by Ellie Cooper
What an incredible weekend! As I write this I’m sitting in the back of the Global Zero van on the way back to DC after three excellent days of music and discussion about getting to zero at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago.
The Global Zero tent at Pitchfork 2011.
When I volunteered to help talk to festival-goers about the Global Zero cost campaign, I anticipated a fun time and thought it would be a good promotional opportunity for what I believe is an important cause. But it was more than that. Pitchfork was further evidence that people want governments to cut spending on nukes.
In a conversation with a festival attendee, I learned that Union Park (the site of Pitchfork) backed up onto a section of the Chicago projects where children attend sub-par public schools with low ACT scores and equally low graduation rates. The Chicago resident could get behind the idea that we need to support funding for education, not for maintaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
I also had the opportunity to sit down with a group of college kids who wanted to know why I got involved in Global Zero and how their signatures on the Cut Nukes petition would make a difference. I explained that constituencies matter to politicians, especially when making spending recommendations and decisions. They really liked the idea of reallocating funding from nuclear weapons to college scholarships.
Some of the people I talked to about the campaign even took notes!
The enthusiasm and support people showed for Global Zero’s call to cut nukes encouraged me. Clearly, cutting nuclear weapons spending appeals to a wide variety of ages, professions, and localities. I hope G-20 leaders are as motivated by peoples’ passion as we are!
You can sign the Cut Nukes petition too!