Matt Brown, co-founder of Global Zero, told the crowd that Obama had once called nuclear weapons “the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War.”
Brown said the president had instead “slowed reductions” in the country’s nuclear arsenal.
“Now, he is preparing to launch a massive upgrade to the arsenal that will cost $1 trillion over the next three decades,” Brown said. “That will lock us, our children and probably our grandchildren into a nuclear weapons future. He’s come a long way from seeking ‘the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.’ We can’t let that happen.”
Joe Hill, an internationally known artist who specializes in three dimensional pavement art, created a four-story missile design for the protest.
“Nuclear weapons present a grave humanitarian threat,” Hill said in a statement. “When I was growing up in the ‘80s, these weapons were at the forefront of everyone’s mind and fiercely debated. But though the danger has grown, the scrutiny has faded. We seem to have accepted these barbaric weapons as a fact of life, a necessary evil. I feel this is a subject that urgently needs to be discussed anew.”
Saturday’s rally kicked off the “No $1 Trillion Nuclear Arsenal” national tour, which has planned stops in Raleigh, Atlanta, Nashville and San Francisco.