On Oct. 6, the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Around the globe thousands of nuclear activists, of all ages and skin colors, were jumping and weeping and dancing for joy and amazement. ICAN received the prize “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”

Two of the three Dominican nuns who broke into the compound surrounding MX missile silo N8 east of Fort Collins, swung a hammer at the silo and spread their blood on it in the shape of a cross in 2002 were here in Colorado last week. Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert spoke to a small crowd in Alfalfa’s Community Room and accompanied a group of 47 activists who re-visited missile silo N8 on a blazingly beautiful Saturday afternoon. N8 houses one of 49 MX missiles in Colorado.

The third nun, Jackie Hudson, died while the three of them were serving prison sentences for the break-in. Recently, Ardeth and Carol have been part of the large group of ambassadors and activists from around the world who crafted and agreed upon the language of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations, including 53 ambassadors from Argentina, Mexico, Nigeria, Cuba, Indonesia, New Zealand and 47 other countries. South Africa and Kazakhstan — both of which formerly possessed nuclear weapons and gave them up voluntarily — signed the treaty. Now, 53 ambassadors have gone home to secure agreements from their governments to ratify the treaty, and when there are 50 or more signed and ratified, the treaty against nukes will be international law.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN, remarked as she accepted the award, “This has not been an easy process. The treaty has been called ‘divisive’ by those that still ascribe value to nuclear weapons, and many of them will try to work against this. But over time, this treaty will stand strong – because it is based on strong foundations. It is morally right, and it is coherent with the framework of international law.” She also said that what we are seeing today is international law standing against weapons of mass destruction, prohibiting the use, possession and development of nuclear weapons.”

The biggest prize of all, eventually, will be a nuclear weapon-free world.

The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s “Peace Train” runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.

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