5 Brave Fighters Against Nuclear Weapons

Since the development of the first atomic bomb, humanity has been forced to confront the possibility that conflicts between nations or factions could result in the destruction of life on Earth as we know it. Concerned groups around the world have rallied to prevent this almost unimaginable catastrophe, promoting international cooperation and the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction. The following organizations, presented in no particular order, seek to defuse the threat of nuclear war.

Leading us off at #1 is Nuclear Watch New Mexico, which promotes safety and environmental protection at science and defense facilities in the region, and opposes weapons proliferation around the globe. With a combination of research, litigation, and pressure on policy makers, the group pushes for responsibility and transparency on this critical issue. Focus areas range from the ongoing cleanup of the infamous Los Alamos National Laboratory, to debunking the idea of a winnable nuclear war.

NukeWatch has achieved a number of notable successes, such as lobbying for a government study that helped persuade Congress to reject expanded production of plutonium warhead cores. The group also works to educate the public about the factors driving nuclear proliferation, highlighting potential flashpoints like tension between Russia and NATO, and calling attention to lobbying in favor of weapons production by defense contractors.

Next up is #2, Global Zero, a movement promoting an ambitious plan to eradicate all nuclear arms by the year 2045. The effort unites respected figures from around the world, including civic leaders, diplomats, military officials, and national security experts, to make the case that humankind's safety depends on eliminating these weapons. Its goals include persuading nuclear-armed nations to adopt a no-first-strike commitment, and de-escalating international tensions that increase the risk of war.

Through its policy proposals and research reports, Global Zero highlights the dangers posed by atomic weapons and the steps that could be taken towards dismantling them. Its Nuclear Crisis Group monitors potential flashpoints between world powers, offering suggestions for de-escalation and assessing the risks posed by military exercises and international incidents. The organization also mobilizes demonstrations to oppose expansion of nuclear arsenals, or to support treaties that work towards disarmament.

Our #3 entry, Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, brings regional advocates together to support the abolition and dismantling of thermonuclear weaponry. Organizing in opposition to the ongoing presence of US-controlled missile defense and surveillance bases in the area, the group holds protests calling for the closure of these sites. Its annual Independence from America event is both a festive gathering and a demand for an end to the U.K.'s cooperation with American military strategy.

In addition to protesting the presence of U.S. defense installations in Britain, Yorkshire CND works to build support for scrapping the U.K.'s own nuclear arsenal, and for the adoption of a global ban on these weapons of mass destruction. The Campaign provides guides on how to lobby public officials and bolster local-scale peace efforts, and organizes events such as its disruption of a yearly London-based arms industry fair. It also sells literature and merchandise promoting nuclear disarmament.

Coming in at #4 is the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to enhancing peace and security through policy analysis and research. Using educational graphics, videos, podcast episodes, and other media, the Center seeks to help both public officials and ordinary citizens work toward global security and stability. By offering better understanding of the dangers involved, the organization aims to promote nonproliferation and the downsizing of nuclear arsenals.

The Center shares information on a variety of topics related to the threat of nuclear war, such as U.S. defense spending, the health impacts of weapons testing, and the sizes of arsenals around the world. Other educational efforts delve into the history of nuclear technology, discussing the tragic effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, or incidents like the Cuban Missile crisis that could have triggered global catastrophe. The group advocates for better safeguards against first strikes, and opposes expansions of weapons programs.

Concluding our list is #5, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, which trains people of all ages and backgrounds in techniques for promoting nonviolence and global harmony. Its Peace Literacy Institute instructs educators in an innovative curriculum designed to promote constructive responses to trauma and fear, aiming to address the root causes of violence. The Foundation seeks an end to warfare of all kinds, but is especially dedicated to ending the existential threat posed by nuclear arms.

The organization provides information on key international agreements aimed at banning nuclear devices or stopping their spread, and on hazards like mass famine that would result from an exchange of such weapons. Viewing the theory of nuclear deterrence as a misguided and dangerous gamble, the group shares essays and videos making the case for total disarmament. The N.A.P.F. Speakers Bureau conducts public outreach for this mission, offering presentations on topics like nonviolence and international law.