"It is because of nuclear weapons that the human race continues to be threatened. That is why, ultimately, the one thing that we atomic bomb survivors are calling for is the elimination of every last nuclear weapon." – Chieko Watanabe – Nagasaki Hibakusha
“The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking ... the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” – Albert Einstein
As we approach the 70th anniversaries of the August 6 and 9, 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have a unique opportunity to impact people’s thinking, to educate them about the crime of the A-bombings and the continuing dangers of nuclear weapons, and to build the popular movement needed to eliminate the threat they pose to human survival.
The need to abolish nuclear weapons is as urgent as ever. The hands of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock stand at 3 minutes to midnight. The U.S., which has driven the nuclear arms race since its beginning, plans to spend $1 trillion to “modernize” its nuclear bombs, warheads and delivery systems and maintain them well into the 21st century, while children go hungry and the country moves into relative decline for lack of infrastructure investment. Every other nuclear-armed state is modernizing its nuclear arsenal. And recent scientific studies demonstrate that even a limited exchange of 50-100 nuclear warheads will lead to global cooling, famine, and the deaths of up to 2 billion people across the planet. Nearly 16,000 nuclear weapons, 94% held by the United States and Russia, pose an intolerable threat to humanity and the global environment.
Nuclear weapons have again taken center stage in confrontations between the United States, its NATO allies, and Russia. These http://www.peaceandplanet.org/peace-planet-summer-a-call-to-commemorate-... have turned a civil conflict in Ukraine into a violent proxy war. The tensions engendered by this confrontation have been intensified vastly—potentially catastrophically—by the brandishing of nuclear arms by both sides. This has included forward deployments of strategic bombers to Europe by the United States, positioning of Russian strategic bombers in Crimea, and an accelerated tempo of military exercises and patrols both conventional and nuclear. And the confrontation in Europe is but one of several potential nuclear flashpoints, with new tensions and arms-racing from the Western Pacific to South Asia.
Breaking Silences - Taking Action
We urge people of conscience everywhere to initiate 70th anniversary commemorative events to awaken their communities to the imperative of creating a nuclear-free world within our lifetimes. These anniversaries are an occasion to:
- Organize educational forums, arrange photo and poster exhibitions
- Circulate petitions
- Put on cultural or political events
- Publish op-eds, launch resolutions (including in parliaments and city councils), and
- Support specific nuclear abolition initiatives such as:
- The Nuclear Zero case in the International Court of Justice
- Tthe Humanitarian Pledge “to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons”
- Demands for negotiation for a nuclear weapons convention
- Criminalizing nuclear weapons through the International Criminal Court
- Prohibiting nuclear weapons through national legislation
- Slashing spending on nuclear weapons (in nuclear armed States)
- Prohibiting investments of public funds in nuclear weapons corporations (in non-nuclear States), and
- Ending our personal investments in nuclear weapons, including the Don’t Bank on the Bomb campaign.
Recognizing that nuclear weapons abolition will not be won without broad and powerful people’s movements, we urge organizers of 70th anniversary Hiroshima-Nagasaki events to engage with people working to address other critical issues, including:
- Bloated military and nuclear weapons spending
- The new era of confrontation between the USA/West, Russia and China
- Cultures of violence
- Climate change and environmental protection and justice
- Proliferation of small arms
- Human rights violations
- Civil conflicts and militarization of police,
- Weaponization of space, and
- Cyber warfare
Commemorations can also be used to prepare for the next “Global Wave 2015,” being coordinated by UNFOLD ZERO on the occasions of the U.N. General Assembly from September 21 (International Day of Peace) to September 26 (International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons).