PSR-LA Takes Leadership in Back from the Brink Campaign to Prevent Nuclear War

PSR-LA celebrated the adoption of the Back from the Brink resolution to prevent nuclear war on August 8, 2018 by the Los Angeles City Council with L.A. Councilmember Paul Koretz and our coalition partners: American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors, Beyond the Bomb, Friends of Chain Reaction, Fukushima Support Committee, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, International Epidemiology and Research Center, MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles, Nuclear Free Schools-Alliance Dr. Olga Mohan High School, Office of the Americas, SoCal 350 Climate Action, and Veterans for Peace. Credit: Fukuhara/Shadows for Peace

The threat of nuclear war is real and growing. According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, we are as close to midnight (global annihilation) today as we were at the height of the Cold War. The president’s sole, unchecked authority to launch nuclear weapons, along with the development and deployment of “usable” low-yield nuclear weapons, compounded by the global insecurity being caused by climate change and migration is increasing the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe. 

But there is good news. PSR-LA is proud to take a leading role in Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War, a growing, nationwide movement that aims to fundamentally shift U.S. nuclear weapons policy to vastly reduce the likelihood of nuclear war while encouraging the federal government to embrace a path toward global nuclear disarmament.

The Back from the Brink platform is made up of five commonsense policy points that are designed to keep us all safer while we work toward eventual global nuclear disarmament. The five points are:

1)     Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first

2)     Ending the sole, unchecked authority of any president to launch a nuclear attack

3)     Taking U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert

4)     Cancelling the plan to replace the entire U.S. arsenal with enhanced weapons

5)     Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

Our strategy for achieving this is simple: build a grassroots movement of individuals and organizations who endorse this platform, and support this network in passing resolutions in cities, counties, and states around the country. Through this process, we’re able to provide much-needed education to the public and elected officials about the danger posed by nuclear weapons and engage them in advocacy for effective policy solutions.

In addition, this strategy allows us to powerfully demonstrate to Congressmembers and Presidential candidates that we need fundamental changes in U.S. nuclear policy. All of the resolutions are sent to congressional delegations by the municipalities that adopt them. Community advocates are also able to use local endorsements and resolutions to demonstrate to their representatives in Congress that organizations, towns, and cities in their district want to see action on our five-point policy platform. A Back from the Brink resolution, H. Res. 302, has been introduced in the Congress.

To date, 300 health, science, faith, policy, academic, peace and justice organizations have endorsed Back from the Brink, including prominent organizations such as Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Federation of American Scientists, the Sierra Club, Indivisible, Veterans for Peace, Hip Hop Caucus, Soka Gakkai International USA, the United Church of Christ and national organizations representing a wide range of faiths.

Municipal resolutions supporting Back from the Brink have been adopted by over 40 municipalities across the country, including Baltimore, MD, Los Angeles, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, Washington DC, Philadelphia, PA and Tucson, AZ. Six legislative state bodies have also adopted Back from the Brink resolutions in California, Oregon, Maine, and New Jersey.

As more organizations, cities, counties, and states embrace this policy agenda, we will continue to meet with Congressional representatives throughout Southern California (and will encourage our partners around the country to do the same) in order to urge them to support this crucial platform to prevent accidental or intentional nuclear war.

To learn more about Back from the Brink, including where resolutions have been passed and are underway, visit www.preventnuclearwar.org

If you are interested in pursuing a Back from the Brink resolution in your city, have questions, or want to get more involved, email info@preventnuclearwar.org

To endorse Back from the Brink as an individual, click here, and to endorse as an organization, click here.