[eDebate] Former Debater Arrested at Anti-Nuke Protest

Andrew Culp acculp
Mon Nov 20 13:01:59 CST 2006


Former UMKC debater and skilled dancer(http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6080837669562911582&q=umkc)  Andrew Culp was arrested last week while protesting the University of California Regents.  University of California employees have designed every nuclear weapons in the US arsenal because the University of California has managed both of the US?s nuclear design labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, since their inception in 1943.

To see pictures of the protest, visit: http://new.photos.yahoo.com/album?c=megbarnes at sbcglobal.net&aid=576460762342662485&pid=&wtok=ft5cOF.Ow3tASR1PLL_pWQ--&ts=1163798880&.src=ph

Videos have also been posted to YouTube.
    Students Disrupt UC Regents Meeting 11/16/06 pt. 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1O45rfx-pc

    Students Disrupt UC Regents Meeting 11/16/06 pt. 2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1G-ZApLUNw

    Students Disrupt UC Regents Meeting 11/16/06 pt. 3
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Jqeid_7C5c

    Students Disrupt UC Regents Meeting 11/16/06 pt. 4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsU1CFFEAiQ

    Students Disrupt UC Regents Meeting 11/16/06 pt. 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxSpyIXqfxY

To see student newspaper coverage, visit: http://dailybruin.com/news/articles.asp?id=38998 or http://ucsbdailynexus.com/news/2006/12574.html

What you can do.  If you are in or near the Bay Area or anywhere else in CA in mid-January, come help us.  All other means possible have been exhausted.  As a person of privilege, I feel personally responsible to use that privilege by putting my body on the line where others can?t or won?t.  We understand it is a sacrifice to do so, therefore I think it?s important to point out that there are plenty of other key roles to play without putting your self at risk for arrest.

For more info, email me at work: aculp at napf.org

The Emerging Crisis:
Why We Mobilize for the November 16th UC Regents Meeting
  
As a manager of the nation's two nuclear weapons research and design laboratories, the University of California plays a central role in a political and ecological crisis that is threatening catastrophe.  The subtext of North Korea?s October 7th nuclear weapons test is that, in a far more dangerous development, the United States government is redesigning and upgrading every nuclear weapon in its arsenal, under the auspices of its misleadingly-named Reliable Replacement Warhead program.  This program is being carried out in relative obscurity at the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico and the Lawrence Livermore laboratory in northern California, by scientists whose status as employees of the UC provides a thin veneer of academic credibility to their preparations for nuclear war.

The RRW initiative stems from the brazen nuclearism that continues to characterize US foreign policy, despite the end of the Cold War 16 years ago.  The US Nuclear Posture Review, along with other policy statements, calls for the production of a more ?reliable? and ?flexible? nuclear arsenal, a new commitment to a First Strike policy, and the targeting of both ?rogue states? and ?non-state actors.?  It specifically names seven countries as potential targets for a pre-emptive US nuclear assault, including Iran and North Korea.  The vision outlined in this document starkly manifested itself last month, when the U.S. deployed the nuclear-armed USS Eisenhower and other warships to the Straight of Hormuz to position them for a potential assault on Iran.

As students and alumni of the UC, we can no longer consider these developments with a sense of detachment.  We feel compelled to take action.  We will not act meekly, but rather with the sense of righteousness and refusal these circumstances require of us.
 
Despite the UC Regents? repeated claims to the contrary, the chief function of the nuclear weapons labs is not to promote national security, but rather to create potentially-genocidal instruments of war and coercive diplomacy.   The United States of America has threatened the offensive use of these weapons roughly 40 times since 1946, and it is the only nation to have ever used nuclear weapons in warfare: twice, against a non-nuclear nation.
 
How is it possible for the UC students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are aware of their university?s connections with the nuclear weapons labs to remain silent in the face of these ongoing and potential injustices, supported by their very own University of California?
 
We call on our fellow members of the UC community to join us in demanding that the Regents stop bombing away our future.  In doing so we note that even the thin, illusory margin of credibility the UC once maintained in its role as weapons lab manager no longer exists.  This is particularly so given two recent developments: 
 
- The UC Regents have recently entered into a for-profit business partnership to operate these weapons labs with the Bechtel Corporation, one of the most corrupt and secretive corporations in the world.
 
  - The UC-managed labs are researching and designing the next generation of U.S. nuclear weapons under the auspices of the misleadingly-named ?Reliable Replacement Warhead? program.  The Los Alamos laboratory is now preparing to manufacture the central component for these weapons, the plutonium pit.  By 2008, Los Alamos is scheduled to begin producing the pits for the new arsenal, which the National Nuclear Security Administration has requested be more ?flexible and responsive? so that it may better serve future U.S. nuclear weapons ?missions.?
 
We will tolerate business as usual no more.  The nuclear status quo is intolerable for the University of California, for the people of the world, and for future generations.
 
We demand the following:
 
1.        that the University of California Board of Regents sever their ties with the nuclear weapons laboratories at Livermore and Los Alamos;
2.        that the Regents issue a public statement in opposition to the insanity of US nuclear weapons policy; and
3.        that the Regents lobby the federal government in the interest of true national security to the build the first-ever national sustainable energy research laboratory funded by the US government, with said funding to be transferred from the budgets of the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore laboratories.  Any serious national research effort toward sustainability must be fully autonomous from militarized institutions like the weapons labs. 
 
Until they meet our demands, we will prevent the Regents from effectively carrying out their duty as managers of potential Armageddon.
 
Additional Background
 
?	New Pit Manufacturing: The plutonium pits ? again, the cores of modern nuclear weapon ? are being assembled at the UC-managed Los Alamos lab.  These are the first our nation has manufactured since 1989.  The UC has not manufactured plutonium pits since 1949.  By 2008, Los Alamos is scheduled to begin producing the pits for the new arsenal.  

?	The Corporate Connection: The University of California?s partners in this bomb manufacturing enterprise, Bechtel Corporation and two other nuclear/military-industrial firms (BWX Technology and Washington Group International), are deeply committed to the perpetuation of US nuclearism, through their involvement with other aspects of the US nuclear chain (nuclear waste clean-up, nuclear testing, nuclear power, etc.).  

?	Bi-Partisan Nuclearism: The United States? continued commitment to nuclearism reflects not the excesses of a particularly nasty presidential administration, but the core of US foreign policy.  The hard line of use and threatened use of nuclear weapons is touted by many in both major political parties, and it enjoys the support of the powerful arms industry lobby.  

?	Nuclear weapons are not designed for ?national security,? and they are not socially beneficial in any other sense, either.  The US has tested atomic weapons 1,054 times (mostly on the lands of indigenous peoples), maintains an arsenal of approximately 10,000 plutonium bombs and warheads, spends roughly $40 billion each year on nuclear weaponry, and oversees a bulky national nuclear weapons complex infrastructure spread across the continental US.

?	Potential Nuclear War with Iran: In April, investigative report Seymour Hersh exposed the Bush administration?s plan to use so-called ?tactical? nuclear weapons in a potential aerial assault against Iran.  The type of nuclear weapon in question, the B61-11, was designed by UC employees at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the mid-?90s, without Congressional approval.  Last month, the US deployed the nuclear-armed USS Eisenhower and other warships to the Straight of Hormuz outside of Iran, prompting the former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges to predict that war with Iran ? a nuclear war ? would occur before the end of the Bush presidency.

?	Obligation to Disarm: If the US chose to, it could lead the world toward nuclear abolition.  The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), ratified in 1970, has failed to bring about nuclear disarmament almost entirely because the nuclear weapons states -- most notably the U.S. -- ignore the obligation under the NPT to disarm. 

?	Democratizing the UC: Although we will act on Thursday first and foremost in the name of nonviolence and nuclear disarmament, we note also that we support other demands that may be pressed upon the Regents.  These include a living wage and generous pension for clerical and service workers throughout the UC system, a reversal of student fee increases, restoration of fully-funded outreach and retention programs and modifications to the admissions process to ensure a racially and economically just UC system, the recruitment of a more diverse faculty, the adoption of more ecologically sustainable programs, and the reorganizing of UC?s financial portfolios so that our wealth is invested in a socially responsible manner.  We believe that the impasses and injustices represented in many of these areas is due in no small part to the same lack of democracy in the UC?s governing structure that compels us to act here today.  We hope that in these areas the Regents? vision is clearer and that they exercise far greater moral clarity.

?	The Regents? Refusal to Demilitarize: In recent years a coalition of students, faculty, staff and community organizations* has conveyed repeatedly that our University?s reputation and institutional power could serve as a guiding light toward a nuclear weapons-free world.  American society?s collective wealth and technological prowess have for too long been harnessed toward irrational destruction and exploitative power.  With that in mind, we have asked the Regents to reorient the University toward research programs in the interest of true national security: energy independence, ecological sustainability, and health sciences.  In response, many of the Regents have met us with disinterest, ignorance, and hostility -- particularly the men (they are all men) who sit on the DOE Labs Oversight Committee.

For more than 40 years, UC faculty have additionally attempted to exert influence in the management of the labs and have recommend on several occasions that the UC withdraw from the labs.  The Regents have repeatedly ignored this advice, while maintaining total control over the UC?s relationship to the bomb design and manufacturing enterprise.  

Recognizing that some of the most powerful members of the Board benefit from the production of nuclear weapons, and the uses to which they are put; that in the past certain members of the Regents have profited off this enterprise; and that many of them are ideologically committed to the violence and exploitation that nuclear weapons represent, we have concluded that the Board of Regents is beyond reasoning with.  As they have repeatedly demonstrated, the Regents are an unaccountable and autocratic decision-making body.  The anti-democratic governing structure of the University, which centralizes all power in the hands of these 26 appointed economic elites, is unequipped to respond to the critical decisions that must be made if the UC is to evolve into a force for positive change in the world.
 
*The Coalition to Demilitarize the UC represents students, staff and faculty at each UC campus along with community organizations that work in the shadow of the labs.



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