by Lynn Sableman
The Women’s March this year was on the same day as the Entry Into Force Day of the Treaty on the Prohibition Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). This was the second year of the Bomb Ban, now nuclear weapons are illegal in International Law. This was a cold Sunday at the Worlds Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. The crowd size was about 70 sign bearing Reproductive Justice Activists. The speakers were elected officials from the city and Dr. Love Holt an organizer for the cause. The crowd was enthralled. There was call and response. Instead of a March they danced!
I found the organizer was warm and welcoming about having the Nuclear Weapons Ban pop up join the Abortion Ban protest. League of Women Voters had a table and so did the Uhuru Solidarity Movement. I felt there was a connection between denying a woman freedom of choice and nuclear weapons (catastrophic death and destruction that we didn’t vote ). Are these a vestige of colonialism?
The speakers mentioned stories of the consequences of denying healthcare and how this will hit the Black and Latina community’s hardest.
The WILPF Disarm/ End Wars committee had sent handouts with QR codes that take you to an online petition to President Biden and to your senators requesting they sign and ratify the TPNW. I handed out 40.
The pop up attracted some good interest. People took pictures of the Quilts, “32 Broken Arrows” and “Nuclear War Plan”. There was interest in the cube suspended from a structure , “The Daily Gamble” . When a lot of interest was shone I handed out the current Peace and Freedom magazine or business cards with out Website and contact info. This was the best exposure so far.
It was the fourth time the folk art pop up “Nuclear in Abolition” exhibit was set up since fall. Previously, with the help of Veterans For Peace and five members of Conversations for Political Change and World Community Center’s Mike Baldwin and and Margaret Phillips social justice activists the demonstration in front of the Eagleton Building, our senators home offices, elicited a few car horn beeps of approval. This was to commemorate the nuclear horror of the Cuban Missile Crisis 60 years ago.
The next exhibit was at the Ethical Society , thanks to Joyce Best. The Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Sail Boat was navigating the Mississippi River. Back from the Brink nuclear threat reduction measures were explained and the Veterans for Peace received the Mayors Award naming this day to be the Veterans for Peace Day of Nuclear Abolition. Twenty of us went to Olympia Taverna, a local restaurant, afterwards.
The StLouis Oasis at Center of Clayton was another opportunity as a UMSL professor gave the most informative lecture on StLouis history of radiation contamination. She would be a great speaker for us to have come give a presentation to our peace community.