Takoma Park Commemorating ‘Nuclear-Free Zone’ with Virtual Film Screening

The City of Takoma Park is commemorating its status as a Nuclear-Free Zone by hosting a virtual screening of the documentary film ‘The Nuns, The Priests, and The Bombs’ on January 25th.

The documentary “follows a community of peace activists, including two Catholic nuns and a Jesuit priest in their eighties, who are willing to go to prison, and even risk death, because of their deeply held conviction that nuclear weapons are immoral and violate international humanitarian law,” according to the film’s website:

Since 1980 activists in lay and religious life have undertaken dramatic Plowshares protests in an effort to raise public consciousness on the growing threat posed by the world’s nuclear weapons. Through their actions the activists seeks to invoke the biblical injunction, “They Shall Beat Their Swords into Plowshares”. This film follows two federal criminal cases against the activists for their protests: the July 2012 break-in at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, home of the largest U.S. stockpile of highly enriched uranium, and the 2009 break-in at the Kitsap Bangor U.S. naval base near Seattle. The film follows the activists’ legal efforts to justify their actions under international law and documents efforts at the United Nations to enforce the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and negotiate the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The City of Takoma Park passed its Nuclear-Free Zone legislation in December of 1983, and later established the Nuclear-Free Takoma Park Committee: “The Act prohibits work on nuclear weapons, including transportation and storage of such weapons within the City, and prohibits the City from doing business with companies that produce nuclear weapons or their components, with very narrow exceptions.”

According to The Washington Post, in 2012 Takoma Park City Council unanimously voted to grant a waiver to purchase computers from Hewlett-Packard, the first time that a waiver was opposed by the Nuclear-Free Takoma Park Committee. “Updated research indicates that Hewlett-Packard (HP) continues to conduct business with the Department of Defense and other federal agencies for cloud services capable of the development, deployment, security, and utilization of nuclear weapons,” the committee stated in its meeting minutes.

A Q&A with filmmaker Helen Young will follow the film screening, which will start at 7 p.m. on January 25th.

Photo: Passion River Films

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