February 17, 1987
RE: EMERGENCY LEGISLATION
With a sense of great urgency we are enclosing a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The fear of nuclear holocaust is universal. The threat is real.
We hope the Reagan team will respond to world and U.S. citizen entreaties for a nuclear test ban and global nuclear disarmament. However, looking realistically at current events, the Reagan administration seems pointed away from taking those bold and compassionate steps of U.S. leadership needed to begin the process. The latest Nevada test -- the White House threat to the 1972 ABM treaty -- SDI -- "Irangate" -- bring us to the conclusion, it's up to Congress to assert the crumbling Constitutional balance of power, lead the U.S. into agreement with the USSR and other nuclear powers, and end this ghastly arms race.
Ex-NASA astrogeophysicist Dr. Charles Hyder is today at his vigil in front of the White House on day 148 of a water-only fast for a binding U.S. commitment (1) to disable and dismantle all its nuclear warheads by the year 2000 and not replace them; (2) not to use or support violent offensive military operations against other nations as an option in international relations; and (3) to pursue an aggressive good faith effort to get the USSR and the rest of the world to join the USA in these commitments.
Though weakening daily, Dr. Hyder recently traveled to Geneva with Dr. James L. Evans. There, Dr. Hyder and Executive Secretary Artemiev of the Soviet Delegation on Disarmament strongly concurred that Soviet leaders had already made public proposals during 1986 and 1987 that matched, in spirit and content, Dr. Hyder's three conditions for terminating his fast.
Dr. Hyder is offering his life as a gift, a symbol of the urgency of the situation which exists for all of us, living under the imminent and absurd nuclear threat. He has captured the attention of the world press, has the support of peace activists, scientists and colleagues around the world, including Nobel laureates George Wald and Sheldon Glashow; Carl Sagan and Freeman Dyson; and Dr. Ted Taylor, ax-nuclear weapons designer who spoke of Dr. Hyder's fast at the International Disarmament Forum in Moscow, which ended yesterday after a meeting with Gorbachev.
We believe it would be a terrible thing, considering the worldwide support for Dr. Hyder's goals, if the U.S. government simply allows this respected scientist to die at the gates of the White House. Dr. Hyder has stated that the proposal of the enclosed amendment by Congress would convince him to break his fast.
Please sponsor this amendment -- quickly. It may save Dr Hyder. It may save us all.
Your friends in peace,
PEACE PARK ANTINUCLEAR VIGIL
By: /s/W. Thomas