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Hiroshima Nagasaki Commemorations


August 5, 2017
Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee & John Rainwater / Peace Action

Hopes are high for the recently negotiated Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, anticipating that treaty signings and ratifications set to begin on September 20 can over time influence the nuclear weapons states. Meanwhile, we are asking that the $1.2 trillion that the Pentagon plans to spend to upgrade nuclear weapons and delivery systems instead be used to preserve and expand essential social services, for education, and for green infrastructure modernization to address climate change and create jobs.

Special to Environmentalists Against War

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Commemorative
And Movement Building Events

Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee

HIROSHIMA, Japan (August 5, 2017) -- Greetings from Hiroshima, where I am attending the World Conference against A- & H- Bombs on behalf of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security.

Hopes and expectations here are high for the recently negotiated Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, anticipating that treaty signings and ratifications that will begin on September 20 can over time impact the nuclear weapons states, which have boycotted the Ban Treaty process. Those of us living in the nuclear weapons states have our work cut out for us!

Other deep concerns here have been the growing military tensions between the US and North Korea, increasing US threats against Iran, and the dangers of great power confrontations: the US and Russia and the US and China.

Japanese participants have focused on building support for their international signature campaign (one man has collected 5,000 signatures, with his goal of 20,000 by 2020,) support for the Okinawan anti-bases struggle, and blocking Prime Minister Abe's campaign to revise Japan's peace constitution.

Since this e-mail will reach people across the Northeast, as well as in the Boston area (and other parts of the world,) I thought to include a number of Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemorations with the hope that you will use them to educate people about the Ban Treaty, to build opposition to possible US attacks against North Korea and Iran, and to urge that the $1.2 trillion that the Pentagon plans to spend to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal and its delivery systems instead be used to preserve and expand essential social services, for education, and for green infrastructure modernization which can help fend off climate change and create jobs.

Work for peace and justice,
Joseph Gerson



UN Nuclear Ban Treaty Reframes Global Nuclear Weapons Debate
John Rainwater / Peace Action, Massachusetts

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 8, 2017) -- In response to the announcement that the UN voted to adopt a treaty that calls for the total elimination nuclear weapons, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement:

The treaty represents a major step towards eliminating the catastrophic threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity and life on earth. By boldly outlawing the possession of nuclear weapons the treaty fundamentally changes the terms of the global nuclear weapons debate.

This treaty draws a bright line in international law that will be hard to ignore. Over time this clear legal standard can reframe a debate still dominated by obsolete ideas of deterrence and "mutually assured destruction" that obscure the real-world moral consequences of nuclear weapons use.

Preaching temperance from a barstool never works. The US cannot lead the push for nuclear non-proliferation on the Korean peninsula while it spends billions to maintain one of the world's two biggest nuclear arsenals. It's time for the US to get off of the barstool and lead by example.

The US must demonstrate it is serious about global nonproliferation by cutting its $1 Trillion plan to upgrade the entire US nuclear weapons arsenal, by stopping production of new destabilizing weapons systems, and by continuing to support multilateral diplomacy with countries like Iran and North Korea that can address conflicts over nuclear weapons.

The US needs to stop resisting the wisdom of the world. Achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons would be one of humankind's greatest accomplishments. The US must join with all the other nuclear-armed states alongside the rest of the world to eliminate these dangerous, obsolete, and immoral weapons once and for all.

Background: In a 122-1-1 vote the UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty requires countries ratifying the treaty to "never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."

The United States and the 8 other nuclear weapons armed states boycotted the process. The treaty opens for signature on September 20th at the UN in New York City, and the signatory states will pursue ratification. Once 50 states have completed that process the treaty becomes international law.


CALENDAR

"Hiroshima & Nagasaki:
The Time to Ban Nuclear Weapons is Now"

(Saturday) August 5, 2017 (10:00 AM to 11:30 AM)
Walpole Common at the corner of Main and West Streets


Please join the Walpole Peace and Justice Group for a peace vigil, on. Seventy-two years after the United States atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and 47 years after the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the five original nuclear weapons states, led by the United States, have not taken serious action on their commitments to abolish nuclear weapons.

Instead, President Trump is pushing ahead with a $1 trillion program to modernize US nuclear weapons, building new generations of bombers, submarines, ICBMs, air-launched cruise missiles, and bomb production factories. In response, the United Nations, led by the vast majority of its non-nuclear states, adopted a new treaty July 7 to ban nuclear weapons.

We join with Massachusetts Peace Action, other peace groups, people of faith, community groups, and all people who care about the future of humanity to call for all countries to disarm nuclear weapons. Join us for some readings and a time of observance and reflection. We will have banners but also invite people to bring their own signs and readings. People should feel free to come for only part of the time.

See the Massachusetts Peace Action website http://masspeaceaction.org/time-to-ban-nukes-is-now/ for a list of other vigils in the Boston area.

The International Signature Campaign:
From Joe Gerson, Director of AFSC's Peace and Economic Security Program: Please support the international signature campaign of the Appeal of the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki) for the elimination of nuclear weapons. You can down load it at http://www.peaceandplanet.org/petition-support-the-hibakushas-a-bomb-survivors-appeal-today/. Completed copies can be sent to:
AFSC-PES, 2161 Massachusetts Ave.,
Cambridge, Ma. 02140
or to Nihon Hidankyo
(Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations)
Gable Bldg. #902, Shiba-Daimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0012 JAPAN.

To learn more about the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban and Prohibition Treaty Ban Treaty, see the article written by Zia Mian of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. It appears in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists http://thebulletin.org/after-nuclear-weapons-ban-treaty-new-disarmament-politics10932 .

Active Bystanders' Training:
There is still time to register for the "Active Bystanders' Training: Creating Safety in Contentious Times" on Monday, July 31, at 7:00 PM at the Walpole Public Library in the Community Room. The training will be conducted by Quabbin Mediation and Boston Active Bystanders.

Space for the training is limited and so participants must register ahead of time to reserve a seat by sending an email to info@walpolepeace.org with the subject "Active Bystander's Training."
Sponsored by the Walpole Peace and Justice Group

STATEN ISLAND: Sunday, August 6, 2017 (Hiroshima Day)
Remembrance March and Dance
Seaview Ave and Father Capodanno Blvd, Staten Island, NY
2PM: One-Mile Remembrance March at Midland Beach, followed by 3PMperformance by the Laura Neese dancers and activities for children.
In the event of rain, the program will be held at the Unitarian Church of Staten Island, 312 Fillmore St.

NEW YORK: Sunday, August 6, 2017
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial Prayer and Vigil by Pax Christi Metro New York
Speaker: Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. 2:30PM at 20 Washington Square North, New York, NY

SYRACUSE: Sunday August 6, 2017
Family Potluck Picnic with crafts, dance lessons, and lantern floating
Bring a dish to share; Thanks also to With Love Burma Restaurant and Wegmans for donations.
Thornden Park Lily Pond, Syracuse, NY
Free, All are invited. 5pm to dusk

BINGHAMTON: Sunday, August 6, 2017
Ringing of the Bells for the Bombing of Hiroshima.
Friends and family are invited: Introduction by Broome County Peace Action followed by ringing of the bell and remarks by Doug Garner, SUNY Broome History Department and area ministers. An open microphone will be available for comments.
8AM: Congressional Church, Binghamton.

BUFFALO Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Indigenous Peoples and Nuclear-Free Future Day

Sponsored by the Buffalo History Museum, Indigenous Women's Initiatives, and the WNY Peace Center. At the Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Court (Elmwood just past R#198), Buffalo, NY.
Event begins at 3PM. Special guests, Japanese lantern ceremony (Toro Nagashi), more. We'll be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People.

GENESEE VALLEY: Tuesday, August 8, 2017
7:30 PM Hiroshima/Nagasaki Vigil
Avon Traffic Circle (Routes 5 & 20) in Avon, New York
GVCP: Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace

SYRACUSE: Weds. Aug. 9, 2017 (Nagasaki Day)
Solemn Procession with Giant Puppets
Everyone is invited to join in and carry small or large props! Start behind City Hall Commons, Washington and Warren Streets, Syracuse
11:30 gather; 12pm step off. About 1pm end at Everson Plaza.

BINGHAMTON: Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
Nagasaki Forgiveness Mass
7PM. 178 Chenango St Binghamton NY.
The evening of August 9, Nagasaki Day, Fr. Tim Taugher will celebrate a Mass of Forgiveness for our destruction of the city of Nagasaki. This is an ecumenical Mass and the community is invited and all are welcome. Brief remarks will be made. An open microphone for public comments will be offered.

SYRACUSE: Wednesday, August 9th
*Present tense: Selections from "The A-Bomb and Humanity": Photo and art exhibit
Opening at Bishop Harrison Center. Refreshments served.
1342 Lancaster Ave, Syracuse
1pm - 6pm: Opens following downtown procession. Drop in when you can
Exhibit continues until September 8, 2017
Monday-Friday 9am-2pm; Sundays 10am-2pm and by appointment: Meg- 315-395-9308

SYRACUSE: Thursday, August 10
*Present tense: Selections from "The A-Bomb and Humanity"
Photo and art opening at 914Works
914 E. Genesee St, Syracuse
6-8pm. Refreshments served; Introduction by Diane Grimes and Diane Swords
The exhibit continues from Aug. 10 to Aug. 19, 1-4pm Tuesday through Saturday

SYRACUSE: Tuesday, August 15
Don't Bank on the Bomb
914Works at 914 E. Genesee St.
7-9pm. Free. All are invited.
Presentation by Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union and Hansen's Advisory Service: How to move your money from banks or investments that support nuclear weapons.

SYRACUSE: Wednesday, August 16
The Atomic Bombing Exposed (videos)
914Works at 914 E. Genesee St.
7-9pm. Free. All are invited.
4 brief videos followed by discussion
Interviews with Hibakusha (Bomb survivors)

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