Kansas City, Here It Comes: A New Nuclear Weapons Plant!

nuclear weapons protestActually, peace activists in Kansas City looked less and less marginalized.  Nearly 5,000 Kansas City residents signed the petition to place the proposition rejecting the nuclear weapons plant on the ballot, giving it considerably more signatures than necessary to appear before the voters.

Naturally, this popular uprising came as a blow to the Kansas City Council, which put forward a measure that would block the disarmament initiative from appearing on the ballot.

At an August 17 hearing on the Council measure, local residents were irate.  “You cannot divorce yourselves from the hideously immoral purpose of these weapons,” one declared, comparing the city’s subsidy for the weapons plant to financing Nazi gas chambers “for the sake of ‘jobs.’”  Referring to the Council’s charter, which provided for the appearance of propositions on the ballot when they secured the requisite number of signatures, the chair of PeaceWorks asked:  “Are we a government of laws or of . . . corporations and special interests?”

lawrence wittnerSince then, the situation has evolved rapidly.  On August 25, the City Council voted 12 to 1 to bar the proposition from the ballot.  The next day, the petitioners went to court to block Council interference.  Honeywell, CPZ, and their friends dispatched a large legal team to Kansas City to fight against the citizens’ initiative, securing a court decision that might delay redress for years. In response, Peace Planters seems likely to speed up the process by crafting a new petition—one that would cut off city funding for the plant. Whatever the outcome, the very fact that such a struggle has emerged indicates that many Americans are appalled by plans to throw their local and national resources into building more nuclear weapons.

Lawrence Wittner
History News Network.

Published by the LA Progressive on September 5, 2011
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About Lawrence S. Wittner

Dr. Lawrence Wittner is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany. His latest book is a satirical novel about university life, "What’s Going On at UAardvark?” (Solidarity Press). He is a contributor to many sites, including Huntington News Network. His website: http://www.lawrenceswittner.com/