We want to thank everyone who participated in Back from the Brink’s “Organizing to Prevent Nuclear War in the Current Moment” webcast and conversation last week. Over 250 people throughout the country joined us for a spirited event featuring Dr. Vincent Intondi, author of African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement. If you weren’t able to participate, a video recording can be found here.
Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and move this campaign forward. Our success depends on you and hundreds of other activists from across the country who are committed to Back from the Brink and are doing this critical work in your communities. If you’re ready to begin working on a resolution, pursuing endorsements from local organizations or elected officials, or have other ideas for how to engage your community, please contact us and we’ll do our very best to help and connect you with other potential allies in your area.
We were heartened to hear Dr. Intondi say that despite many crises facing the country, he is glad to see the nuclear disarmament community begin to reckon with racism and combine the fight for racial equality with the fight for nuclear abolition. He noted that we have a rare opportunity to do something special and revolutionary on these fronts, and that the current moment gives us a chance to “finally right the two biggest evils, the two biggest wrongs that this country has ever done–slavery and dropping the bomb.” He closed with a galvanizing call to action, “Let us think back years from now that September 10th, 2020 was the night, the night that we got together and recommitted ourselves to fight against racism and fight for nuclear disarmament in a way we’ve never done before.”
Oliver Brown also gave an inspiring presentation about Back from the Brink organizing efforts in Syracuse, NY. He and other local activists with the Syracuse Peace Council organized a diverse coalition including peace, faith, environmental, racial and social justice groups. Together, they gave a presentation during a Zoom meeting with Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh that emphasized the devastating impacts of nuclear weapons and that money spent on our nuclear arsenal would be better spent on social needs, especially in the time of COVID-19. The Mayor responded that supporting the campaign was a “no brainer” and issued a proclamation naming August 6 as “Back from the Brink” day in Syracuse. A few weeks later the Syracuse Common Council approved a Back from the Brink resolution, becoming the 47th U.S. municipality to do so.
One of the most exciting parts of the event came when we split up into 10 virtual breakout rooms to discuss the presentations and our own local organizing efforts. A common theme was the need to better address the intersections between nuclear weapons and racial, environmental, climate, and economic justice in our organizing. We also discussed the importance of reaching out beyond our traditional partners, especially to communities of color and racial justice advocates, and youth, and that our movement must truly reflect the diversity of the country. Many participants said they wanted to pursue Back from the Brink resolutions in their communities and we look forward to assisting with those efforts.
Friends, the days, weeks and months ahead will be like none we’ve ever seen. The COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice reckoning, climate crisis, and tremendously consequential election will surely consume our attention. Yet as we work toward a just and sustainable future, we must redouble our efforts to eliminate the growing and existential threat posed by nuclear weapons. The public and political landscape is changing, and we may find new receptivity to our call to prevent nuclear war, especially as we articulate intersections with other critical issues. Please review our resources that can help your organizing efforts, such as:
- Nuclear Weapons 101 – Learn about intersections with nuclear weapons and other critical issues such as health and the environment, racial justice, and climate change
- Advocacy Tools – Review our organizing guide, sample endorsement request, sample resolution, and interactive map
- Endorse – Endorse the campaign and share this page with your friends, colleagues, and organizational allies
Thank you again for your interest and participation in Back from the Brink. If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please reach out and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.