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Peace groups lobby Walz to support nuclear weapons ban via Mankato Free Press

MANKATO — Advocates for nuclear disarmament brought a petition supporting a treaty to ban the weapons to Congressman Tim Walz’s local office Tuesday.

The petition, signed by more than 8,000 Minnesotans so far, calls for the state’s congressional delegation to speak out in favor of the United Nations treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

It’s the first legally binding treaty of its kind — 122 countries voted to adopt it in July — but the groups involved with the petition say it’s been a long road.

“This is way past due,” said Marie Braun of Women Against Military Madness. “It’s 72 years we’ve been living under this risk of some kind of nuclear action and nuclear war.”

Women Against Military Madness has been working with Veterans for Peace and members of the Mankato peace community to collect the signatures. Of the 8,107 signatures collected as of mid-October, 98 came from Mankato.

[…]

“People don’t think about it much because deterrence has seemed to work, but nuclear weapons are not the answer,” she said.

In discussions with Walz’s staff, the groups said they believe the treaty, along with the fact the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won a 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for overlapping work, gives their movement legitimacy.

Getting Walz’s and his colleagues’ support, or at least letters articulating their positions, would only add to their conviction. 

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