March 13, 2019

Princeton Protestors, Experts at State House Press Peace Agenda 

“NO U.S. WAR ON VENEZUELA!”: About 30 demonstrators gathered on Nassau Street in Palmer Square Monday afternoon, calling for a prohibition on unauthorized military action in Venezuela. Earlier in the day Princeton physicists Zia Mian and Frank von Hippel and Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore testified in Trenton in support of an anti-nuclear Assembly resolution sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker. (Photo by Anna Savoia)

By Donald Gilpin

Calling for the option of U.S. military intervention to be taken off the table completely in Venezuela, about 30 demonstrators gathered on Nassau Street in Palmer Square on Monday, carrying signs reading “No U.S. War in Venezuela!”

The event, sponsored by the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) in collaboration with Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), started at 5 p.m. and lasted about an hour.

Demonstrators urged passers-by to write to members of Congress asking them to sponsor the Prohibiting Unauthorized Military Action in Venezuela Act. They also distributed fliers, which stated: “The U.S. is trying to overthrow the Maduro government with military threats, economic warfare, and diplomatic isolation. But the solutions for the problems in Venezuela are for the Venezuelans to decide. The peace movement must oppose U.S. intervention and support a resolution through peaceful dialogue!”

CFPA Executive Director the Rev. Robert Moore applauded the collaboration with the DSA, which he called “an important force for  progressive causes.” He added, “It’s important to seek synergy and do activities collaboratively. We all need each other.”

Resolution 230

Earlier in the day Moore, along with Princeton University physicists and nuclear weapons experts Zia Mian and Frank von Hippel, testified in support of anti-nuclear Resolution 230 at a hearing before the New Jersey State Assembly Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee.

Resolution 230, which urges the federal government to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and pursue other measures to reduce the danger of nuclear war, passed the committee, which Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker chairs. He will be requesting that it go before the full Assembly later this month.

“As a scientist who has colleagues who work on nuclear nonproliferation issues, this is a topic that deeply, deeply concerns me,“ Zwicker said. “I’m aware of the horrible destruction, devastation, loss of life, and change of environment that would occur if anyone were to use nuclear weapons.”

He continued, “Also I’ve been frustrated by the partisan gridlock in Congress. As a state legislator I felt an obligation to try to do something. I’m working with world-renowned colleagues, Mian and von Hippel. Highlighting the importance of our country entering into a treaty that calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons is critical.”

Moore noted that “arms control has taken a turn south, undermined by the Trump administration. There are definitely alarm bells going off in the expert community, and they should be going off in the general community.”

Moore pointed out that Resolution 230, even if it passes the full Assembly later this month, is not binding. “But it’s valuable in generating grass roots democracy,” he said, “using the tools of democracy as an engine to advocate for disarmament and peace.”