In New London, town meeting article opposing nuclear weapons gets strong support

Monitor staff
Friday, March 17, 2017

Among the several thousand warrant articles that New Hampshire voters are facing this annual meeting season, one of the most unusual – one that urges the town, state and nation to cut back on nuclear weapons – got the thumbs-up in New London on Tuesday.

The article urges cutbacks and changes in nuclear weapons policy for reasons of safety and to save money. It passed, 73-45, after “surprisingly little” discussion, said John Raby, a longtime peace activist who submitted the petitioned warrant article.

“I thought it was going to be fairly close. But if I’d been put in a corner to predict, I would have predicted it would fail by a 3-2 margin,” he said.

The article urges canceling the nation’s nuclear weapons modernization programming, taking the weapons off “hair-trigger alert,” and “applying the resulting financial savings to meeting human and infrastructure needs.”

The 38-line article, complete with 17 clauses starting with “whereas,” cites accidents, the cost of maintaining nuclear weapons and many other issues needing money in New Hampshire, and includes statements from President Dwight Eisenhower and Martin Luther King, among others.

“The selectmen said, ‘We don’t know how to explain this one, but we believe there’s somebody in the audience who can,’ ” Raby recalled, laughing.

Next up, Raby said he’ll try to take the issue statewide and “in my dreams” make it a national push.

“One step at a time,” he added.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or dbrooks@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)