Nuclear weapons are terrifying, but what can I do?

21.08.2018 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - PAX

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Nuclear weapons are terrifying, but what can I do?

Nuclear weapons are indeed the worst weapon ever created. They are designed to decimate cities. The Red Cross & the UN have said that if they’re used in a populated area, there’s no help coming[1], there’s nothing anyone can do to mitigate the damage. The only thing we can do to keep safe is make sure they’re never used.  And the only way we can make sure they’re never used is to get rid of them. All of them.

Right now, the countries that have nuclear weapons are all in the process of upgrading them[2]. To do those upgrades, a lot of countries use private contractors. Companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman or BAE Systems make key components for nuclear weapons. It’s part of the military industrial complex that Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the world about in the 1950s.

Companies want to make money. So do banks and pension funds. The difference is that banks use their client’s money to make investments, to build up a profit. That’s your money. That’s where you have power.

Banks don’t want to lose clients, so they don’t want to look bad. When we make noise about their investments in Armageddon, investments in doomsday, Banks start looking really bad.

In some countries, nuclear weapons are completely illegal, but not yet in every country. Some banks, like BNP Paribas, will use this as an excuse, saying that their investments in nuclear weapon producers are okay. But they’re not. There is a moral and ethical line on what is acceptable and what is not. Nuclear weapons are unacceptable, and its time to get the banks on board.  How can BNP Paribas say that it’s time to divest from tobacco[3] and fracking[4], yet not be divesting from nuclear weapons?

On 26 September, ICAN in conjunction with partners around the world, is calling for a global day of action targeting BNP Paribas.  We want you to take to the streets, to take to social media, to take action- to get BNP Paribas out of the nuclear weapons business.

There are lots of ways to get involved, check bnp-divest.org for more info.

And on September 26th, let’s use our power to start putting an end to the worst weapons ever created.


[1] Statement by the Red Cross at the Oslo Conference on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons.  https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/ud/vedlegg/hum/hum_malich.pdf

[2] Statement by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom at the 2017 NPT Prepcom, Vienna, Austria: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/images/documents/Disarmament-fora/npt/prepcom17/statements/3May_WILPF.pdf

[3] http://www.investmenteurope.net/regions/france/bnp-paribas-sets-roadmap-tobacco-divestment/

[4] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-11/bnp-paribas-to-halt-shale-oil-financing-in-climate-change-pledge

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