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Nuclear News: One good, two bad -- Take Action Now

Good News: Historic Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons Adopted at United Nations

The United Nations Draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted on July 7, 2017. The Treaty commits signatory governments to criminalize all forms of nuclear weapons research, manufacturing, testing, possession, use or threats to use nuclear weapons, among other provisions. At least 130 countries participated in the negotiations, with only one voting against. Nuclear-armed states, including the United States, did not participate. The Treaty will be opened for signature on September 20, 2017. The Treaty will enter enforcement 90 days after at least 50 countries have ratified it.

Bad News: Congress pushing through a “Mobile Chernobyl” Bill

The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017 (H.R. 3053) dealing with the disposition of high-level radioactive waste from commercial nuclear power plants, is being rushed through Congress. The bill would allow for the first-ever “temporary” storage sites, setting up the probability of radioactive waste moving across the country in what could be a “Mobile Chernobyl.” Accidents are a certainty, with sabotage a possibility. Native American lands and low-income and Latino resident areas are being targeted. The bill eliminates important safety requirements, preempts states’ water and air rights and other states' rights, transfers all liability to ratepayers, removes Congressional/state/public oversight, and transfers management of the waste to the Department of Energy which has a history of mismanagement. The bill also allows for private, for-profit companies to make bids to take the waste – with no oversight and no site-specific environmental review. Corporations in Texas and New Mexico have applied.

TAKE ACTION: Find and email your Member of Congress at by typing in your ZIP code and/or phone him or her via the Capitol Switchboard (202) 225-3121.

More Bad News: Senators giving us a Dirty Energy Bill

The Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 (S. 1460) locks in our dependence on fossil fuels for decades to come, directly undermining our country’s efforts to stave off the worst effects of climate change. Among other things, this bill supports building “advanced” nuclear reactors, ignores renewable energy solutions, opens up more fracking activities, streamlines permits for oil and gas drilling, allocates spending for finding and extracting methane hydrate deposits in US waters – a very extreme form of energy, and makes the Federal Energy Review Commission (FERC) the lead agency in federal authorizations for natural gas projects, giving other agencies like the EPA a back seat.

TAKE ACTION: Call Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman via the Capitol Switchboard (202) 225-3121 and tell them to oppose S. 1460 and why.

- Pat Marida, chair, Ohio Sierra Club Nuclear Free Committee

Columbus Police facing lawsuit for pepper spraying activists

Shocking video of police aiming a long arcing pepper spray cloud into a crowd of anti-Trump demonstrators, including families with children. Numerous reports of police chasing specific activists down and spraying directly in their faces. These were the scenes witnessed by fellow demonstrators and thousands of Facebook viewers after the January 30, 2017 Statehouse protest and march after Trump announced his Muslim travel ban.

Now the ACLU of Ohio is suing the Columbus Police on behalf of three victims, Ellen Abdur-Rahim, Harrison Kallner and Connor Lefevers. Their suit against Police Chief Kim Jacobs, Lieutenant Jeffrey Lipp and three “unnamed officers” claims the police not only violated the activists’ First Amendment rights, but committed assault and battery using excessive force.

The lawsuit states that “Police gratuitously attacked several demonstrators by shooting them with pepper spray directly in the face — intentionally, and at very close range” and “three of the officers selected demonstrators to spray, saying, ‘I call that guy first,’ and ‘I wanted that chick to get it,’” according to the Dispatch.

Free Press readers know that the Columbus Police have a long, infamous history of excessive macing whether the victims be students celebrating a football victory or constitutionally-protected demonstrators. Interested readers can check out the February, March and May Free Press issues that contain stories on excessive police macing or search for a broader historical perspective.

The Black Caucus of the Ohio Green Party endorses Devin Branch for Mayor of East Cleveland

Devin Branch is an activist who embodies the mission of the Ohio Green Party Black Caucus and the values of the Green Party. More importantly, he’s a concerned citizen with visionary ideas for improving the quality of life of all East Cleveland citizens and the efficiency of the city’s government.

He is an advocate for the total liberation of ALL African people from the horrors of colonialism, neo-colonialism, dictatorship, and capitalism. This includes the right of the descendants of enslaved African people to self-determination and independence.

As East Cleveland is predominantly Black, his perspectives are timely, relevant, and crucial to improving the plight of every day residents. He was the leader of the coalition against police brutality in Cleveland, served on the national steering committee of the Jericho Movement, was a member of the coordinating committee that organized the Black Student Power Conference at Temple University, and founded the Sankofa Pan-African Student Organization at Cuyahoga Community College.

He also led the fight to save the East Cleveland Public Library from county takeover and was elected Secretary and Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Library. He was one of the chief opponents of the attempt to have East Cleveland annexed by Cleveland and led the recall campaign against former Mayor Gary Norton. He has demonstrated that he cares deeply for the issues and politics impacting the lives of the citizens of the city.

 Please visit his website at to learn more about this amazing candidate. To learn more about the Green Party, go to

- Brynette Turner, Chair, Ohio Green Party Black Caucus



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