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Greater Boston PSR and Washington PSR Host Events to Highlight Nuclear Weapons Issues and Hold Elected Officials Accountable

On September 29, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition convened a People’s Town Hall on Nuclear Weapons, which brought together anti-war, environmental and Indigenous rights activists. The event was held to inform the public and elected officials about the nuclear weapons threat, highlighting Washington state’s nuclear arsenals, the role of the state’s industry in producing them, and the direct impacts of nuclear weapons on people’s health. Participants heard testimony from people whose communities have been directly impacted by the legacy of the nuclear weapons industry in Washington. The Town Hall culminated in the development of a resolution—to be delivered to Washington Senators—based on the testimony delivered, complete with recommendations for action needed by Congress. This dynamic dialogue about one of the most significant threats facing the people of Washington State and the global community framed the issue of nuclear weapons in the context of justice and equity for impacted communities, and it resulted in a bold resolution that includes concrete recommendations on how to achieve a safer, healthier, and less costly nuclear-free future.

Read the full resolution here.

The day after the town hall, activists marched on the Federal Building in Seattle to protest dangerous U.S. nuclear policies.

The People’s Town Hall was featured in an excellent article in Crosscut, which quotes Dr. Joe Berkson of Washington PSR.

Twa-le Abrahamson Swan, Tom Carpenter and Kara Sweidel testify to
the “Senators” about the harms of nuclear weapons on Washington’s
communities, workers and environment, as Dr. Amy Hagopian
moderates the first of three panels in the People’s Town Hall on
Nuclear Weapons.
From left to right: Dr. Tsukasa Namekata, Dr. Dave Hall, Phoenix Johnson, Deb
Abrahamson Swan, Carly Brook, Dr. Amy Hagopian, Jeanelle Sales, Dr. Bruce
Amundson, Kara Sweidel

On the East Coast, Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility also recently held a key event to address the nuclear weapons threat and call on elected officials to advance commonsense policies to prevent nuclear war.

On October 22, Greater Boston PSR conducted a “teach in” at the Massachusetts Statehouse on Back from the Brink, to which legislators and their staff were invited along with the general public. Members of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra opened the event with classical music. The event featured a discussion with expert panelists, including PSR board member Dr. Ira Helfand, Dr. Elaine Scarry, Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University, and David Wright, Senior Scientist & Co-Director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Greater Boston PSR members made new connections to Massachusetts legislators and their staff, as well as fellow organizers, and they are looking forward to further cultivating those relationships. Greater Boston PSR is encouraging legislators across the Commonwealth to support S. 2155, a state senate resolution to prohibit nuclear weapons, led by Senator Jo Comerford and championed by Senators Jack Patrick Lewis, Mike Connolly, James B. Eldridge, Rebecca L. Rausch, Patrick M. O’Connor, Patrick Joseph Kearney, and Mindy Domb.

MA Senators Jo Comerford and Patrick M.
O’Connor participated in the teach-in
Left to right: PSR board member Dr. Ira Helfand, Dr. Elaine Scarry, Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University, and David Wright, Senior Scientist & Co-Director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)