Don’t Bank on the Bomb 2015 Launch week overview

Time to reflect. On November 12, we launched the 2015 update of the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report. Thanks to campaigners in a lot of different places, we had great media coverage and kick- ass actions in many countries. Here’s an overview:

There were over 40 media stories published in print, online, on radio and television in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. And more might be coming in Sweden, the UK and elsewhere. You can access most publications through the media section on this website.

The Thunderclap went off with a bang on launch day: 119 people joined and mass-posted the launch on their twitter and Facebook timelines! It was great to watch it happen.

maaike ronny rebecca

In Belgium, the report will lead to questions in Parliament, focusing primarily on BNP Paribas, in which the Belgian state is a shareholder. In the UK, an ‘Early Day Motion’ is tabled which basically states that nuclear weapons are a bad investment, now that a ban treaty is coming.

Swiss campaigners organised a nightly press conference with candles in a public square in front of UBS Bank’s offices. And already on 30 October, German campaigners staged a fun action on World Savings Day protesting again Commerzbank’s continued involvement in financing nuclear weapon producers.

In the US, MIT professor Max Tegmark, spoke about our report at the 12 November Harvard Peace Action event “The future of life and nuclear weapons from a Cosmic Perspective”. The US Nuclear Age Peace Foundation hosted an action targeting insurance company State Farm. Over 3000 people wrote to State Farm’s CEO to voice their concern about the company’s investments in nuclear weapon producers.

In the Netherlands, the PAX action targeting the biggest pension fund, ABP, was a major success. More than 1100 people told ABP to get out of nuclear weapons.

“All civil servants and teachers invest in nuclear weapons!”

Meanwhile, Wilbert and Maaike were running around London and Edinburgh presenting the report together with local partners. In London, we presented Don’t Bank on the Bomb to a group of parliamentarians in the Westminster Parliament. The meeting was attended by, among others, the representatives of five different political parties! ICAN UK (Rebecca Sharkey), Article 36 (Elizabeth Minor), Ethical Consumer (Tim Hunt) and CAAT (Ann Feltham) pitched in as well. Rebecca Sharkey wrote a nice report about the Westminster session.

wilbert kijkt boos

On 13 and 14 November we presented the report at the MedAct Health through Peace Forum, in a session with Austrian FM representative Monica Zach, Beyza Unal of Chatham House and Rebecca Sharkey of ICAN UK.

For our London events: Thanks Rebecca Sharkey, Elizabeth Minor, and Chris Venables for making it all happen and Article 36 for the use your office.

We then moved to Edinburgh, Scotland. On the 16th, the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre invited us to present the report at the launch of the Scotland Don’t Bank on the Bomb Campaign. The next day we held a protest in front of the Royal Bank of Scotland offices.

voor rbs kantoor

On Tuesday night, we had the opportunity to present the report to Members of the Scottish parliament. A very useful event with engaged MSPs, CAAT and student from the Edinburgh university all pitching in. Obviously, the UK nuclear arsenal, which is located in its entirety in Scotland, was discussed.

Thanks to Bill Kidd and to Brian and Emma at the Edinburgh Peace and Justice centre for organising this, and to all Scottish campaigners who joined in!

To sum up: This was a great launch; thanks to all campaigners for making it happen!

written by

Maaike Beenes is program officer humanitarian disarmament at Pax for Peace in the Netherlands. She works on divestment from producers of nuclear weapons and cluster munitions, and is co-author of the Don't Bank on the Bomb report.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!