Step 1 - write to a politician
Your political representative is a crucial first link for generating change. Why not write or email them and tell them exactly what you think about uranium weapons. When you do it is always worth also sending a copy to your foreign minister. We can argue with state representatives until we’re blue in the face but unless there is pressure from people like you back home, they are happy to ignore us.
We would offer you a model letter template to use but they are less effective than something written by you that reflects your personal concerns. Letters to newspapers can also be effective. There is a wealth of information on this website in our resources section that you can use. Ideas may include:
1. Point out what your state’s policy on uranium weapons is – many politicians won’t know. If you don’t know where your government stands on the issue then ask them to find out for you.
2. Express your concerns about the use of these weapons, their chemical toxicity and radioactivity, the impact of long-term contamination on civilian areas, their illegality under existing humanitarian law.
3. Suggest the need to take action under the Precautionary Principle, that there are long-term uncertainties over their impact on human health and the environment, point out that dozens on lab studies and animal experiments suggest that uranium is more damaging to health than first suspected.
4. Point out the considerable global momentum towards a ban, 94% of MEPs in the European Parliament support one, there’s a domestic ban in Belgium and the UN resolutions highlighting health concerns are supported by more than 140 states.
5. You might want to explain to them why the WHO and ICRP are not telling the whole truth when it comes to the effects of these weapons.
6. Finish by asking them what they intend to do about the issue. You may want to hold them to it.
It can be a complicated issue but the bottom line is very clear:
Governments should not be spreading fine particles of chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metals over battlefields, testing grounds and civilian areas when the exact long-term effects are unknown and when all the evidence suggests that human and ecosystem health will suffer. Indefinitely.
But be careful, there is some pretty wild and speculative information out there on the web. On this site all our data is peer-reviewed and backed up by hard evidence. Governments are very good at challenging data that isn’t so be careful what you use.
We’re always interested to hear how you get on so let us know how they respond.
Step 2 - circulate our petition
Not happy about the response to your letter? In which case you may need some extra help, first up, tell your friends about the campaign, a good way to do this is to get them to sign the international petition. You can do this online or print out petition sheets and circulate them among friends, send them back to us and we’ll add them to the other 280,000 we already have.
Check our toolbox for the latest copy of our introductory briefing, we’ve tried to keep it as condensed and accessible as possible. It also has some other bits and pieces that you may find useful.
Step 3 - get connected
Start a group. Many of our member groups started like this and many have had real success domestically. If that doesn’t appeal, have a look through our member list and see if there is a group near you that you can join, they will already have some expertise in campaigning on the issue.
Step 4 - get active
This one may require leaving the house, or it may not. Plan an action! The possibilities here are endless and limited only by your imagination. It may be something as simple as getting some folk together for a meeting to discuss the issue or to watch a film.
If you’re feeling more adventurous you might want to find out if they are using, manufacturing or testing DU weapons near you and go and protest. Or you might want to stage an action outside a bank that invests in uranium weapon manufacturers (see our at the bank section). Visual actions can also be effective and can let you get your creative juices flowing.
If you need some inspiration check: http://www.indymedia.org to see what other campaigns are getting up to.
Don’t forget that whatever you decide to do, it’s pretty meaningless if nobody gets to hear about it! For tips on getting media coverage check George Monbiot’s excellent guide: http://www.urban75.com/Action/media.html
Step 5 - join our coalition
So you have a group, you’ve planned and executed a few actions, you’ve had some media coverage. Want to take it further? Why not join ICBUW, after all many hands make light work. ICBUW welcomes groups from all sorts of backgrounds: faith, anti-war, anti-nuclear, environmental, disarmament – this issue straddles a lot of topics.
Step 6 - work together
We are more effective when we work together. Just as we have formed an international coalition and had great results, domestic coalitions have also proved very effective, for example in Finland and Belgium. You might even want to consider a regional coalition, just as our Nordic friends have done.
These are all just suggestions, every individual does what they can, some may only have the time to donate to our campaigning or to support one of our projects in Iraq. It doesn’t matter what you do – as long as you do something!
- 26 Kb - Format docICBUWICBUW's model letter requesting that states submit reports to the UN Secretary General in response to the 2008 UN resolution on depleted uranium.
- 203 Kb - Format pdfICBUWICBUW 2010 discussion paper on precaution, the lack of transparency from DU users and the limited capacity of states to manage contamination.
- 210 Kb - Format pdfICBUWAn summary of the legal status of uranium weapons under International Humanitarian Law and arms control law
- 18 Kb - Format pdfIndonesia