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'Ding dong, the nukes are dead,' protesters chant in calling for adherence to new UN treaty abolishing nuclear weapons

Debbie Kelley, The Gazette on

Published in News & Features

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A United Nations treaty abolishing nuclear weapons took effect Friday, though none of the nine countries with nuclear war capability, including the United States, signed it.

But support from leaders of 51 other nations that ratified The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons means nuclear weapons are now banned under international law.

“Ding, dong, the nukes are dead,” was the theme from demonstrators at Colorado Springs City Hall Friday.

“It’s a beginning and an end,” said local organizer Mary Sprunger-Froese, a longtime local anti-war activist.

“It’s the end of the efforts of the last 75 years to stop nuclear weapons — with the coalition winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for writing the treaty — and it’s the beginning of a new movement to abolish them,” she said. “This is a big step.”

Most Americans likely have never heard of the treaty, Sprunger-Froese acknowledges.

 

Activists hope bringing awareness to the new international law will put pressure on the powerhouse countries that have a finger on the button.

Widespread rejection of nuclear weapons is evident in NATO states, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said Friday.

Between 77% and 89% of residents in five NATO nations (Spain, Italy, Iceland, the Netherlands and Denmark) support the treaty, according to a survey from the organization.

But are the conditions of the treaty — which makes illegal the development, production, testing, manufacturing, possession, stockpiling and use of nuclear arms — realistic?

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