Dear Friend of Nukewatch,
Help! Or we’re closing the doors.
It’s been decades since Nukewatch has had to send out that message, but that’s where we’re at.
Thanks to your crucial support, Nukewatch has been on the job alerting the public to the realities of nuclear power and weapons for 40 years. Starting with Sam Day and others in 1979 in Madison, Wisconsin, Nukewatch kicked off a movement to counter the nuclear industry that has not stopped.
Yet today, Nukewatch is facing such financial hardship that without a major response from our supporters we will have to fold.
Since Nukewatch started, when the fear of the former USSR helped elect Ronald Reagan and ushered in a massive nuclear weapons buildup, Nukewatch educated and agitated for peace and disarmament. Today Nukewatch celebrates significant successes with decades of on the ground work that has taken place in jails, on marches and walks, across military base lines, in courtrooms, town squares, from the stage, on the radio and TV, in foreign countries and innumerable locations—for 4 decades.
Look at the successes we’ve had, in coalition with many groups, in several nonviolent action campaigns:
1988 to 2005—Following hundreds of protests inspired by the publication of Nuclear Heartland: A guide to the 1,000 missile silos of the United States (Progressive Foundation, Madison, 1988) the Air Force eliminated 550 Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, cutting the total from 1,000 to 450. The three giant “missile fields” that were eliminated were the three closest to large cities from which Nukewatch-activated protests were, for many years, organized and launched.
1992—The US Marine Corps canceled its planned “mock landings” in Duluth, Minn.—used as recruitment stunts—after earlier protests were reported nation-wide. Six people served five days in jail for interrupting the military spectacles. Nukewatch volunteers were among the organizers and those arrested for conducting a “die-in” during the Corps’ enactment of an “invasion” of a Duluth beach using smoke, blanks, and landing ships.
1993/94—Nukewatch helped halt congressional funding (January 1994) for US Air Force Ground Wave Emergency Network (GWEN), a post-nuclear war communications system. Nukewatch staffers Sam Day, Bonnie Urfer, and John LaForge were among several who were convicted and jailed for 60 days for removal of survey stakes at Medford, Wisconsin’s GWEN tower construction site.
1996—While convicted of “damage to property,” Donna Howard and Tom Hastings were found not guilty! of “sabotage” following their Earth Day pole-cutting action that shut down the Navy’s E.L.F. submarine transmitter in Wisconsin. Nukewatch staff helped provide trial support and defense team coordination for Donna and Tom, who successfully argued that the E.L.F. system was not defensive but strictly an offensive, “first-strike” nuclear weapons system.
September 2004—The shut-down of the Navy’s Project “E.L.F.” (extremely low frequency) one-way transmitter system for submarine communication, after hundreds of actions and 11 years in cumulative jail time served by a total of over 100 nonviolent civil resisters. After 1997, Nukewatch was the key coordinator of the Coalition to Stop Project E.L.F. and facilitated dozens of nonviolent civil resistance actions at the Clam Lake, Wisconsin transmitter site. Nukewatch regularly provided nonviolence training, and trial and jail support for activists.
December 2004—Nukewatch helped win another “not guilty” jury verdict following a protest “trespass” at Alliant Techsystems Corp. in Minneapolis, Minnesota against its production of depleted uranium weapons. Nukewatch staffer John LaForge, a defendant in the case, helped develop the affirmative “claim of right” defense based on Hague Convention (international) law which explicitly prohibits any use of poison or poisoned weapons. The six-person jury found the defendants had a legal “claim of right” to alert company officials to the radioactive and chemically toxic nature of depleted uranium weapons.
July 2004-present—Nukewatch helped organize several marches and public informational events regarding the barrels of toxic military wastes dumped into Lake Superior by the Army Corps of Engineers. Protests forced the Minnesota Department of Health to publish a poorly written and badly researched cover-up of the dangers in 2008.
In 2008 and 2009—Nukewatch staff testified to British and Dutch parliamentarians about the unlawful status of depleted uranium munitions used extensively by the US military.
November 2015—Nukewatch published a revised and expanded second edition of its groundbreaking 1988 missile silo atlas. Nuclear Heartland, Revised: A guide to the 450 land-based missiles of the United States, co-edited by staffers John LaForge and Arianne Peterson, includes three new chapters, new photographs, and updated missile field maps.
July 2017—Nukewatch successfully coordinated the first US peace delegation to the “Twenty Weeks for Twenty Bombs” campaign in Germany to oust the remaining 20 US nuclear weapons from Germany. Eleven peace activists joined the delegation to “International Week” at the peace camp near Büchel Air Base where the bombs are deployed, and helped organize three nonviolent direct actions there between July 12 and 18, 2017. The actions drew nation-wide attention in Germany and moved major political authorities, including then Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to call for the removal of the US bombs.
October 2017—Nukewatch, as one of over 400 Partner Organizations in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, celebrated its selection as the year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The diverse coalition successfully campaigned for the United Nation’s adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
There are many more examples and reasons for you to support Nukewatch. This small but effective organization is still trying to make a difference but we can’t do it without you. Help.
Today, all the major players in the US Congress are actively supporting another colossally expensive nuclear weapons buildup while health care, public education and critical infrastructure corrode.
Nuclear power and weapons production and use continue to poison our global environment with meltdowns, waste dumping and explosions, and contamination of the air and ground at nuclear facilities. The atomic industry continues to exist under a veil of secrecy with little or no effective oversight. Nukewatch remains a crucial organization for sharing the facts and exposing the deadly realities of the nuclear age. The industry must be stopped and Nukewatch is eager to keep on task.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you have been a part of our long list of victories. Nukewatch is a veteran group, as are many of our supporters who have sustained this movement and created these successes. One way our seasoned members can help is by considering a bequest to the Progressive Foundation, Nukewatch’s parent nonprofit.
At Nukewatch we strive to educate and take action against the greed driving the nuclear weapons and energy industries, and the associated risks from uranium mining and transport of radioactive material. The toxic legacies of these industries will remain dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years. This means that Nukewatch will never run out of accidents, scandals, and crimes to report on and confront.
Join us in stopping the production of radioactive waste and help us work toward a future protected from fallout the world may yet see. It is because of gifts and bequests to Nukewatch in the past that this organization continues to exist in its current form. We need your support.
We won’t stop if you don’t.
PS. Donations to The Progressive Foundation, our parent nonprofit organization, are tax deductible.