Monday, August 8, 2022

Please sign a letter asking JHU president to renounce nuclear weapons contracts.


  Those of us in Baltimore will commemorate the bombing of Nagasaki with a demonstration outside Johns Hopkins University from  4 to 5 PM on August 9.  And then at 7:30 PM we will host a webinar Nuclear Weapons 101: A Tutorial during which we will discuss strategies, past and present, to abolish nuclear weapons.  Join us if you can.

Let me know if you are willing to sign on to this letter to be delivered to the president of the University.  We intend to continue our efforts to confront JHU for being the #1 School of Mass Destruction.

Kagiso, Max

August 9, 2022

Ronald J. Daniels

Johns Hopkins University
242 Garland Hall
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218

Dear President Daniels:

We write to you on Nagasaki Day, a day to commemorate a war crime committed by the US government on the people of the Japanese city of Nagasaki.  We have brought to Baltimore people who were there when that atomic bomb destroyed a city. They are known as hibakusha. 

After the war, Norman Cousins brought to the United States the Hiroshima Maidens, women whose faces were horribly disfigured by the bombing.  And Dr. Bernard Everett Simon, who received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1937, was one of the surgeons who did plastic surgery on some of the Maidens at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Possibly you are aware of this story.  These women who were damaged 77 years ago were noncombatants. 

We are fortunate not to have experienced a nuclear war, but this could change as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.  All of us must work to eliminate these weapons of mass destruction before they are used in a conflict. 

  You could highlight the role played by Dr. Simon and then announce that John Hopkins University will no longer engage in nuclear weapons research.  You would be noted as the legendary president who made a sincere contribution towards the abolition of these weapons.

Johns Hopkins University is internationally recognized for its path-breaking research and leadership in medicine and public health.  Its reputation is at grave risk, however, due to the decision of the University to engage in research on nuclear weapons, drone swarms and other military contracts for the government totaling around $1 billion annually. JHU cannot be a leader in health while also lending its name and the genius of its scientists to endeavors that will likely lead to the deaths of thousands of people, and in the case of nuclear weapons, that threaten life on Earth as we know it.

The mission statement of the university states that JHU aims to bring the benefits of research to the world.  Nuclear weapon and militarized drone research do not benefit the world; rather, both do the exact opposite. Nuclear weapons, in fact, are an existential threat to humanity. The contracts that JHU has signed with the military are a devil’s bargain, one that is unworthy of JHU.  We say that JHU is selling its soul for a passel of gold, and we believe that the Quaker who founded the university would be appalled.

We urge the University to divest itself from such morally repugnant activities and return to its origins and to its stated mission of education and beneficial research, to cease any research which has as its outcome the destruction of life.  The remarkable contributions of this world-class university are debased by these military contracts. You can’t have it both ways to foster both life and death at the same time.

The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was adopted at the United Nations in 2017 and reached the milestone of 50 ratifications which meant it was now international law. Today, 86 states have ratified the Treaty. The Treaty completes the suite of international bans on all major weapons considered unacceptable because of their indiscriminate and inhumane effects, including anti-personnel landmines, cluster munitions, biological and chemical weapons. The countries that have signed the TPNW were fed up with over half a century of the nuclear-armed states flouting their obligation to rid the world of their weapons. They have asserted the interests of humanity and global democracy in a way the nuclear-armed states were powerless to stop. 

This treaty is a sign of hope — a necessary and important step toward a less destructive planet. And you could play a very important role by promoting the Treaty after you renounce all nuclear weapons contracts. Bring JHU back to its true mission of benefiting humanity.


Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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