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Citizens' Inspection of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Press Release

Inspection Notification Letter to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director

The Iraq Crisis and International Law

Citizen Inspections Background

Nonviolence Guidelines

Sponsoring Groups

 
CITIZEN WEAPON INSPECTIONS

As the Bush administration tries to rally support for a preemptive attack on Iraq, debate over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction continue. One question remains in the shadows: Who will disarm America?


for a pdf flyer for this event click here

What: On Veterans Day a model citizens weapons inspection team will demand United Nations inspections of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), a U.S. facility involved in the research, design, development and testing of weapons of mass destruction. You can be part of a delegation to rally in support of international weapons inspections.

When and Where: On Monday, November 11, 2002 (Veteran's Day), we will gather at 11:45 am on the corner of East Ave. and Vasco Rd. (take Vasco Rd. off of I-580 and go South about 2 miles), and proceed to the West Gate of Livermore Lab on Vasco Rd. The delegation will arrive at the West Gate of Livermore Lab at noon.

Who: Student groups, peace, social justice, and environmental groups and any peace loving, interested people are invited. To be included in the program you must form a delegation and RSVP to Tara (925) 443-7148 or taradorabji@yahoo.com.

Heads of delegations will be given 1-2 minutes in the program to describe their group and why they believe these inspections are important. Delegations may also choose to create a symbolic item from their group and attempt to present it to the Lab. Delegations must RSVP. Please include the number of people in your group and tell us if your delegation would like to co-sponsor ($50-$100) or endorse ($25) the event.

Bring/Wear: Badges, banners, clipboards, cameras, weapons inspector jackets (light blue preferred), uniforms (if you are in the military), robes (if you are in a religious order), or other appropriate props and apparel. Call to find out about availability of badges and weapons inspector jackets.

All participants in this action are asked to abide by NONVIOLENCE GUIDELINES (see below).

Questions? Contact Tri-Valley CAREs (925) 443-7148, Western States Legal Foundation (510) 839-5877, or Livermore Conversion Project (510) 663-8065, California Peace Action (510) 849-2272.

BACKGROUND


The US Congress has given the Bush Administration the authority to pursue an all out war in Iraq. In passing the resolution, members of Congress ignored overwhelming input from their constituents demanding that the US not invade Iraq, making a mockery of our democracy. We as people are united in a strong desire to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The Bush Administration is pushing to invade Iraq regardless of UN weapons inspections. We support the return of inspectors to Iraq, and we call for all states either known or suspected of having nuclear weapons to accept inspections of their own facilities on the same terms. This includes the United States. The design, testing, development and use of weapons of mass destruction is prohibited under International Law. No nation should be allowed to hide its weapons programs from full and open inspection by the United Nations.

The University of California manages the United States' two principal nuclear weapons labs Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Allowing weapons inspections would promote international peace, transparency, democracy and equality. The University of California claims to stand for democratic principles, academic openness, freedom of expression and positive contributions to human well being. We call on the University to live up to these claims, and to support our demand for international weapons inspectors at LLNL and LANL.

Treaties are the "supreme law of the land" under Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution. The United Nations Charter is the highest treaty in the world. The United States is a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which became law in 1970. Article VI states: "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." In 1996 the International Court of Justice, the highest court in the world on questions of international law, issued an authoritative interpretation of Article VI. The judges unanimously concluded that: "there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and BRING TO A CONCLUSION negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all aspects under strict and effective international control."

There is ample evidence, which indicates that the U.S. is in fact continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction. For example:

Congress has allocated $15 million dollars to study the development of the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator. Scientists at Los Alamos will study "modifications" on the B-61 bomb. Scientists at Livermore Lab will explore strengthening the B-83 hydrogen bomb to withstand high-speed collisions burrowing into the ground.

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a mega-laser under construction at Livermore Lab. NIF weapons effect experiments, including "laser/fireball" tests, may be used in connection with the development of low-yield nuclear weapons and missile defense concepts.

Both Livermore Lab and Los Alamos are attempting to obtain Biosafety Level 3 permits, which would allow the labs to work with live strains of anthrax, bubonic plague and other deadly agents. Livermore Lab plans to aerosolize these agents and perform rodent "challenge" tests on live animals. The proposed facility will be in close proximity to a fermenter capable of producing large amounts of these agents. Given the overwhelming evidence we call on the US government to admit international weapons inspectors into the Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories.

Nuclear weapons, which represent the ultimate form of violence, can not and should not be eliminated through the use of force. They must be abolished through a multilateral negotiating process. We call upon our government to renew its commitments to the United Nations Charter and the values it embodies by undertaking positive, diplomatic approaches to conflict resolution, by renouncing the threat, use or possession of nuclear weapons, and by embracing a universal, nondiscriminatory compliance regime.

NONVIOLENCE GUIDELINES

From the Livermore Conversion Project:

As participants we agree to abide by the following nonviolent discipline in all our actions:

We will harbor no anger but suffer the anger of the opponent*

We will refuse to return the assault of the opponent.

We will refrain from insults and inappropriate language.

We will protect opponents from insults or attacks.

If arrested we will not resist. Nor will we go limp.

If arrested we will behave in an exemplary manner. We will not evade the legal consequences of our actions.

Our attitude as conveyed through words, symbols and actions will be one of openness, friendliness and respect toward all other people we encounter including Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory Security officers and workers.

We will not damage any property.

We will not bring or use any drugs or alcohol.

We will not run or use any threatening motions.

We will carry no weapons.

Without passing judgment on its use, we will not engage in symbolic blood pouring.

Plans for our activities are shared with the authorities.

As members of the nonviolent demonstration, we will follow the directions of the designated coordinators. In the event of a serious disagreement, we will remove ourselves from the action.

*The term opponent is borrowed from Gandhi and is meant to indicate one with whom one is in opposition but whom one does not consider an enemy.

Sponsors: Tri-Valley CAREs (925) 443-7148 www.trivalleycares.org
Western States Legal Foundation (510) 839-5877 www.wslfweb.org
CA Peace Action (510) 849-2272 www.californiapeaceaction.org
Livermore Conversion Project (510) 663-8065

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