2017 Annual Peace Conference

Saturday, October 29 • Trinity United Methodist Church in Lincoln

The catastrophic hurricanes that just pummeled Texas and Florida have given us an early peek at what climate change holds in store for our world. Back-to-back Category 4 landfalls with 130-mile winds and record precipitation (Houston got four feet of rain) should alert even the most skeptical that there’s something unusual going on with the weather. The stable climate we’ve taken for granted for centuries is changing before our eyes and shifting under our very feet. It’s time accordingly we take a long, hard look at our behavior as a species and start thinking about how we’re going to adapt to this harsher, more dangerous future.

The 2017 Annual Peace Conference Saturday, October 7 in Lincoln at Trinity United Methodist Church will give Nebraskans an opportunity to consider these matters in depth with a ‘double-header’ keynote presentation by two leading activists who are dedicating their lives to the protection of our food and water.

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NFP Statement on Thermonuclear Weapons in North Korea

by Paul A Olson and the State Board of Nebraskans for Peace

The recent testing of a thermonuclear warhead by North Korea, accompanied by its earlier testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles, is a matter of concern to Nebraskans for Peace. Some time ago we, together with the national organization PeaceAction, called for a new nuclear freeze accompanied by later systematic reductions in the number of nuclear weapons available to all powers:

We need a new Nuclear Freeze and then systematic reductions with a protocol for controlling fissionable materials. Our suggestion would be that the campaign advocate for gradual reductions: first of 25% or more (which has at least been proposed for US/Russian bilateral reductions to follow-up the New START agreement), then of 50%, then of 75%, and finally of 95% both in nuclear warheads and in fissionable materials. This would require the creation of infrastructure for monitoring and verifying compliance with agreed reductions.

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NOT IN MY BACKYARD

by Sally Herrin

Not in my backyard. This expression signifies opposition by stakeholders to local habitation for something valuable, even necessary, but deemed unpleasant, threatening, even dangerous. Many residential neighborhoods, for example, resist certain new neighbors as undesirable: group homes for people living with mental disabilities, halfway houses for addicts, teens and ex-convicts fresh from prison and, back in the day, hospices for gay men suffering from AIDS. Build it, yes, these citizens say, just not in my backyard. This reaction is so widespread and so reliable among human beings, it even has an acronym: NIMBY.

At one extreme, NIMBY creates stratified societies like the caste system in India and deeply segregated cities in much of the U.S. Yes, the blacks and the Mexicans and the poor have to live somewhere, but… I greatly suspect this reflex is very old. At its root is ‘stranger’ fear and, superstitious or not, the fear of contagion. Easier to empathize with folks who resist not just personal economic loss (If you build that recycling center here, my property value will decline), but serious threats to health and quality of life from new neighbors like large hog confinements and chicken processing plants.

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FIRE STEVE BANNON

Nebraskans for Peace calls on the White House to remove Steve Bannon, Sébastian Gorka, and any other White House staff members associated with Alt-right and neo-Nazi groups. Mr. Trump's failure to call out these groups for their promotion of hatred and violence against Jews and people of color, in Charlottesville and elsewhere, is reprehensible. These groups’ public media have taken great comfort in Trump's positions. As an organization opposed to the use of violence to solve problems, we condemn these groups’ methods and also the present administration's encouragement of violent solutions, both internally and in international situations. We cannot fight Nazism in wars on the one hand and welcome it to the White House on the other. We call on the Nebraska Congressional delegation to sponsor a resolution calling for this removal.

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It’s not just ‘Guns vs. Butter’

Does our massive military spending really make us safer?

by Kevin Martin

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is not just a disaster for addressing climate change, it is also detrimental to world peace. The Pentagon long ago determined climate change and its effects such as famine and drought help drive armed conflict—and are major factors in current wars in Africa and the Middle East.

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