MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 7, 2017) — Twin Cities-based Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) is one of 25 U.S. organizations that are partners in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on Oct. 6.
There are 456 partner groups in ICAN in 101 countries around the world working to abolish nuclear weapons. ICAN was given the award for its international advocacy in helping to bring about the historic United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
In its Nobel acceptance speech, ICAN credited grassroots participation of activists like those in WAMM with recognition of “the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons…By harnessing the power of the people, we have worked to bring an end to the most destructive weapons ever created — the only weapon that poses an existential threat to all humanity.”
Nuclear weapons were a focus of WAMM when it was founded in 1982. Today, WAMM is among the ICAN’s partner organizations that have been acting in support of international efforts to negotiate a legally binding treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
In the fall of 2016, WAMM initiated its Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons and has since obtained 7,500 signatures on a petition to be presented to the ten members of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation later this month and has sent hundreds of postcards from individuals to U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar asking them to publicly support the treaty. The WAMM campaign has also held discussions and talks, shown films, distributed fact sheets and literature at community venues and churches, and held picket signs opposing nuclear weapons at the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge Vigil on Wednesdays.
“As citizens of this nation, the only nation to have used nuclear weapons on another nation’s population, we believe that we have a special responsibility to speak out and act to ensure that these weapons are never used again,” said Marie Braun, a WAMM member who initiated the WAMM Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons. “While the nuclear nations have stated that they will not sign the treaty, the hope is that a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons will strengthen the global norm against their use and possession and will establish a powerful new international legal standard, stigmatizing nuclear weapons and compelling nations to take action on disarmament.”
WAMM is sponsoring its 33rd Annual Silent Auction on Sunday, Oct. 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. at St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue South in Minneapolis.