WASHINGTON - A 200-foot long replica of the Berlin Wall, sponsored by a plethora of organizations uniting to form Project Abolition, was erected on the National Capital Mall, near the West Side of the United States Capitol to decry threats posed by Cold War nuclear weapons. The "Wall of Denial" will be a focal point for educational programming during the week of November 2 &SHY; 9 to raise awareness about the United States' nuclear weapons policy. The 200-foot long wall will be situated on 3rd St. between Constitution Ave. and Independence Ave. on the National Mall. Construction by the public begins at 9:30 am on November 2nd.
Television reporters and print journalists are encouraged to visit the Wall of Denial in advance of the tear-down ceremony. Accommodations for live broadcast are available.
Please contact Adam Eidinger or Adina Schyman at 202-547-3577 if you have any questions.
WHO: Project Abolition, CTBT Supporters, Students, and Artists
WHAT: Construction of 200-foot replica of Berlin Wall Candle light vigil on eve of 10th Anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall Tear-down ceremony and press conference Daily visits by famous Americans and musical performances into the night
WHEN: Nov. 2 at 9:30 am through Nov. 8, Construction of wall by public Nov. 8 at 6:00 PM, Candle light vigil Nov. 9 at 11:00 am, Press conference and tear-down ceremony WHERE: National Capitol Mall on 3rd Street between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue
Organizers intend to use the "Wall of Denial" as a stage to expose the defeat of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, to condemn "new" isolationism in the U.S. Congress, and to educate the public about the ongoing threats posed by nuclear weapons despite the end of the Cold War. The week-long commemoration is intended to sustain public interest in non-proliferation through the 2000 Election. "The defeat of the test ban treaty is a wake-up call and challenge to redouble our efforts for de-nuclearization," said Alistair Millar, Washington Director of the Fourth Freedom Forum, one of the groups spearheading the "Wall of Denial." He ads, "Those of us who care about ending the nuclear menace must renew our commitment to public outreach and activism."
Throughout the week, the general public will be encouraged to spray paint the "Wall of Denial" with pro-disarmament messages and high power lights illuminating it will create a "temporary monument" that will attract passers-by well into the night. Activists from around the country will vigil at the "Wall of Denial" for seven days, 24 hours per day. "This is the most ambitious call to action we have taken in a long time," said Nadine Bloch of the Washington Action Group. Bloch says, "We're forced to build this monument because of the ongoing terror posed by nuclear weapons."
On November 2, Project Abolition will also begin airing a 60-second TV commercial featuring actor Martin Sheen in Washington, DC, Iowa, and New Hampshire. "Politicians are in denial about nuclear weapons," says Sheen. "Its been ten years since the end of the Cold War yet thousands of American nuclear bombs are on hair trigger alert, poised to launch at a moments notice. It's insane and it's immoral," invokes the 59-year-old actor. FOR A COPY OF THE COMMERCIAL PLEASE CONTACT Adam Eidinger at 202-547-3577.
Also November 2, Peace Action, the nation's largest peace and disarmament group, will hold demonstrations at the offices of Senators who opposed the Test Ban Treaty. Actions are planned in Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Texas, Missouri, California, and Washington State. "This is a one-year countdown to a Test Ban," said Gordon Clark, Executive Director of Peace Action. "On Election Day '99, we're going to be at the offices of Republican Senators up for re-election &SHY; Senate candidates like Rudy Giuliani, and presidential candidates like George W. Bush, all of whom opposed the Test Ban. They've made the 2000 elections a referendum on whether the American people want a new nuclear arms race, and we're betting the answer is 'NO'. So we're putting them on alert: change your position."
Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) will hold a press conference in front of the "Wall of Denial" at 11:30 on November 9th. The Congressman will announce a new Rapid Risk Reduction Resolution aimed at encouraging the United States and Russian legislatures to work together, outside the formal treaty process, to set the stage for dramatic reciprocal reductions in nuclear weapons. Kucinich joined other members of the House in a delegation to meet with the Russian Duma during the Kosovo war and intends to employ a similar process to build confidence between the two nations that possess more nuclear weapons than the rest of the world combined. Other Representatives are also likely to attend as co-signers of the Resolution.
Peace Action will also protest at the U.S. Capitol building on November 2, by convening a "Worship Service" of the "Holy Cult of the Bomb." "Worshipers" will lampoon "Presiding Elders" Senators Trent Lott and Jesse Helms. Demonstrators will meet at 12:00 noon on the eastside of the Capitol Lawn wearing robes and headgear. Following the satirical protest, demonstrators in costume will march to the "Wall of Denial."
Organizations working with Project Abolition on the "Wall of Denial" include: Physicians for Social Responsibility, Peace Action Education Fund, 20/20 Vision, The Disarmament Clearinghouse, the Fourth Freedom Forum, The Washington Action Group, War Resisters League, Peace Links, the Catholic University College Democrats, Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, Women's Action for New Directions, NETWORK: National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, The DC Statehood Green Party, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Association, The American University Movement, Proposition One, Veterans for Peace, and others.
Television reporters and print journalists are encouraged to visit the Wall of Denial in advance of the tear-down ceremony. Accommodations for live broadcast are available. Please contact Adam Eidinger or Adina Schyman at 202-547-3577 if you have any questions.