May 7 webinar Warheads to Windmills Breakout session: Warfare to Windmills – Jonathan King

The Jobs with Peace campaign at the Institute for People’s Engagement and other campaigns provide good examples of nuclear weapons opponents working with actual working people like nurses. The emphasis is economic: we’ll support nurses in your efforts if you’ll support our fight against nukes.

The US has a Department of Energy. If it had been working on warfare to windmills, much could have been accomplished but what they’ve focused on is nuclear weapons. The most powerful computer in country is at the national lab where it focuses on monitoring nuke weapons.

Where do we find constituencies where people can understand the issues. There’s no activist organization working on solar, windmills, etc. that we can appeal to. It’s easier to work with people in public health because it has a number of organizations. There are no such orgs for solar and wind although a few people recognize the issues—e.g., people in public transit; we can work with them on “subways not submarines.” Subway workers are very receptive. We should bring in people with substantive memberships e.g. public transit workers; reach out to people already in crisis.

An example: Cambridge public housing crisis. Why don’t we have enough housing; relevance of people vs pentagon. Helpful to reach out to people already organized around an issue.

Another example: public education, with its Mass Teacher’s Association and AFT which have newsletters; invest in “minds not missiles”; most people think education is funded by local taxes but a lot of money from the feds;  but hard to make case for cutting pentagon budget with them.

June 24 warheads to windmills webinar coming next.

Notetaker: Kathie Malley-Morrison