Minutes from February 1996 meeting (Philadelphia)
compiled by Karina Wood, PAEF

The U.S. Nuclear Abolition 2000 Network met on Saturday, February 3 at the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia.

Present were (in no particular order):

I. Going around the table, each organization described their nuclear disarmament campaigns and laid out their priorities, ideas, planned events and resources for 1996. Statements to the same effect were read out from organizations/individuals who could not attend the meeting.

II. We tabulated the actions/projects/initiatives on a large chart, with each organization indicating which were representative of their campaign priorities. The chart thus establishes our areas of commonality and suggests what working groups should be formed to work on specific aspects of our work and specific events. (See enclosed chart.)

III. We listed the resources that organizations would like to make available to all in the Network, so we can better publicize and coordinate our campaigns. (See enclosed list)

IV. After lunch, we looked in more detail at the campaigns and projects that had elicited the most interest. Our discussion produced the following framework for campaigning on nuclear weapons abolition:

a) Campaign Goals:

-increase visibility of abolition message
-increase participation in and coordination of campaigns
-inform and influence policy makers
-promote the concept of nuclear weapons abolition as attainable

b) Policy Areas:
-Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
-START II (Russian ratification) and START III
-World Court opinion
-nuclear clean-up/environmental healing
-military budget cuts
-radiation victims/survivors; emphasis on native peoples
-Nuclear Weapons Convention

c) Tactics:
-direct action
-elections -treaties/legislation/lobbying government
-public education

d) Specific Events/Actions/Projects (see chart for full list)
- "Citizens Signing Ceremony" at CTBT official signing at U.N. in New York, September, 1996; celebrate/protest (whichever appropriate)/rededicate ourselves to our abolition mission
- Bell-tolling around the world as CTBT signed, September (see enclosed flyer)
- Nuclear Abolition Summit and Day of Action, Las Vegas and Nevada Test Site, April (see enclosed materials)
- U.N. resolutions for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
- military budget
- Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemorations
- anti-nuclear pledges (scientists, military, students/public)
- electoral work (voter guides, candidate forums, media)
- city council resolutions (like Proposition One), state-wide referenda (like Freeze campaign)

Howard Hallman (MUPJ) handed out questionnaires on the level of interest and planned activities on the eleven steps to nuclear weapons abolition, as laid out in the NGO Abolition Caucus statement that we agreed to adopt and support in November.

We identified that media work is a hole in our campaign work. People who want to organize coordinated publicity (eg. newspaper and TV ads) for abolition work should contact Judy Lowe and form a working group.

We agreed we need to work more with organized labor. We need trade unions to work with us on nuclear abolition and be part of the Network.

We must emphasize the economic impact of nuclear weapons and the nuclear industrial complex upon society; expose corporate welfare; promote military budget cuts and economic conversion.

V. The Shundahai Network gave an update on the Nuclear Abolition Summit and Day of Action, and asked for suggestions on the structure and agenda of the Summit. Native Youth Alliance raised problems they have with the organization of the Summit with regards to its involvement of native people's organizations. They raised criticism of the Shundahai Network as an organization to be facilitating this event. The Shundahai Network responded to these criticisms and there was a discussion of the wider implications of the issues raised. It was agreed that the next meeting of the Network be held at the Summit subject to confirmation by a conference call between the organizing committee, Shundahai Network and Native Youth Alliance, and if possible, Corbin Harney. (Please see enclosed Summit Shundahai organizational report and questionaire)

VI. We reviewed the updated vision statement, as submitted by David Krieger and Jonathan Schell. Some more changes and additions were suggested and voted upon for their inclusion. It was agreed that if the authors felt the alterations disrupted the artistic integrity of the document, we should re-review. We agreed to consult with the authors on how to express the U.S.'s legal commitment to nuclear disarmament. The authors were thanked for their work. (The revised vision statement will be included in the mailing for the next meeting.)

VII. Alyn Ware (LCNP) gave a report on the International Abolition 2000 Network, as follows:

A) Structure. The International Abolition 2000 Network is a network, not a coalition. There is no steering committee. However there are working groups on the following: Chernobyl, Media, Eurobomb, Testing, Fissile Materials, Nuclear Weapons Convention, Newsletter, Legal Issues, Outreach, Regional Nuclear Issues, Clearinghouse

B) Relationship between International and US networks. These are both networks. Groups can thus participate in either or both networks. The networks are independent, but linked through common aims, strategies and membership.

C) Clearinghouse. A clearinghouse is being established, to be hosted by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and funded by network members and specific funding proposals. LCNP has contributed $500 and encourages other groups to also make pledges. The clearinghouse will be the international contact point for information on Abolition issues and activities. It will also assist in coordinating abolition meetings, monitoring the abolition working groups, stimulate co-ordination of campaign strategies, and assist in fundraising for activities of the network. The clearinghouse coordinator is Pamela Meidell. Address: Abolition 2000 Clearinghouse, BOX 220, Port Hueneme, CA, 93044, ph 805-985-5073, ph 805-985-7563, e-mail pmeidell@ipc.agc.org.

D) Meetings. The meetings an usually organized around an international abolition event, The first one was at the Hague during the oral hearings at the World Court case on nuclear weapons. The next meeting will be in Edinburgh Mar 3-4 during the Edinburgh Peace Festival in the Scottish Parliament. Contact LCNP, ph 212 674 7790 or Janet Bloomfield, 44 171 700 2393, e- mail jbloomfield@gn.apc.org.

E) Participation in the network. Contact the clearinghouse (address above). There are e-mail lists organizations can join to receive regular information.