Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Struggle for Democracy

Big things have been happening in Kansas City, Missouri over the past few months. For decades, the Kansas City Plant has manufactured the vast majority of non-nuclear components for the US nuclear arsenal. For the first time in the long history of nuclear proliferation around the world, a new plant was proposed that would be effectively owned by a city, financed through $815 million in municipal bonds. An inspiring group of citizens, calling themselves the Kansas City Peace Planters, has resisted this proposal with a welcome degree of success thus far.

The Peace Planters have engaged in civil disobedience at the construction site of the new plant, calling for the new plant to engage in green energy work instead of destructive nuclear weapons work. This has brought media attention to the issue and has increased public awareness of the outrageous proposal to build new nuclear weapons facilities 20 years after the end of the Cold War.

Perhaps the biggest success of the Peace Planters so far is their proposed ballot initiative for the Kansas City elections in November 2011. The initiative proposes to ban production of nuclear weapons components in Kansas City and in its place promote jobs in renewable energy. The Peace Planters have painstakingly followed all of the rules to get this initiative before the voters, but the City Council is trying prevent voters from having their say, claiming that the ballot initiative is unconstitutional.

The issue is currently before the courts, and just Friday a judge issued a temporary order in favor of the Peace Planters. We will certainly be keeping our eyes on this story - will democracy prevail, or will the misguided reliance on nuclear weapons trump all else?

Click here for more background information on the Kansas City Plant issue. For updates on the current situation in the courts, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...