November 2006

Disarmament& Nuclear weapons--U.S.& Social movements and protest27 Nov 2006 02:59 pm

Michael Spies

On Thursday, November 16, student activists from the Coalition to Demilitarize the University of California (UC) shut down a Board of Regents committee meeting, which was set to discuss issues related to the University’s management of two U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories: Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

According to the UCLA based Daily Bruin, the student coalition acted to shut down the meeting after “they were cut off during the morning’s public comment period.” Members of the Coalition included students and alumni from UC campuses in Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, and community members from the Santa Barbara based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. The Coalition was able to make a statement during the public session detailing its demands:

  1. that the University of California Board of Regents sever their ties with the nuclear weapons laboratories at Livermore and Los Alamos;
  2. that the Regents issue a public statement in opposition to the insanity of US nuclear weapons policy, and
  3. that the Regents lobby the federal government, in the interest of true national security, to build a new, federally-funded sustainable energy research laboratory, with said funding to be transferred from the budgets of the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore laboratories. Any serious national research effort toward sustainability must be fully autonomous from militarized institutions like the weapons labs.

Later, as the Department of Energy (DOE) Lab Oversight Committee of the UC Regents was set to convene, nine members of the Coalition “adjourned” the meeting by sitting on the floor, chanting and linking arms. As the UCLA police intervened to “disperse” the protest, the regents filed out of the meeting room, thus conceding the day to the protesters.

The nine members of the Coalition were arrested and, one by one, dragged from the meeting room. They vowed to be back and to not let the regents meet until the University met their demands.

Video clips of the protest are available on YouTube (part one, part two, part three, part four, part five).

Additional coverage of the protest and the full Coalition statement is available on Indymedia here.

For more information about military spending at universities see: Military Spending: Researching Impacts on Your Campus or Community

Nuclear weapons--global& Strategic weapons and space10 Nov 2006 07:55 am

John Burroughs

Today an item in the New York Times World Briefing said, in its entirety:

France successfully fired its new submarine-launched long-range M51 missile over the Atlantic in its first experimental test flight, the Defense Ministry said. The missile is designed to carry six thermonuclear warheads and has a range of up to 6,000 miles.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a Security Council resolution condemning the test as jeopardizing international peace and security. That was the Council’s response to the July missile test by North Korea. But as Michael Spies blogged here regarding a subsequent U.S. missile test, the United States, France, and other permanent members of the Council apply different standards (if any) to themselves.