Newsletter of the Campaign for International

Co-operation and Disarmament
ABN 61 393 643 980
Mail: Box 66 Trades Hall
Carlton South Vic 3053

9663 3677

March - May 2016

A Trillion Dollars for Nuclear Weapons –
Dangerous & Costly in So Many Ways
Call For: Global Days of Action on Nuclear Weapons Spending April 16-18, 2016
Seventy years after the U.S. devastated Hiroshima
and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, and 25 years after the
end of the Cold War, the world still teeters on the brink of
nuclear catastrophe. In addition to the rising military tensions with Russia and China, former Secretary of Defense
William Perry is warning that the U.S. nuclear weapons
modernization program makes nuclear war more likely than
during the Cold War.
The detonation of even one nuclear weapon can kill
millions of people, which explains why the International
Commission of the Red Cross advocates the complete
elimination of nuclear weapons. A study initiated by Physicians for Social Responsibility warn that an exchange of 50
– 100 of the worlds more than 15,000 nuclear weapons
could lead to the deaths of up to two billion people from
the resulting global famine. And from ISIS to Al Qaeda and economic insecurity to climate
change, nuclear weapons do nothing to protect us from the real threats we face.
Yet instead of pursuing negotiations for
worldwide abolition of nuclear weapons, the
US is planning a total overhaul of its nuclear
weapons program, including new generations
of nuclear warheads, bombers, land-based
missiles, air-launched missiles and
submarines. The projected price tag? About
$1 trillion over the next thirty years, or an
average of $30 billion a year until the middle
of the 21st century!
Spending for
modernization is obscene, legal but
criminal. If even a tenth of the military’s
7,200 nuclear weapons were used, the result
would be nuclear winter, ending all life as we

know it. As the survivors of the Hiroshima
and Nagasaki A-bombings tell us “Human
beings and nuclear weapons cannot
coexist.” The Pentagon and its political allies
tell us that U.S. warheads need to be
refurbished, and the delivery systems needed
to launch them (missiles, bombers and
submarines) need to be updated and
Yet, even if we accept the flawed logics of
deterrence and mutual assured destruction
(MAD,) this spending is a boondoggle, a
windfall for the military-industrial complex. In
fact, under the Pentagon’s stockpile
stewardship program, all non-nuclear

components of these weapons are checked
and replaced as needed. And the Pentagon’s
JASON project reports that the nuclear
components will remain stable for at least
50-60 years!
Under pressure from the militaryindustrial-Congressional complex, including
the nuclear weapons laboratories, wasteful
an d
dan ge r ou s
n u cl e ar
we apons
modernization is moving forward, diverting
our limited financial resources from
addressing the needs of the hungry, the
homeless, and those who can’t afford health
care. A quarter of the projected spending for
modernization could provide free college
education, for all who are qualified in
America, for a decade. Spending to contain
and reverse climate change and to repair the
nation’s crumbling infrastructure would meet
essential needs while creating jobs and
providing greater economic opportunity and
What’s being modernized?



Despite President Obama’s pledge not to
create new nuclear weapons, beginning
with the B61-12 warhead, this is precisely
what is happening. As former Secretary
of Defense William Perry has testified,
the ability to increase or decrease the
devastating power of the new B61 makes
the weapons more usable, thus
increasing the likelihood that nuclear
wars will actually be fought
New generations nuclear-armed missiles,
submarines and bombers are being
designed and constructed for nuclear
warfighting. Estimates include:
 $120 billion for new intercontinental
ballistic missiles
 $102 billion for Ohio class submarines
to carry and launch Trident missiles
 $100 billion for the B-22 bomber to
succeed the B-2 bomber
 $270 billion to maintain the existing
nuclear triad: bombers, missiles &
And from Oak Ridge in Tennessee to
Kansas City and Los Alamos, new
weapons facilities are being built for the
design and production of the nuclear
arsenal and to underwrite the training of
a new generation of nuclear weaponeers.

In addition to the risk of nuclear
annihilation and the failure to fund essential
human needs, there is an additional personal
cost: about $3,125 per person or $12,500 for
a family of four. In Massachusetts this
amounts to more than $20 billion, enough to
rebuild the MBTA and $13 billion left over for
housing, schooling, and fixing the roads,
bridges and election financing.
Don’t mourn. Organize!
Global Days of Action April 5-18
GDAMS- The Global Days of Action on
Military Spending
(GDAMS) are a
time when people
across the world
join together in
actions to focus
attention on the
true costs of military spending and the
urgent need for new priorities.

Learn the Law Against War
Frank Goetz, March 25, 2016
I’m a slow learner. It took me 80 years
to learn about the Kellogg-Briand Pact and
another five to visit this wonderful site. But here I am with an
observation and an opportunity. Antiwar
activists do not realize the potential of the
Kellogg-Briand Pact to change the deepseated war culture of America. It’s a simple
fact that the law is on our side but (virtually)
nobody knows it exists.
Ever since Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
Kathy Kelly handed me David Swanson’s
book, When the World Outlawed War, I’ve
been intrigued by the efforts of small groups
of peace activists all over the world to
demand that their leaders sign and ratify this
treaty. Now 62 counties have outlawed war
and the threat of war as an instrument of
policy. But obviously it had little effect. Why?
Most people are totally unaware of the
law against war. Who’s responsible for that?
I’ll return to this question later.
From my experience the first thing
people do when hearing about it (since KBP
rarely appears in print) they Google Kellogg-

Briand Pact. And up to a couple of months
Syria – Vienna-Geneva Peace
ago they would find in Wikipedia an abstract
of KBP describing it in the past tense! First
By Peter Koenig on November 9, 2015
impressions had been doing their part in
Why a foreign imposed transition?
ascribing the pact to the dustbin of history.
Washington has been quite successful in its
My editing (so far) has been accepted and
wicked embrace of Syria over the last few
Kellogg-Briand Pact is now more accurately
weeks. Just imagine, Kerry in a propagandapresented in the present tense. After all, it is
painting the Vienna Peace Conference as a
the supreme law of the land. Ha Ha.
gesture of goodwill. The results however are
Why don’t we take it seriously? I believe
inconclusive, but on to more talks in Geneva;
that those in power, starting probably with
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, need us to
no longer ‘Assad must go’, but rather the
believe that war is necessary; we need to be
concession that “Assad is going to be part of
President’s report CICD AGM held 1/12/2015
interests. And
Comrades and friends in the near future we will see
s o
a n y
body.” – Why
suggestion of
 Attacks on the working conditions of working people
treating others
assoi m p o s e d
the way we
would like to
 Less secure Jobs.
be treated is
seems to have
 Attacks on the people’s rights to social security beneunrealistic.
fits and assistance.
 Ever increasing corporate wealth.
r e al i ze
th e
 An increasing gap between rich and poor.
i m m e n s e
fait accompli.
 Attempts to further involve Australia in the Nuclear
power of the
Back to the
fuel cycle, including a place to dump nuclear waste.
m i l i t a r y Future and
industrial A real possibility of nuclear conflict involving Russia
Syria .
congressionaland The Peoples Republic of China.
media complex
However with all these issues confronting us it confirms
man age d
but may be
my belief that we need to educate, organise and seek alunaware of its
subtle influence
odds to pull
off a new
the period ahead.
the law.
I wish you and your
“Syria Peace
loved ones a happy
Talks ”
activists should
V i e n n a
be aware of
this. However,
John Speight
as a Servant
bloodshed of
Leader of the
the civil war. So the story goes. Participating
West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition,
in this international charade were the U.S.,
I continue to be amazed by the number of
peacemakers I encounter who have never
UK, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq,
heard of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. If we are
UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon,
ignorant of the law against war, we probably
Jordan, the European Union, France, Italy,
don’t have to look any further for why it
Germany and the United Nations. Iran was
remains as an artefact rather than a tool.
invited by Russia against the objections of
What can be done?
MAR — APR 2016

CICD Newsletter

Page 3 / 8

Amazingly, though, the country whose
future was supposedly discussed, Syria, was
absent. Not invited. – How can that be? How
can an international conference discuss the
fate of a country which is not even invited to
participate? – A slap in the face of
democracy, of human rights, of any
sovereign nation – a slap in the face of any
common sense. That only shows our world
order has lost all sense of common sense.
The UN was asked to preside over the event,
so it will appear legitimate. Of course we
know the UN voice is a no-voice it’s just
parroting the Big Dictator’s orders.
These illustrious ministers and other
dignitaries just agreed
to disagree. They
thought it was the
UN’s job to bring the
government and its
opposition to the same
‘inclusive and credible’
process leading to a
new constitution, new
elections and a ‘transition government’, but
disagreed about Bashar Assad’s future. – As
Vladimir Putin repeatedly pointed out – the
future of Syria, and of any other nation
around the globe for that matter, is to be
decided solely by the people of the country
concerned, in this case Syria.
Why this farce at all? Washington hopes
for a cease fire as an interim solution making
the Russian’s stop fighting so that the
Master, NATO and their puppets may
regroup and think up (sic) new strategies
and of course, so that ISIL / Daesh can
breathe a breath of fresh air and be
resupplied. Russia will not buy it. The ‘Peace
Talks’ may drag on for years, as they did
with Iran for the nuclear talks on a makebelieve nuclear threat that never was. The
result for Syria may become a shabby
agreement that can be broken any time at
the whim and will of the US global

Israel - Map Censorship
By Lawrence Davidson March 21, 2016
"Information Clearing House"
What is the difference between a
textbook publisher giving into pressure from
Christian fundamentalists seeking to censor
the teaching of evolution, and a publisher
giving in to Zionists seeking to censor
awareness of the ethnic cleansing of
Palestine? Neither phenomenon is a matter
of opinion or perspective. One act of
censorship denies facts established by
scientific research. The other denies the
documented violation of international law
and multiple UN resolutions. So the answer
to the question just
asked is: there is no
In early March 2016
executives at McGrawHill took the extreme
step of withdrawing
from the market a
published text, Global

Politics: Engaging a
Complex World, and
then proceeded to destroy all the remaining
books held in inventory. (Did they burn
them?) Global Politics, which had been on
the market since 2012, was a text designed
by its authors to “offer students a number of
lenses through which to view the world
around them.” Why did McGraw-Hill do this?
Apparently the book was obliterated (this
seems to be an accurate description of the
publisher’s actions) because, like a biology
text that describes the established facts of
evolution, Global Politics offered a “lens to
view the world” that was judged
blasphemous by a powerful, influential and
ideologically driven element of the
community. Of course, that is not how
McGraw-Hill rationalised its action. Instead,
the publisher claimed that a serious
inaccuracy in the text was belatedly
discovered. This took the form of a series of
four maps that show “Palestinian loss of land
from 1946 to 2000.”

The maps in question are not new or
novel. Nor are they historically inaccurate,
despite Zionists’ claims to the contrary. They
can be seen individually and in different
forms on websites of the BBC and
Mondoweiss and are published in a number
of history books, such as Mark Tessler’s wellreceived A History of the Israeli-Palestinian
Conflict. Perhaps what the Zionists can’t
abide is lining up the maps together in
chronological order.
In truth, the objections reported to have
been used by those who pressured McGrawHill are historically perverse – the sort of
grasping at straws that reflects a biased and
strained rewriting of history. For instance, an
objection was made to the labelling of public
land in pre-1948 Palestine as “Palestinian”.
Why? Because the Zionist claim is that
Palestine before 1948 was a British mandate
and so the land was British and not
Palestinian. As their argument goes, “no one
called the Arabs [of this area] Palestinians.”
Of course, prior to 1948, no one called the
East European Jews pouring in at this time
according to
those taking
these maps
to task, the
West Bank
at this time
and so it too
brought up the fact that in September of
1922 the British had divided Palestine in two
in order to artificially create what is now
Jordan. The period after World War I was
one of territorial transition, however, in
Palestine, the one constant was the
persistent presence of the Arab Palestinians.
MAR — APR 2016

CICD Newsletter

Our Right To Protest The Wrong
doings Done By Our Government
Written By: Meko Haze 26/1/2016
For over 30-years, one woman stood
guard over one of our nation’s most
protected treasures.
Concepcion “Connie” Picciotto was
considered to be strange by some. But what
serious activist doesn’t teeter on the edge of
being deemed crazy by those looking in?
Picciotto might say the same about those
who choose not to stand for our rights.
For decades Picciotto guarded an
elementary structure outside the White
House and it has been there since 1981.
Some may see it as just that, but others saw
it as something more. Something that words
alone will never be able to properly explain.
A vigil that activists from around the world
have stood at throughout the years.
Picciotto stood for something many
activists strive for, dedication to her cause.
We live in a time where protests are
becoming a part of everyday life around the
country. This
has created a
true activists
that treat it
as a fad.
Nothing more
oppor tu n i ty
to get an
new profile
Facebook and the right to brag to their
Picciotto was a true activist, nobody can
argue that statement. The historic vigil was
officially started on June 3, 1981. Picciotto
joined William Thomas, who was positioned
outside the White House Gates with a sign
Page 5 / 8

that stated, “Wanted — Wisdom and
protests and sit ins from the 60’s were long
gone and it would still be over twenty years
before the occupy movement would really
Picciotto was originally an embassy
begin. But neither one wanted to be part of a
secretary in New York. She had came to DC
bigger movement. Instead, they wished to
in an attempt to receive help with a family
start it. If they could even
crisis she was undergoing.
change a few minds visiting
When she met Thomas, she
the nation’s capitol then they
was working as a nanny for
had accomplished their
a family in the area. Thomas
was a wanderer and selfdescribed philosopher. He
The two survived on the
had held jobs in New York
streets. Their money, clothes
and New Jersey before
and food mainly came from
landing in DC.
donations. They would bathe
Concepcion Picciotto on
Picciotto sat with
15 June 2010 at the White House.
Employees of nearby fast
Thomas outside the White
food restaurants would give
House, she said she could
the two their leftovers. They
see he was sincere in what
normally slept in the park.
he was doing. Within hours
of the two sitting together
In 1984 the two became a
that fateful day, both were
trio, when an administrative
arrested. The charge was
assistant for the National
camping in Lafayette Square. Upon their
Wildlife Federation, Ellen Benjamin, met
release, Thomas suggested the two should
Picciotto and Thomas.
become a team and that was exactly what
Three weeks after meeting them,
Benjamin quit her job and joined the vigil.
Picciotto adopted many of the beliefs
Three weeks after that, Benjamin and
that Thomas held dear. Together, they stood
Thomas were married.
for pro-peace. The two decided to make a
As the years went on, so did the
stand against anti-nuclear proliferation and
challenges the trio faced. This included
anti-government deception. A crusade they
arrests, court dates and stays in jail. At one
dedicated their lives to, by planting
point Benjamin and Thomas had to serve 90
themselves across the street from the most
days in jail. Picciotto guarded the vigil for the
important building in the country. They were
90 days they were imprisoned.
armed with pamphlets and their voices. Their
Thomas and Benjamin began the
targets were the hundreds of thousands who
Proposition One Campaign. The campaign
came to visit the White House on a daily
was an embodiment of their anti-nuclear
initiative fueled by the ultimate goal of global
Every day the two were at the vigil.
During bad weather they would take refuge
The campaign managed to have a ballot
under their makeshift umbrella covering, as
initiative passed by District voters, following
tents were not allowed to be placed in the
a petition they began in 1993. The District’s
area. From freezing cold, to blazing heat,
congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes
during rains where they would get totally
Norton noticed what the trio had done.
drenched, Picciotto and Thomas were out
Norton began working with activists to draft
there spreading their message of peace.
up a nuclear disarmament and conversion
There presence was an odd placement in
act. Versions of this act has been introduced
the country’s timeline. The days of major
to Congress in ten different sessions. While

John Ellis on Pete Seeger
While living in New York City in 1996 I attended the 75th birthday celebration of Fr Daniel Berrigan, a radical Catholic Action priest. He and his brother Fr Phillip came to prominence during
the American war in Vietnam and later in other struggles for justice and peace.
An added incentive to attend the function was that Pete Seeger would be singing. Some of
my images of the event have been shown at some of my exhibitions.
In 1966 Pete and his wife Toshi decided to do something about the industrial waste being
poured into the heavily-polluted Hudson River. They formed an organisation called Clearwater
and started monitoring the sources of the pollution. Over the years they were successful in
stopping much of the waste matter, in particular PCBs which were coming from a General
Electrics plant upriver. At the time, Clearwater was still campaigning against a nuclear power
plant at Indian Point just 24 miles upstream from New York City.
I joined Clearwater as a volunteer on another of their sailing boats, the Mystic Whaler. They
had a school’s program called ‘Classroom of the Waves’ and have two sailings a day.
My last connection with Clearwater was attending their annual festival held in Westchester
County, New York. It was here that I took photos of Ronnie
Gilbert and Tom Paxton, both of whom were given receptions
by Arts Action for Peace at Marie and Terry Goonan’s house in
Alphington in the 1980s.
As the Clearwater Singers strolled around the festival I joined
in singing with them as I knew some of their songs.
Pete features in a number of my photograph collections.

John Ellis
the legislation has never moved to the floor
and the world continues to move closer
towards the possibility of nuclear destruction,
that does not undermine what the trio was
able to start on the streets in front of the
White House.
The trio remained on the streets until
1999, when Thomas’ mother died. He
received an inheritance of $90,000. He first
wanted to give it away and even considered
burning the money to make a statement
against materialism. But Benjamin was able
to persuade him to buy a house near the
area. The house would end up taking six
long years to fix up, but when all was said
and done, “Peace House” was created.
Peace House became more than just a
home for the the trio. It became a place for
all traveling activists to find refuge. Activists
would stay for days, even months and help
MAR — APR 2016

CICD Newsletter

(3 May 2009)
with upkeep of the property. By this point,
with the help of others, watching over the
vigil that stood across the street from the
White House was divided into shifts.
In January of 2009, as Thomas stood in
the kitchen of Peace House talking with
Picciotti and a friend, he suddenly grabbed
his chest and fell to the floor. The two tried
performing CPR as they waited for the
ambulance to arrive, but it was too late.
Thomas had passed away. The very next
day, Picciotti was guarding the vigil, just as
her deceased partner would have wanted.
In 2011 and 2012, Picciotti’s presence
had dwindled down. This followed an
accident where she was struck by a cab. At
77, for the first time in thirty years, Picciotti
was forced to rely on other activists to guard
the vigil her and Thomas had started
decades prior.
Page 7 / 8

IPAN 2016 Conference - Alice Springs

National Peace and Anti-War Gathering
Alice Springs October 2016
Public Forum and IPAN National Conference
A critique of the Australia-US alliance and a call for
a more Independent and Peaceful Australia.
Hear experienced speakers and engage with others as
part of building a national movement
IPAN National Conference
Pine Gap: Serving US
Militarism for 50 years
Time for Independence?
Sat 1st Oct 2016
8:30am - 5:00pm
Venue:The Chifley, Alice
Springs Resort
34 Stott Terrace,
Alice Springs
Registration: $60 full / $30

Public Forum
Fri 30th Sept 2016
6:30 - 8:30pm
Venue: TBC
Prof. Lisa Natividad (Guam)
Prof. Kosuzu Abe (Japan)
Prof Richard Tanter
(Melb Uni)
Scott Ludlam (Aust. Greens)
$10 entry on the night
For More info see:
email: inquires to Jonathan:

The future of the vigil her and Thomas
began all those years ago is unknown. In
2013, the vigil was found unattended, so
police dismantled it. The vigil was quickly put
back up by fellow activists who volunteer
their time at the Peace House. Picciotti is
said to be responsible for the longest protest

in US history.
Picciotti gained recognition
from around the world from
her over 30 year stand for
peace. The vigil was often
referred to as the White
House’s closest neighbour.
The vigil stood through too
many scandals to list. The
vigil stood through the
beginning and the ending of
the Persian Gulf War. The
vigil stood as the Twin
Towers fell and through all
the conflict that followed.
The vigil stood as a symbol to
activists everywhere. We can
only hope it will continue to
stand and be protected by
other activists, just as
and Picciotti
originally intended.

Coming Event
 Melb

Unitarian Peace
Memorial Church
Sunday Service - 26 June
2016 11am
Romina Beitseen,
Secretary CICD

We need an active united
peace movement

Refugee Week – Over
the Fence Exhibition
June 18 & 19th from 6-9 pm
314 Church Street Richmond.
 3CR Radiothon Support Radical
Radio: CICD’s Alternative News live show
will be on Sunday 19th June 9:15am.
 Don’t Forget Your 2016 CICD
Membership is needed by 30th June

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace." - John Lennon
Executive Chairperson:
John Speight
Executive Vice Chairperson:
Len Cooper
Romina Beitseen
Keith Stodden

Vice Chairpersons:

 CICD Committee:Tue 14 th June

Paul Conway

2015, Trades Hall, 12.30 pm.

Luke Hilakari

 Don’t forget 2016 membership

Andrew Irving
Senator Gavin Marshall
Ann Sgro

affiliation, form included.
 Listen to CICD’s Alternative
News program: Community Radio 3CR (855AM)
every Sunday mornings at 9.15am