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Dear Friends,

State sanctioned and violence against BIPOC communities is all over the news. While the violence against black communities is especially lethal in the US, racism doesn't stop at borders. There is anti-racism work to do in many other places, including in the Netherlands.

Nuclear weapons are an expression of ultimate violence. Throughout history they've been tested on communities perceived to have less political power- from Aboriginals to the Kazakhs to the Shoshone. Nuclear weapons prop up systems of inequality and injustice.

In some places, like the Netherlands, special privileges are associated with maintaining the ability to drop nuclear bombs. But is this really the case? The National Security Archive at George Washington University shared a document from 1961 showing that in the 1960s the Dutch government had no say in the decision of whether or not to use the nuclear weapons stationed on Dutch soil. Now, the Dutch government claims that the willingness to violate international humanitarian law and use nuclear weapons grants special access and influence in the US halls of power. If that is the case, perhaps the US would not have announced that it will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty or there wouldn't be Washington Post reports that the Trump administration is considering resuming nuclear testing. If the Dutch really do have influence in the US by hosting nuclear bombs, then some serious questions need to be asked about Dutch complicity in dismantling the international arms control architecture. 

The myths that prop up opressive power structures need to be dismantled. That work starts at home. When it comes to understanding and dismantling systemic racism- listening, and believing, the lived experiences of others is just the first step. Learning and examining one's own role in supporting systems of injustice and inequality comes next. That's not easy work, but it's necessary. Just as its necessary for the Dutch government to reject nuclear weapons once and for all and join the ban treaty. 

If not now, when? If not us, who? 

In solidarity, 
Susi, Maaike & Remco

US could unilaterally decide to use nukes from Volkel airbase
A formerly top secret  document  from 1961 recently released by the National Security Archive, shows the US could unilaterally decide to use its nuclear weapons stationed in the Netherlands. Read more here. 
 
The US withdraws from yet another treaty
The US is giving notice that in six months it will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty. Susi wrote a blog about it and argues that it might be time for (especially) European Leaders to take care of what matters, and stop defending the bad behaviours of so called 'allies'. Read her blog here. 

 

NPT at 50- some perspectives

This year it is the 50th anniversary of the NPT. A group of states issued a joint communique to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the NPT, and 89 civil society organizations joined a call for bold action as the Review Conference is delayed due to the global pandemic. Read more. 

 
Did you know?

Belize is the seventh Caribbean (CARICOM) state to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 37 states in total have now ratified the ban treaty. Only 13 more to go before the treaty enters into force!
 

Call for Applications: ICAN-Hiroshima Academy 

Remco with A-bomb survivor Keiko Ogura 
''Participating in the ICAN-Hiroshima Academy on nuclear weapons and global security was an inspiring and extremely informative experience for me. I learned a lot about (the consequences of) nuclear weapons.''

That is how Remco looks back at his participation in the ICAN-Hiroshima Academy last August. Together with young people from all over the world he participated in a 10-day program during which he talked with A-bomb survivors (see picture), participated in the commemorations on August 6th, spoke with diplomats and learned a lot about nuclear weapons and disarmament. 

Are you 25 years or younger and eager to learn more about nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament?! Check the ICAN-Hiroshima Academy for more details and to apply! Click here.

Nuclear-armed states spend $72.9 billion on nuclear weapons in 2019

72,900,000,000 dollars. That is how much nuclear-armed states spent on nuclear weapons in 2019, according to new reasearch by ICAN. It is an insane number, more than 138,000 per minute. Read more about the research.  
 
Resource: Dutch parliament on nuclear disarmament
The Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) has discussed and debated nuclear weapons many times. On our website you can find an overview of nuclear weapons related motions (including English translations) adopted since 2010. Click here for the overview.

#BlackLivesMatter: Some resources 

Say their names
We are in solidarity with those demanding accountability and an end to state sanctioned violence against Black people. Anti-racism work needs to happen everywhere. We are not experts, and these resources are not exhaustive, but we cannot remain silent, and everyone can start somewhere.
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