The International Day of Action to Ban Uranium Weapons

(As of Sept. 15)
International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons
www.bandepleteduranium.org

For Immediate Release Contact:
Henk van der Keur +31 (0)20 6168294
November 6, 2004
Maarten H.J. van den Berg NEED #
Groups from around the Globe participate in an
International Day of Action calling for a Ban on Uranium Weapons

November 6, 2004– Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) from around the globe will participate in an international day of action coordinated by the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons. This day was chosen to coincide with the United Nations International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. Activities are planned in Belgium, England, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and the United States. Planned events include petition drives, lobbying visits, symposiums, photo exhibits, marches and more.

Many of the NGO’s involved are using the Day of Action as an opportunity to educate people of the dangers of depleted uranium (DU) weaponry and gather support through signatures for an international treaty and Convention banning depleted uranium weapons.
DU is a by-product of the enrichment of uranium for use in nuclear weapons and reactors. Over the past twenty-five years the United States, United Kingdom, France and Russia developed these weapons. Unfortunately, depleted uranium weapons have now proliferated to over twenty other countries and are being sold on the world arms market by U.S. manufacturers and others.
It wasn’t until the last decade that DU has been used in large quantities in war. In 1991, over 350 tons of DU was left in the soil, air, and water of Iraq and Kuwait. DU was also used in Bosnia (1994-1995), Kosovo (1999), and may have been used in Afghanistan (2001-2003). In the current conflict in Iraq, DU weapons have again been deployed and very early estimates on total DU fired is well over 100 tons. However, this time around, the US and UK are firing DU munitions in populated urban areas in Iraq as opposed to the unpopulated desert fighting of the first gulf war, thus unnecessarily exposing children and the civilian population of Iraq. Henk van der Keur of the Laka Foundation in the Netherlands maintains, “The numbers of innocent victims exposed is incalculable and in direct violation of the International Laws of War”.
Depleted Uranium is both radioactive and chemically toxic. Evidence of environmental and human health damage caused by depleted uranium has steadily increased, despite government assertions that such impacts would not occur. DU Weapons cause widespread, long lasting and severe contamination to the sites of their production, testing and use. The United Nations Human Rights Commission Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities considers DU munitions to be weapons of mass destruction or with indiscriminant effect and incompatible with international humanitarian law.

“It is imperative that the U.S. and the international community explicitly address DU as UNCONVENTIONAL weaponry, and take steps to halt its proliferation and stop its production and use,” said Tara Thornton of the Military Toxics Project, a US based NGO.

Actions and the petition campaign will continue until the realization of an international treaty banning uranium weapons. ICBUW will use the petitions in an appeal to the EU Parliament and other international bodies such as the United Nations and will use them at forums such as the NPT meeting in NY and the UN Disarmament Committee meeting in Geneva next spring.
(Visit www.bandepleteduranium.org for a downloadable petition form.)

A Summary of the Draft Convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling, transfer and use of uranium weapons and on their destruction
by M. Mohr and A. Samsel of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, Germany can be also found on the ICBUW website.

The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) was founded in 2003 at a conference in Belgium by members of 11 organizations from 5 countries. Today there are 70 organizations from 17 countries that are members and friends of ICBUW.

The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) mission statement calls for an immediate ban on the military use of uranium and all other radioactive materials. ICBUW calls for the clean up of all sites contaminated by DU, compensation for affected populations and the cessation of production, testing, transport, sale, stockpiling and export of DU weapons. ICBUW also demands the medical assessment, treatment and long-term monitoring of all who have been exposed to DU weapons. ICBUWs full mission statement can be found on their website at www.bandepleteduranium.org.

For a complete list of NGO’s, contact information and actions, please visit the ICBUW Website.

Photographs available (free of copyright):
www.motherearth.org/photo.php?album=album102

Plans for Nov. 6,

The International Day of Action to Ban Uranium Weapons

(As of Sept. 15)
(Listed in the alphabetical order of the country names)
November 6: INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION TO BAN URANIUM WEAPONS

November 6 has been set by UN as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict. ICBUW calls upon you to engage, in your own areas, in actions to ban uranium weapons.

Just having a small-scale study meeting or doing a one-man petition on the street will contribute a lot to gathering momentum for the international campaign. So please join us!

The following is the present list of plans by the ICBUW members (countries listed in alphabetical order)

Belgium Brussels

(November 5)
by the Belgian Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons There will be a visit to the Prime Minister, and to the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, to hand over a copy of the collected petition signatures. During these meetings the Coalitions demands concerning uranium weapons will be conveyed.
At the same time outside the buildings, there will be some actions to visualize the aims. Leaflets, petition forms and booklets will be available at an info-table.
In the early evening a grassroots supporters gathering will take place in front of the stairs of the Beurs-building to announce the results of our negotiations with the governmental bodies.

For Mother Earth Belgium (a member of the Belgian Coalition for ICBUW) has agreed to work on an action in Brussels (maybe street theater) in cooperation with the trade union ACV. Greenpeace Belgium agreed to cooperate as well.
For more information: mailto: willem@motherearth.org

Ministry of Defence in Brussels closed due to Depleted Uranium
International action for a Uranium Weapon Free World

5/11/2004 Brussels – This morning, activists of the Belgian Coalition Stop Uranium Weapons! held a protest action in front of the Belgian Ministry of Defence, in order to express their desire for a ban on uranium weapons.
Politicians from different political parties were present to support this action. The action symbolically sealed off the Ministry of Defence, as a zone contaminated with toxic and radioactive depleted uranium.
A delegation from the coalition also handed over thousands of signatures to the Ministry of Defence (Lambermontstraat 8) calling for a ban on weapon systems containing depleted uranium.
After the presentation of the signed petitions the delegation discussed the demands of the coalition towards the Belgian government (included below). These Demands were also presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This action is part of an international day of action organized by the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, which aims to pressure governments to endorse an international treaty for a ban on uranium weapons.
The action takes place to mark the United Nations day for the Prevention of the Exploitation of the Environment during wars and armed conflicts, 6th November.
When a DU-projectile impacts on a hard object it turns partly to dust particles of uranium oxides. Wind and water can carry along these oxides, which can cause cancers if they enter the body. Under certain conditions depleted uranium may damage the genetic material DNA.
A spokesperson of the Belgian Coalition Stop Uranium Weapons! stated The UN-Sub-Commission on Human Rights has labeled conventional weapons that contain depleted uranium as illegal weaponry, because of the indiscriminate nature of the weapons.
Uranium weapons cannot make a distinction between civilians and soldiers. Nevertheless, these weapons have been widely used in the US led wars in Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.
Belgium has still not ruled out the use of these weapons, and supports NATO operations that
use depleted uranium.
Belgische Coalitie Stop Uranium Wapens!
Secretariat: Voor Moeder Aarde vzw – member of Friends of the Earth
International
! Maria-Hendrikaplein 5, B-9000 Gent
Tel.: +32-9-242 87 52
Fax: +32-9-242 87 51
e-mail: willem@m…

Demands to the Belgian Government
The Belgische Coalitie Stop Uranium Wapens!’, consisting of
Voor Moeder Aarde – ACV-Brussel – Netwerk-Vlaanderen – Greenpeace – Artsen voor Vrede – International Action for Liberation – Geneeskunde voor de Derde Wereld – Forum voor Vredesactie – Vakbondsmensen In Verzet tegenOorlog – Mouvement Chretien pour la Paix – Stop United States ofAggression – Aktie Vredesbelasting – Pax Christi Vlaanderen â?“ Vlaams Overleg Duurzame Ontwikkeling – Coordination Nationale d’Action pour la Paix et la Democratie – Pax Christi Leuven – Bond Beter Leefmilieu -Oxfam-Solidariteit – Vrede

Demands urgently:
– that Belgium will, by no means including third parties be involved in the design, the production, the purchase, the testing, the transport, the storage and the use of weapons that contain uranium*
– that Belgium works on an international level in order to prohibit the design, the production, the purchase, the testing, the transport, the storage and the storage of uranium weapons
– that Belgium urges NATO to map the regions targeted with uranium weapons and the spots where these weapons are stored. These regions must be made public
– that the Belgian government deploys no military and humanitarian missions to uranium-contaminated sites
– that Belgium plays a pioneering role in establishing a total ban on uranium weapons, as it did in the course of the campaign against landmines
– that Belgium bears a part of the costs of decontamination, including the costs for medical assistance
– that Belgium takes the initiative for the foundation of an aid-fund compensating the victimised populations.
* ‘Uranium: ‘depleted’, ‘non-depleted’, and uranium ‘contaminated with
fission products from the nuclear industry’
For more information: www.motherearth.org/du

Arizona

The International Day of Action for a Ban on Uranium Weapons was observed November 6 in Tucson, Arizona, by 16 activists who paid a visit to Davis-Monthan AFB. The International Day of Action for a Ban on Uranium Weapons was observed November 6 in Tucson, Arizona, by 16 activists who paid a visit to Davis-Monthan AFB.

At Davis-Monthan, the U.S. Air Force conducts flight training for all of its A-10 pilots.
The A-10s, responsible for firing most of the depleted uranium now contaminating
Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans, are ubiquitous over Tucson skies nearly every day.
Because the Pentagon has refused to identify where DU ammo was fired in Iraq, despite repeated requests from the United Nations, and now also the appointed Iraqi government, we called for whistleblowers. !
Vigiling at the main gate, our set of large signs declared “Where’s the Depleted Uranium?” “Iraq Asks; U.S. Won’t Tell!?” “A-10 Pilots Know – Please Tell Iraq” “Help Iraq Clean Up DU” “Depleted Uranium – Used Once – Kills Forever”
We also displayed a banner used during weekly vigils at a local military recruiting
office that reads “PENTAGON LIES, RECRUITS DIE: Depleted Uranium -Agent Orange – Atomic Testing.”
After about half an hour, a delegation dressed in white lab coats proceeded to the gate. We were stopped by base security at the visitor’s parking lot. We informed these men of our intent to seek out pilots and commanders who could tell the Iraqi people where to go to clean up their country.
We waited after being told a PR person would come to speak to us, but after about ten minutes that promise was abandoned. We resumed vigiling at the gate with our signs and banners.
The local NBC-TV affiliate covered the action, with a brief report on the early evening!
news, and a longer
report at night that included
a response from the Air Force declaring that over 50 years of scientific study had shown no adverse health effects from DU.
In the aftermath of the vigil, several people decided that the present times demand a more regular presence at the base to continue the call for whistleblowers and bring attention to depleted uranium and Pentagon
stonewalling on the issue.
Saturday’s action was sponsored by Un!
ited Neighbors
Weapons Inspectors, BANDU and the Nuclear Resister newsletter.
The back side of our flyer included excerpts from Thomas D. Williams’ Nov. 1, 2004 article in the Hartford Courant (“Weapons Dust Worries Iraqis – Provisional Government Seeks Cleanup; U.S. Downplays Risks”).
This text was on the front:

Attention! A-10 Pilots
(and everyone else who wants to know…)
WHERE’S THE DEPLETED URANIUM?
The Pentagon refuses to tell the United Nations and the appointed
Iraqi government where radioactive depleted uranium weapons were
used. A-10 warplanes that train at Davis-Monthan shot most of it.
WHY WON’T THE PENTAGON SAY?
For the health of free Iraqi citizens, U.S. troops, and international workers, the world must know and you can tell us:
WHERE DO IRAQIS GO TO CLEAN UP THEIR COUNTRY?
U.S. law treats depleted uranium as a toxic hazard and danger to public health. Billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent removing DU contamination from firing ranges and factories in the US.
Contrary to its own rules for handling DU and warning troops of its presence, the Pentagon denies any risk from combat use and refuses to give the UN and provisional Iraqi government the locations in Iraq where hundreds of tons of DU ammo was used and has
spread contamination.

Italy, Florence

(November 4) by PeaceLink A march and an event, inviting soldiers and their families to witness their experiences, and involving also volunteer associations, scientists as well as people from Iraq and Bosnia, and so on.
In Italy, November 4 is the festive day for the Italian Army since the first world war, and every year there is a military parade in Rome; pacifists organize alternative events all over the country. For more information:
mailto: info@peacelink.it

Netherlands,The Hague

(November 6)
by ICBUW | The Netherlands Lecture and experts in debate (with Keith Baverstock and Manfred Mohr).
For more information: mailto: info@bandepleteduranium.org

UK, Manchester

(Nov. 3&Nov.6)
by CADU (Campaign against Depleted Uranium) A public meeting with Joanne Baker and hopefully a Gulf War veteran (November 3) . Some publicity in the city centre with a stall and some kind of theatre, etc., to try and get media attention. (November 6). For more information:
mailto: info@cadu.org.uk

Japan (Listed from north to south)

Sapporo
(Nov. 6th)
by NO!!DU Sapporo Project A gathering: What is DU? with a lecture and a video screening about DU
Speaker: Akira Suzuki (doctor)
Video: The Fear of DU: What did US in the Gulf War?
(place: Chieria/ time: from 2pm)
Tokyo
(Nov. 7th)
by Citizens Network for DU Abolition
—————-
A gathering: Help the Iraqi Children suffering from DU, with talks, photo-exhibition on Iraq and DU, petition campaign, candle parade, etc.
(place: Shibuya Hall for Labor and Welfare)
Speakers: Naomi Toyoda (photographer), Osamu Niikura (Prof. of International
Law)
Also on the 6th, there will be various activities in the Tokyo metropolitan area, such as one in Chigasaki, Kanagawa prefecture and distributing flyers at a gathering at Hibiya Open-Air Music Hall.
——————
And, though by chance, the Peace Studies Association of Japan is to hold the symposium, The International Campaigns to Ban DU Weapons and the Civil Societys Roles, at its annual conference at Keisen Womens College.
Among the panelist are Maki Sato of Japan Volunteer Center and Nobuo Kazashi, director of NO DU Hiroshima Project.)
Osaka
(6th)
by Campaign Against Radiation Exposure Appeal actions on the street, collecting signatures for the petition, distributing flyers, and showing our banner just in front of the biggest rail way station in Osaka city. Afterwards a meeting will be held, in collaboration with other associated organizations, groups and individuals, where Katsumi Furitsu, a board member of ICBUW, is to make a short speech about the ICBUWs international campaign.
More than ten local groups, including those in Kyoto and Nara, are supporting this action in response to the ICBUWs call. The Japan Congress Against A-and H-Bombs (GENSUIKIN) is also cooperating with us together with other groups involved in the anti-nuclear-power-plant, anti-DU, environmental protection, or women’s right activities.
Kobe (Nov.6)
by Kobe Love & Peace, NO DU Kobe, and others Collecting signatures for the petition and distributing flyers at a peace-concert to be held at a square in the city. A new grass-roots group “NO DU Kobe” will be started on this occasion.
Hiroshima (Nov.7)
by NO DU Hiroshima Project and HANWA=Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition A slide-show talk: Shoot with Laughter! Japan Leaning toward War,
with Mad Amano, a well-known political parodist involved in the anti-DU campaign in Tokyo, with a petition campaign and a mini photo-exhibition on Iraq war and the DU inside.
(place: a conference room in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)
Fukuoka
(Nov.6) –Fukuoka city, at a church in the city
November 6, Saturday
From 13:30 to 15:00
* Establishing Uranium Weapons Abolition Campaign-Fukuoka (tentative
name)
* Screening of the video, The Strom of the DU Weapons
* Comments by Minister Koichi Kimura
* A testimony by a survivor of the A-bomb in Nagasaki
* On-street campaign for
* collecting signatures for the petition after the meeting
Ohmuta
(Nov.3) –Ohmuta city
November 3, Wednesday and holiday
From 13:30 to 16:00
At the Labor and Welfare Hall, Ohmuta City This is the inauguration gathering for the Article 9 Society-Ohmuta.
Memorial Lecture by Haruko Moritaki, NO DU Hiroshima Project Lectures title: the Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and Iraq War:
Some Obvious Facts Coming Out from the Investigation on the “DU”
Munitions in Iraq