Nukewatch Quarterly Spring 2021
By Kelly Lundeen
Before the 50th nation’s ratification was submitted, Nukewatch had begun coordinating with Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) and editors of the Nuclear Resister to prepare for the historic moment that the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons would enter into force. What culminated on January 22, 2021, were 100 actions in the US involving over 1,000 activists and 200 actions around the world. It was a tremendous show of strength in our grassroots activism for nuclear abolition to celebrate a new dawn for humanity.
Honeywell, Minnesota — You’ve Been Notified
One action was the delivery of the new nuclear weapons ban treaty to Honeywell Aerospace, a division of Honeywell International, in Plymouth, Minn. by Vets for Peace, Chapter 27, Women Against Military Madness, and Nukewatch.
Typically, traffic enters freely into the Honeywell compound, but on January 22, security was waiting for our “Treaty Notification Unit” with two white vans, orange cones, a “greeter,” and no plans for a meeting with the manager we’d requested. When we attempted to enter the company’s parking lot the “greeter” asked for a badge to enter Honeywell property. An Indigenous member of our group reminded the Honeywell representative that it was not Honeywell property, but rather treaty (Indigenous) property.
I read a drafted statement to the Honeywell spokesperson that said in part: “What Honeywell does through its involvement in the production of the Trident II nuclear missiles, the replacement for the land-based nuclear missiles and its work at national nuclear labs and plants is now illegal under international law. We want Honeywell to get out of the nuclear weapons industry. The victims of nuclear war, testing and production need to be respected and compensated, and their communities must be protected. We need to end this welfare for the nuclear industry and start funding real human needs…
“Even states that have refused to join the Treaty are affected by it entering into force. The US has never ratified the cluster munitions treaty, but US companies ended their production of them since it entered into force. Just ask Honeywell. Now Honeywell must decide which side of history it will be on regarding nuclear weapons….
“Polls have shown that people in the countries that support nuclear weapons, including 65% of Americans, want their government to end that support…
“There is a new reality in international disarmament, and that is a world without nuclear weapons. That is the world we want our children to inherit.”
After the Vets for Peace rang bells to commemorate the end of “the war to end all wars,” five-year-old Yasha Lundeen Morales and seven-year-old Sofía Lundeen Morales presented copies of the Treaty to the Honeywell representative.
Ralph Hutchison of Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance said of the January 22 events, “It was a moment, and now it is our job to make it a movement.” Undoubtedly, Vets for Peace, WAMM and many more around the country are already doing that.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join our March 25 Zoom call or visit the Nuclear Ban Treaty EIF Facebook page to work on next steps to promote the Treaty!
A video of the Minnesota Honeywell action is available at https://nukewatchinfo.org/videos.
See a compilation of January 22 actions across the US made by the editors of the Nuclear Resister and OREPA, at https://vimeo.com/515883787.
This article was originally produced for Veterans for Peace, Chapter 27.