Sara Kirschenbaum, an independent peace activist from Portland, Oregon, [is] driving her peace car, vinyl-wrapped with 17, 085 polka dots representing the number of nuclear weapons in the world, to Washington D.C. The dots are color-coded by their country of origin. Ms. Kirschenbaum wrote 99 letters to President Barack Obama in 2013 pleading for nuclear disarmament. The car is her 100th “letter” to the president. The elaborately decorated correspondence can be seen at 100lettersforpeace.com.
Ms. Kirschenbaum has been turned down by the president’s scheduling office but will try to see the President anyway. Ms. Kirschenbaum was able to secure meetings with Oregon’s senators, Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley, on Oct. 22, to urge them to take action on what she sees as the biggest threat to human civilization and the planet’s ecological health. Ms. Kirschenbaum stated that, “We will be lucky to get to global warming.” She points out that the Union of Concerned Scientists “Doomsday Clock” is currently at three minutes to midnight. It has only been closer to doomsday from 1953 – 1960, at two minutes to midnight, at a time when the United State and the Soviet Union were testing nuclear weapons above ground.
“The danger of nuclear war is as great as it has been in fifty-five years and yet a pervasive numbness keeps people from accepting that reality. My silly car, with its polka dots, aims to demonstrate just how extensive the world’s nuclear arsenal really is,” said Kirschenbaum.
Ms. Kirschenbaum keeps a black Sharpie pen in her car at all times, in case some nuclear weapons are dismantled. She has pledged to cross out the dots if the number of nuclear weapons is reduced. But with Russia and the United States apparently fighting on opposite sides of the conflict in Syria, disarmament does not appear to be imminent. The growing conflict between the superpowers makes nuclear reduction as important as ever.
Ms. Kirschenbaum [left] from SE 47th Ave. and Harold Street on the Southwest corner of Woodstock Park in Portland, Oregon at 8 am on October 6, 2015. She [is] staying with peace activists on a northern route across the country, with stops in Missoula, Montana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; and New York City, NY. She [is] about her trip on the 100lettersforpeace facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/100lettersforpeace. She hopes to visit nuclear weapons silos in Montana and to give educational talks in Minnesota, Ohio, and New York. She will be returning to Portland on October 30, 2015. Φ