Description - Banning the Bomb, Smashing the Patriarchy by Ray Acheson
Two years ago, at the United Nations in New York, activists and diplomats banned nuclear
weapons. This book covers the story of their collective activism-a story of courage and hope, as well as lessons learned, that will hopefully inform and inspire others working for social justice.
The story of banning the bomb belongs to these diplomats, along with activists who brought a
legacy of protest and vision for an alternative future to the international table. This is, ultimately, a story of resistance and of movement building. It is a story of people saying, "!Ya basta!," enough, to the nuclear-armed governments. But this movement did not just reject what the nuclear-armed were offering. It consciously, creatively, and collectively sought to build something new-to generate and promote ideas, arguments, and frameworks that would disrupt mainstream myths and narratives about nuclear weapons, institute new international norms and laws, and ultimately set in place key mechanisms for the abolition of the atomic bomb.
I was directly involved in this work as an activist with one of the partner organizations of ICAN. I represented my organization, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), on ICAN's International Steering Group. The steering group is the policy-making body of ICAN, a group of ten activist organizations from around the world that works with ICAN's staff team to lead the campaign. As a genderqueer feminist peace activist, I tried to promote a feminist vision of both process and product in my work with ICAN-to bring theories and experiences of feminist and queer activists to the task of banning nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapon policy and discourse space is one that commonly reeks of toxic masculinity.
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