Appeal to the University of California
Stop your involvement in the development and improvement of nuclear weapons!
|Sign the Appeal today!
To the President and Regents of the University
Universities play an important role in society.
They are institutions that bring together experts to transmit
knowledge to successive waves of young adults coming of age.
In the process, they train citizens and future societal leaders.
Universities should set an example to the youth they train and
to the general society, reflecting the highest standards of civilization
and ethical behavior.
An important question to ask about any university is: Whose
interests does it serve? Ideally, a university serves the interests
of society as a whole. But in too many instances, universities
are corrupted by money and power to serve entrenched and narrow
interests, including those of the military-industrial complex
that President Eisenhower warned about in his Farewell Address.
The size of military budgets in many countries makes it likely
that a high percentage of research dollars funneled through universities
will be military dollars, a situation that diverts attention
from research on urgent problems confronting humanity, such as
alleviating starvation, preventing the spread of infectious diseases,
protecting our air and water from pollution, preventing catastrophic
climate change, and finding sustainable solutions to energy needs.
Throughout the Nuclear Age, the University of California has
played a particularly egregious role, managing and providing
oversight to the two main US nuclear weapons laboratories: the
Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory. Every nuclear weapon in the US arsenal has been designed
and developed at these laboratories. Should these weapons ever
be used, by accident or design, they will, in effect, come with
a tag saying, “Made at the University of California.”
Continued work on designing and developing nuclear weapons
may well be illegal under international law. In 1996, the International
Court of Justice, the world’s highest judicial body, found
that “[t]he threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally
be contrary to the rules of law applicable under armed conflict,
and particularly the principles and rules of humanitarian law.”
The University of California, a great but compromised university,
has contributed its stature and provided a fig leaf of respectability
to research laboratories engaged in the creation and maintenance
of nuclear weapons that could destroy civilization and possibly
end human life on Earth. It now does so in partnership with Bechtel
and other defense contractors.
We in the academic community – students, professors
and staff – join together in protesting against this misuse
of science and technology and the role of the university in society,
and call upon the University of California to end its relationship
with laboratories that design, develop, maintain and improve
these weapons of mass annihilation.