Nuclear foe Helen Caldicott
to speak in SF on disarming
as USA enhances its arsenal

WALL news & commentary

For a flier that can be copied and circulated, click here;

Details on the S.F. Pulic Library website here;
For a powerful video of nuclear footage, click here.

This just in: Dr. Caldicott will be interviewed by John Rothmann, sitting in for Pat Thurston, Saturday at 7pm on KGO 810.

Forty-eight years after the United States and other powers signed a treaty pledging negotiations for nuclear disarmament, the Obama administration is pursuing a massive program to develop new bombs and warheads, many with new military capabilities. Consider that the next president may be even less of a peace-lover than the present one.

In that context, Dr. Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician who is better known as the world’s foremost anti-nuclear activist, will tell a San Francisco audience whether such disarmament is yet achievable. “Nuclear Weapons: Can They Be Abolished?” is to be her theme at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 13, in the main SF Public Library’s Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St., at Grove Street. The event is free of charge.

Her appearance is jointly sponsored by the library’s Business, Science and Technology Dept. and a new Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament. The latter comprises various pro-peace groups, including the War and Law League (WALL), which initiated the event as its biennial meeting.

Others are American Friends Service Committee; Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, Peace & Justice; Code Pink; East Bay Peace Action; Ecumenical Peace Institute/ CALC; Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice; Physicians for Social Responsibility, SF Bay Area Chapter; Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence; Tri-Valley CAREs; Veterans for Peace, Chapter 69; Western States Legal Foundation; and World Beyond War.

Dr. Caldicott has written or edited some ten books on nuclear weapons or nuclear energy, three titles of which are to be available for purchase at the August 13 meeting. The evening before, she will address the national convention of Veterans for Peace in Berkeley, stressing environmental issues.

Her 45-year crusade

Dr. Caldicott practiced pediatrics in Australia and taught in U.S. medical schools. She has devoted the last 45 years to educating the public on nuclear perils by speaking, organizing, and writing. Those efforts began in 1971 when she started a movement against French atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean, a position officially assumed by both Australia and New Zealand.

She actively served as president of Physicians for Social Responsibility in the U.S., 19781983, and helped to start similar groups in many countries. As a consequence, PSRs umbrella organization, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. She met with President Reagan and Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin, addressed Senate and United Nations groups, and got much media coverage.

In a 2012 Wisconsin press interview, she saw North Korea and Iran as distractions from the main problem: “The real rogue nations are the United States and Russia,” with nine-tenths of the world’s nuclear weapons, said to total about 16,000. She concluded her book The New Nuclear Danger by warning that “thousands of nuclear weapons remain continuously on hair-trigger alert” and any international disturbance could set off a “conflagration and nuclear winter.”

At a Berlin conference of the international physicians group last February 28, she stated its (and her) position: “Our medicine is preventative, and politically we stand for peaceful conflict resolution, international treaties for the elimination of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy and for the positive role of medicine in social responsibility.”

Since 2000, she has been president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC. In earlier years in the U.S., she founded and headed WAND (Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament), co-founded and led STAR Foundation (Standing for Truth About Radiation). She is president of the Helen Caldicott Foundation for a Nuclear-Free Planet. She has over 20 honorary degrees and as many other awards.

Nuclear contradictions

Besides the question posed by the title of Dr. Caldicotts talkwhether nuclear weapons can be abolished here are seven pertinent issues that she is likely to cover:

* See Our two-faced policy on nuclear weapons, this site, June 29, 2012.

May 25, 2016