WILPF Protests Testing of Nuclear Warhead Delivery Systems
Join Us on June 5 – International Nuclear Weapons Abolition Day
WILPF is proud to partner with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to protest ICBM missile test launches and call for a real commitment to nuclear abolition through a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
Despite President Obama’s promises in Prague to pursue a nuclear weapons free future, the U.S. military is still testing and upgrading Minuteman III ICBMs designed to carry thermonuclear warheads.
Two ICBM test launches (with dummy warheads) are scheduled for June 2010 from Vandenberg Air Force base / Space Command near Lompoc, California to the Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands. The exact date of the launch tests are not known, and June 5 provides a great opportunity to expose them; most of the world is unaware that these tests are still being carried out routinely.
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Hypocrisy in Action
The U.S. government demands U.N. sanctions against the DPRK (North Korea) for testing five medium range missiles. Yet the U.S. Air Force routinely tests high speed, long-range solid fuel, hair trigger ICBMs – in violation of our obligations to disarm under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Vandenberg Air Force Base is the only U.S. base used for testing ICBMs. The 450 ground-based ICBMs that are armed with hydrogen bombs on hair-trigger alert are scattered over the Midwest in hardened silos, ready to be fired in a minute. (Thus the name Minuteman).
World Domination – from Space?
Together with Fort Greeley, Alaska, Vandenberg launches the “Star Wars” interceptors, which also use the Reagan test site in the Marshall Islands as a target launch site. Vandenberg also launches the polar orbit satellites that are used for drone warfare and world domination from space. For 30 years the Vandenberg Action Coalition, War Resister's League and the Catholic Workers have been holding vigils and protest at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Since 2003 WILPF and the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space have also co sponsored the protests.
Joining with the ICAN worldwide protest is an opportunity to expose the widely unknown and invisible activities at this Space Command and support the people of the Marshall Islands who have already suffered greatly from the massive thermonuclear weapons tests held in the in the 1940s and 1950s.
WILPF branches marking this day will join others around the world calling for Nuclear Abolition. Spread the word that testing the U.S. Minuteman III ICBM blocks progress toward a future without nuclear weapons!
Let’s Get Serious About Nuclear Abolition
We call on President Obama and Congress to carry through on our country's obligation under Article 6 of the NPT to abolish nuclear weapons. Actions speak louder than words.
A national budget that increases funding to expand the nuclear weapons complex, while reducing funding for dismantlement of weapons, is not consistent with our disarmament obligations. Protest – make signs, join us, talk with folks, write for your community papers, church or social bulletins, post your outrage on Facebook pages or Twitter – keep it simple. Check out www.nuclearabolition.org for brief and to the point information and ideas – and to list events and actions, too.
Keep Informed with WILPF
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