By Joyce Rothermel
The Stop Banking the Bomb Campaign (SBTB) continues its work in Pittsburgh and beyond to pressure PNC to end their $1.154 billion in loans to nuclear weapons manufacturers. The next pickets will be on Sat., Dec. 21 from 11 AM to noon at the PNC branch in Squirrel Hill, 5810 Forbes Avenue, Friday, Jan. 3 at 11:30 AM at PNC headquarters, Fifth and Wood downtown, and Sat., Jan. 18 at 11 AM in Mt. Washington, 236 Shiloh St. You are invited to join us and take a stand opposing PNC’s investments and helping to inform others about their practice.
While the Stop Banking the Bomb pickets continue twice a month, the first Friday of the month at the PNC headquarters at Wood and Fifth Avenue downtown from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM and the third Saturday at 11 AM at a local branch, we have taken on another initiative. We are seeking a resolution from City Council that will support our goals.
WHEREAS: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a not for profit association founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists to engage the public on the implications of scientific advancement, has advanced its Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight;
WHEREAS: The US has withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that constrained Iran’s nuclear program; an agreement that included several European partners;
WHEREAS: The US has announced its intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty, the 1988 agreement which called for the elimination of medium range nuclear weapons (300-3400) miles, and a factor in European stability for more than thirty years;
WHEREAS: The current administration has added to the 1.2 trillion-dollar upgrade to its nuclear arsenal it inherited from the prior administration, an action the Russians have announced their intention to match, thus ushering in a new era of unregulated nuclear arms production;
WHEREAS: Current US nuclear technology relies on artificial intelligence to determine when and where to launch nuclear weapons;
WHEREAS: We have known since 1983 that a nuclear attack precipitating nuclear winter and famine will render all life forms extinct;
WHEREAS: Daniel Ellsberg has revealed in his book, The Doomsday Machine, the US has been planning for a nuclear attack since at least 1960 on what was the Soviet Union, now Russia, and China, targeting cities with a population over 25,000;
WHEREAS: Investing in companies involved in the production of nuclear weapons supports misuse of our tax dollars and increases the risk of nuclear accident and / or war;
WHEREAS: Continuing to invest billions of dollars of dollars in weapons of mass destruction as critical human needs in our communities go unmet insults our humanity;
WHEREAS: The City of Pittsburgh is already on record recognizing the need to accelerate the reduction of nuclear weapons;
WHEREAS: The current President has threatened the use of nuclear weapons via tweet:
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: City Council go on record opposing the investment of funds in any entities involved in the production of nuclear weapons, as well as the upgrade of nuclear weapons from the city’s retirement funds, or any other city related funds.;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: City projects include language in all contractual agreements with public or private concerns that urge said concerns to either refrain from investing in, or to divest from nuclear weapons manufacturers;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: City Council publicize and circulate this resolution widely, as the resolve of council.
If you live in the city and support this effort, please let us know. Or better yet, discuss the issue with your City Council member, expressing your concern and urging them to endorse the resolution. You can reach us through the Thomas Merton Center, 412-361-3022.
The Stop Banking the Bomb (SBTB) campaign is a grassroots effort consisting of committed activists in the Pittsburgh region and beyond who believe investments in the manufacture of nuclear weapons represent a significant threat to our shared humanity. The SBTB campaign demands that PNC divest of these financial commitments and adopt a corporate policy to not loan money to corporations involved in the manufacture or sale of nuclear weapons.
Joyce Rothermel is on the coordinating committee of the Stop Banking the Bomb Campaign
NewPeople Newspaper VOL. 40 No. 10. December/January, 2019/2020. All rights reserved.