by Leonard Eiger // Part of the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions
On September 15th about 40 people attended a much-anticipated presentation in Seattle, Washington by Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, a long-time human rights and humanitarian disarmament activist and author. The event was sponsored by Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and Pax Christi Northwest. Moser-Puangsuwan recounted the history and development of the Humanitarian Disarmament movement, including the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the Cluster Munition Coalition, the International Network on Explosive Weapons, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
The Humanitarian Disarmament movement carries out a large proportion of its work within international coalitions. Efforts for disarmament may target an entire chain of conflict: from the development of new weapons, the investments by financial institutions in the production of such weapons, through the arms trade, and the use of these weapons in conflicts. Yeshua suggested that one approach on the local level would be to urge others to withdraw monetary support from industries, banks, and other financial institutions that earn income from the nuclear weapons industry.
After the presentation, participants marched from Saint Patrick Church to Saint James Cathedral for a prayer and reflection on Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen and his contribution to nuclear disarmament. In the 1980s Hunthausen famously, and courageously denounced the Trident nuclear weapon system, based just 20 miles west of Seattle, as “the Auschwitz of Puget Sound.”
Photo Credit: Glen Milner