In the past week, members within the Back from the Brink coalition have placed op-eds in three different papers, from coast to coast. The interest in these op-eds reflects the growing concern in this country about the real threats of nuclear war, but it also shows that citizens are ready to take action and demand saner nuclear policies.
The first piece, written by Sean Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Dr. Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility, was placed on MassLive just ahead of Springfield, MA’s vote on a Back from the Brink resolution, and encouraged the city councilors to support the resolution. It lays out some of the absurd and dangerous policies we currently have (for example that the president has the authority to launch a nuclear first strike without any checks or balances on that authority), and it prescribes Back from the Brink as the cure. You can read that piece, Springfield City Council Needs to Speak Out Against Nuclear Weapons, here. Thanks to their consistent advocacy and the support of the local community, Springfield voted unanimously to pass their Back from the Brink resolution on December 16th.
The second op-ed was placed in the Baltimore Sun, and was co-written by three legislators representing different jurisdictions that have passed Back from the Brink resolutions: David Grosso, City Councilmember for Washington, D.C.; Bill Henry, City Councilmember for Baltimore, MD; and Tom Hucker, Councilmember for Montgomery County, MD. The three Back from the Brink supporters, citing the fact that as residents of the Greater D.C. metro area, they are particularly at risk for a nuclear strike, lay out the case for why these resolutions are local matters as much as federal. Maryland Jurisdictions Join Back from the Brink Nuclear War Movement can be read here.
The final op-ed was placed in the Sacramento Bee, ahead of the December 19th Democratic Debate in Los Angeles, and was co-authored by Denise Duffield of Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles and David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists. The piece pointed out California’s leadership in the Back from the Brink campaign (being the first state to pass a resolution), and urged debate moderators to reflect public concerns in the state and ask the candidates about their nuclear weapons policies. Read Democratic Debate Should Include Nuclear Weapons Talk here.
This coverage shows that people in this country are concerned about the role that nuclear weapons play in our society. The Back from the Brink campaign is an incredibly effective avenue to channel those concerns into meaningful action, as demonstrated in these articles.