Testimony on MAPA’s State Divestment Bills – Cole Harrison

Peace Advocate Summer 2021

Testimony of Cole Harrison on H.2597 and S.1703

I am Cole Harrison, executive director of Massachusetts Peace Action.  We are a peace advocacy organization with 1200 dues paying members throughout the Commonwealth and 17,000 supporters.  

I’m testifying for H.2597 and S.1703, divestment from nuclear weapons, filed by Rep Connolly and Sen Eldridge.

Our country was the first to build nuclear weapons and the first to use them in war.  That was the only time they were ever used in an attack and most people across the world now understand that nuclear weapons are just too dangerous to ever be used.  They are as dangerous for the countries that possess them as for those that are threatened by them.   

49% of Americans and 70% of Democrats think the U.S. should work with other countries to eliminate all nuclear weapons.   54 nations have ratified the UN’s nuclear ban treaty which went into force in January and makes all activities surrounding nuclear weapons illegal in those countries.  Massachusetts political leaders such as Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Jim McGovern and Rep. Ayanna Pressley call for us to move away from nuclear weapons in our national security strategy.

Massachusetts is a nuclear target.  Submarine launched missiles are designed at Draper Labs in Cambridge and nuclear command and control systems are designed at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford and Lexington.   Raytheon, with headquarters in Waltham, is the contractor to build the new Long Range Standoff Missile, a destabilizing new weapon rushed into production by the Trump administration.  Any adversary would surely target these locations among others and few Commonwealth residents would survive a nuclear exchange.

Massachusetts state retirees do not need to invest in producers of weapons to fund their retirements.  They can receive safe and comfortable returns by allocating their investments to socially constructive products.