News Release

Picket Lines at Congressional Offices: “Looming Threat of Nuclear War”


Activists from around the country have begun a week of protests to demand that the U.S. government take steps now to address the looming threat of nuclear war. The picket lines, vigils and other demonstrations are calling for reinstatement of nuclear arms-control treaties that the U.S. has withdrawn from in this century, a shutdown of hair-trigger land-based ICBMs, and genuine diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine.

About 40 protests have been organized nationwide, with grassroots events including demonstrations in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Tucson, Fresno, Salt Lake City, pickets across Washington state, vigils in Hawaii and California, banner displays at a Lockheed Martin facility in Pennsylvania, an interfaith gathering at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York City and a march in Rhode Island. Today, picket lines and rallies are set to happen at a dozen congressional offices in the state of Washington, where many nuclear weapons facilities are located.

The week of action comes as the Doomsday Clock, a measure maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that tracks the world’s proximity to a possible nuclear war, was recently set at 90 seconds to midnight, the closest it has been since it was created in 1947.

Interviews available:

Arent is with Washington state’s chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, part of the Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition that is holding 12 events around the state today (Tuesday). He said: “Washington state is at the center of the atomic world, with more deployed nuclear weapons than anywhere else in the United States based out of the Kitsap-Bangor Trident nuclear submarine base. The plutonium for some of the very first bombs was made at the ongoing disaster site known as Hanford, still radioactive to this day. Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility and our Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition believe it is past time that our members of Congress recognize this legacy and lead our country away from nuclear weapons. We’re asking our members of Congress to support justice for communities impacted by these weapons like the Marshallese, support diplomatic negotiations towards arm reductions and to fight tooth and nail to phase out, not enhance our nuclear weapons arsenal in the impending National Defense Authorization Act. The world is at stake.”

Arent added: “We’re going to show every member of Congress that we won’t be silent on the path to nuclear Armageddon. We have activists in every congressional district in the state saying with a unified voice that the costs of a nuclear arms race are too high, and that justice for communities like the Marshallese people have been delayed too long. We won’t stop until every single member of Washington’s delegation recognizes our legacy as an atomic state, and joins the fight against a second nuclear arms race.”

Black is national organizer of the Defuse Nuclear War campaign. He said today: “The need for action to curtail the possibility of nuclear conflict could not be more urgent. The U.S. has allowed far too many weapons treaties to lapse in recent years, and the Ukraine War threatens daily to plunge the world into nuclear war. Our coalition of activists is demanding that the Biden administration seriously consider the consequences of their inaction in addressing this threat.”

These protests are scheduled for Tuesday:

Peace Vigil – Stand for Peace & Disarmament at Raytheon in Tucson, AZ

Interfaith Gathering with Pax Christi at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in NYC

Support the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Burnsville, MN

Also on Tuesday, activists are picketing political offices across Washington State; see full list:

Defuse Nuclear War Sept. 24-30, 2023 Week of Action –