On October 23, 2018 the City of Somerville Board of Alderman passed a resolution calling to prevent nuclear war.
The resolution was passed on the proposal of Christopher Spicer Hankle, and it was sponsored by Ward Five Alderman Mark Niedergang, Alderman At Large Mary Jo Rossetti, Alderman At Large Wilfred N. Mbah, Ward Three Alderman Ben Ewen-Campen, Ward Two Alderman Jefferson Thomas (“J.T.”) Scott.
The resolution focuses on not only the dangers of the existence of these weapons, but also the volatility of the U.S. president having sole authority of weapons use, and unbelievable amount of U.S. tax dollars that go to these weapons.
“A Call to Prevent Nuclear War,” urging the US government to take steps to avoid nuclear war, such as renouncing the first use of nuclear weapons, taking nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert, and ending unchecked authority of the President to launch a nuclear attack.
WHEREAS: Nine nations collectively have approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenals, most of which are far more destructive than those that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945; and
WHEREAS: The detonation of even a small number of these weapons would have catastrophic human and environmental consequences that could affect everyone on the planet; and
WHEREAS: The United States maintains several hundred nuclear missiles in underground silos on hair-trigger alert, capable of being launched within minutes after a presidential order, which greatly increases the risk of an accidental, mistaken or unauthorized launch; and
WHEREAS: The United States continues to reserve the right by formal, stated policy to use nuclear weapons first, which reduces the threshold for nuclear use and makes a nuclear war more likely; and
WHEREAS: The U.S. President has the sole and unchecked authority to order the use of nuclear weapons; and
WHEREAS: Over the next 30 years, the United States plans to spend an estimated $1.7 trillion to replace its entire nuclear arsenal and the bombers, missiles and submarines that deliver them with more capable, more usable versions; and
WHEREAS: Taxpayers spend over $2 million every hour of every day to maintain the U.S. nuclear arsenal; and
WHEREAS: The United States, as well as Britain, China, France and Russia, are obligated under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to take concrete steps toward eliminating their nuclear arsenals; and
WHEREAS: In July 2017, 122 nations approved the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which makes it illegal under international law to develop, test, produce, manufacture, or otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Somerville Board of Aldermen calls on the United States to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:
• renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first;
• ending the sole, unchecked authority of any U.S. President to launch a nuclear attack;
• taking U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert;
• cancelling the plan to replace its entire arsenal with enhanced weapons; and
• actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals; AND BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED: That this resolution be communicated to Somerville’s U.S. representative and senators in Congress.
Watch the video here (57:00–1:19 Item 27. Approving “A Call to Prevent Nuclear War)
Brookline passed a similar resolution earlier this year! Both municipalities were inspired by Back from the Brink, a national grassroots campaign seeking to fundamentally change U.S. nuclear weapons policy and lead us away from the dangerous path we are on.