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Spokane poised to declare city a nuclear free zone

 https://www.thecentersquare.com/washington/spokane-poised-to-declare-city-a-nuclear-free-zone/article_08df369e-53ba-11ed-b3bc-dfdc7a56a890.html By RaeLynn Ricarte | The Center Square 25 Oct 22, (The Center Square) – The Spokane City Council was poised Monday to declare the municipality a nuclear free zone, which would prohibit local resources or facilities from being used to manufacture weapons. 

The proposal to add a new chapter to city code has been brought forward by Council President Breean Beggs and Councilor Karen Stratton.

Beggs was asked by The Center Square on Monday whether the ordinance was being considered due to escalating fears about nuclear weapons being deployed in the Ukraine and Russian war.

“This has been in the works far longer than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (several years), but that crisis does underline the dangers,” Beggs said in a statement. 

The draft ordinance outlines that the “nuclear arms race has been accelerating for more than three-quarters of a century, draining the world’s resources and presenting humanity with the ever-mounting threat of nuclear holocaust.”

Because there is no adequate method to protect Spokane residents in the event of a nuclear war, which destroys most higher life forms on the planet, Stratton and Beggs want protection rules in place for local residents and businesses.

They also contend that resources used to develop new nuclear weapons are taken away from other human needs, including jobs, housing, education, health care, public transportation and services for youth, the elderly and disabled.

“The United States already has a sufficient stockpile of nuclear weapons to defend itself and destroy the world several times over,” states the proposed ordinance.

As a leading producer of these weapons, Beggs and Stratton say the U.S. should take the lead in the process of a global slowdown of the arms race and the negotiated elimination “of the threat of a pending holocaust.”

“An emphatic expression of the feelings on the part of private residents and local governments can help initiate such steps by the U.S. and the other nuclear weapons powers,” states the proposal. “Spokane is on record in support of a bilateral nuclear weapons freeze and has expressed its opposition to civil-defense crisis relocation planning for nuclear war.”

Because the governments of nuclear nations have failed to adequately reduce or eliminate the risk of nuclear attack, the people and their local representatives must take action, states the ordinance. It notes that nearby Fairchild Air Force Base no longer utilizes nuclear weapons.

If adopted, the new code prohibits work on nuclear weapons, or manufacture of any component, within the city limits.

If city officials determine that a good or service cannot reasonably be obtained from any source other than a nuclear weapons producer, a waiver to the ordinance may be sought. Documented evidence must be provided that the sought-after resource is vital to the health or safety of residents or employees of the city.

The ordinance would allow city residents to seek a court injunction against any perceived violation. If successful, the plaintiff is to be reimbursed attorney fees and court costs.

According to the agenda, the ordinance will not infringe on First Amendment rights, attempt to constrain Congress, or prevent the city council or mayor from addressing an emergency that poses a clear and present danger to the community.

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October 24, 2022 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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