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Who Will Disarm America?
an article by Tara Dorabji

On Veteran's Day, November 11, 2002, two hundred people formed civilian weapons inspection teams including representatives from community, veterans and student groups to deliver a notice of intent to inspect Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a facility located in California that is involved in the design, development and testing of nuclear weapons.

The six-page letter quotes directly from United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 on Iraq, adopted November 8, 2002, demanding, "immediate, unimpeded unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and all, including underground, areas, facilities, buildings, equipment, records, and means of transport," at Livermore nuclear weapons Lab.

Representatives from California Peace Action, Tri-Valley CAREs, Western States Legal Foundation and Veterans for Peace displayed evidence of the Lab's involvement in clandestine activities related to the research and development of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear and biological weapons.

"We are here demanding an end to all weapons of mass destruction, whether developed in the suburbs by University of California scientists, or in Iraq,"; stated Tara Dorabji, Outreach Coordinator for Tri-Valley CAREs.

"In light of the Security Council's vote in favor of sending weapons inspectors back to Iraq, we seek to hold our country to the same standard,"; declared Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation. The letter of intent to inspect, was accepted by David Schwoegler, spokesperson for the Lab, ensured it would be delivered to the Lab Director, Michael Anastasio. He did not respond to the group's request for inspection, but told the Tri-Valley Times, "We just don't let people into special areas with nuclear materials."

Students from four different University of California campuses demanded that the University of California Regents, who manage the nation's two primary nuclear weapons labs, support ongoing inspections of Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Inspections would verify the status and cessation of research and development activities involving nuclear and biological weapons.

"The Regents have a responsibility to the student community to admit weapons inspectors and adhere to international laws, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," stated Valerie Kao student at UC Berkeley. "However, it will take a strong student movement to get the Regents to comply with international law and pursue disarmament in the United States,"

Kao and other students are part of a coalition to demilitarize the University of California and demand that the UC Regents uphold international law and actively work to disarm the weapons labs. The coalition brought their demands to the UC Regents on March 20, 2003 and look forward to a response from them by April 21. For more information and to get involved: Trivalleycares, Antiwarnetwork.


Question(s) related to this article:

Shall America be held to the same standards as Iraq?, If so, what more can be done about it?

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Latest reader comment:

With regard to the question of Who Will Disarm America, did readers see the Bill Moyers show last week with guest Franklin Spinney recently retired from the Pentagon?  He used a phrase I had never heard before: the military-industrial-congressional complex.  And he explained how congressional representatives are constantly bought off by the defense industry on the excuse of providing jobs for their congressional districts, not to mention big political campaign contributions.  Some of this is on the PBS page for the Moyers programme.

It sounds like that we have to begin by disarming the US Congress if we are to get out of the terrible situation that is described by Bronrose1951 in the comment before this one.

This report was posted on March 18, 2003.