164 nations that have normal diplomatic relations with the DPRK;
6) Pledge that I will do my best to end the Korean War, and to reach out to the North Korean people – in order to foster greater understanding, reconciliation and friendship.

Sign your name by clicking here.

https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13108&tag=WBW171027&track=WBW171027

Some noted signers: 
Christine Ahn, Women Cross DMZ
Medea Benjamin, Code Pink
Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, UFPJ
Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace
Noam Chomsky, Emeritus Professor, M.I.T.
Blanch Weisen Cook, Professor of History and Women’s Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Joe Essertier, World Beyond War – Japan
Irene Gendzier, Emeritus Professor, Boston University
Joseph Gerson, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security
Louis Kampf, Emeritus Professor, M.I.T.
Asaf Kfoury, Professor of Mathematics, Boston University
John Kim, Veterans For Peace
David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
John Lamperti, Emeritus Professor, Dartmouth College
Kevin Martin, Peace Action
Sophie Quinn-Judge, Temple University (retired)
Steve Rabson, Emeritus Professor, Brown University
Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
David Swanson, World Beyond War, RootsAction
Ann Wright, Women Cross DMZ, Code Pink, VFP

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

Background: 
President Jimmy Carter, “What I’ve Learned from North Korea’s Leaders,”Washington Post, Oct. 4, 2017
Col. Ann Wright (Ret.), “A Path Forward on North Korea, “ Consortiumnews,March 5, 2017
Leon V. Sigal, “Bad History,” 38 North, Aug. 22, 2017
Prof. Bruce Cumings, “A Murderous History of Korea,“ London Review of Books, May 18, 2017

http://davidswanson.org/a-peace-treaty-with-north-korea-and-you-can-sign-it/

*** The  1882 U.S.-Korea Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation mentioned below was itself a coercive action forced on Korea by the United States to forcibly open the country to U.S. trade and presence. It’s time to have real peace and friendship with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

— America’s war against the people of Korea: The historical record of U.S. war crimes

Global Research, April 30, 2017
Global Research 13 September 2013

The following text by Michel Chossudovsky was presented in Seoul, South Korea in the context of the Korea Armistice Day Commemoration, 27 July 2013

A Message for Peace. Towards a Peace Agreement and the Withdrawal of US Troops from Korea.

Introduction

Armistice Day, 27 July 1953 is day of Remembrance for the People of Korea.

It is a landmark date in the historical struggle for national reunification and sovereignty.

I am privileged to have this opportunity of participating in the 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013.

I am much indebted to the “Anti-War, Peace Actualized, People Action” movement for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on peace and reunification.

An armistice is an agreement by the warring parties to stop fighting. It does signify the end of war.

What underlies the 1953 Armistice Agreement is that one of the warring parties, namely the US has consistently threatened to wage war on the DPRK for the last 60 years.

The US has on countless occasions violated the Armistice Agreement. It has remained on a war footing. Casually ignored by the Western media and the international community, the US has actively deployed nuclear weapons targeted at North Korea for more than half a century in violation of article 13b) of the Armistice agreement. 

The armistice remains in force. The US is still at war with Korea. It is not a peace treaty, a peace agreement was never signed.

The US has used the Armistice agreement to justify the presence of 37,000 American troops on Korean soil under a bogus United Nations mandate, as well as establish an environment of continuous and ongoing military threats. This situation of “latent warfare” has lasted for the last 60 years. It is important to emphasize that this US garrison in South Korea is the only U.S. military presence based permanently on the Asian continent.

Our objective in this venue is to call for a far-reaching peace treaty, which will not only render the armistice agreement signed on July 27, 1953 null and void, but will also lay the foundations for the speedy withdrawal of US troops from Korea as well as lay the foundations for the reunification of the Korean nation.

Michel Chossudovsky Presentation: 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013, Seoul, ROK. 

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Armistice Day in a Broader Historical Perspective.

This commemoration is particularly significant in view of mounting US threats directed not only against Korea, but also against China and Russia as part of Washington’s “Asia Pivot”, not to mention the illegal occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the US-NATO wars against Libya and Syria, the military threats directed against Iran, the longstanding struggle of the Palestinian people against Israel, the US sponsored wars and insurrections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Armistice Day July 27, 1953, is a significant landmark in the history of US led wars.  Under the Truman Doctrine formulated in the late 1940s, the Korean War (1950-1953) had set the stage for a global process of militarization and US led wars. “Peace-making” in terms of a peace agreement is in direct contradiction with Washington “war-making” agenda.

Washington has formulated a global military agenda. In the words of four star General Wesley Clark (Ret) [image right], quoting a senior Pentagon official:

“We’re going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran” (Democracy Now March 2, 2007)

The Korean War (1950-1953) was the first major military operation  undertaken by the US in the wake of  World War II,  launched at the very outset of  what was euphemistically called “The Cold War”. In many respects it was a continuation of World War II, whereby Korean lands under Japanese colonial occupation were, from one day to the next, handed over to a new colonial power, the United States of America.

At the Potsdam Conference (July–August 1945), the US and the Soviet Union agreed to dividing Korea, along the 38th parallel.

There was no “Liberation” of Korea following the entry of US forces. Quite the opposite.

As we recall, a US military government was established in South Korea on September 8, 1945, three weeks after the surrender of Japan on August 15th 1945. Moreover,  Japanese officials in South Korea assisted the US Army Military Government (USAMG) (1945-48) led by General Hodge in ensuring this transition. Japanese colonial administrators in Seoul as well as their Korean police officials worked hand in glove with the new colonial masters.

From the outset, the US military government refused to recognize the provisional government of the People’s Republic of Korea (PRK), which was committed to major social reforms including land distribution, laws protecting the rights of workers, minimum wage legislation and  the reunification of North and South Korea.

The PRK was non-aligned with an anti-colonial mandate, calling for the “establishment of close relations with the United States, USSR, England, and China, and positive opposition to any foreign influences interfering with the domestic affairs of the state.”2

The PRK was abolished by military decree in September 1945 by the USAMG. There was no democracy, no liberation no independence.

While Japan was treated as a defeated Empire, South Korea was identified as a colonial territory to be administered under US military rule and US occupation forces.

America’s handpicked appointee Sygman Rhee [left] was flown into Seoul in October 1945, in General Douglas MacArthur’s personal airplane.

The Korean War (1950-1953)

The crimes committed by the US against the people of Korea in the course of the Korean War but also in its aftermath are unprecedented in modern history.

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