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Nuclear Weapons

Beyond Nuclear advocates for the elimination of all nuclear weapons and argues that removing them can only make us safer, not more vulnerable. The expansion of commercial nuclear power across the globe only increases the chance that more nuclear weapons will be built and is counterproductive to disarmament.

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Wednesday
May112016

Residents Near New Mexico Nuclear Test Site Seek Obama Visit

An article by Russell Contreras at the Associated Press begins:

Residents of a historic Hispanic village near the site where the U.S. government tested the first atomic bomb have praised President Barack Obama's planned visit to Hiroshima — the Japanese city devastated by the first a-bomb used in war.

The residents, however, also want Obama to visit their village of Tularosa.

They say generations of villagers have suffered from cancers and other health problems resulting from the Trinity Test, but the federal government has yet to fully acknowledge those effects.

"It's high time that the federal government acknowledges the sacrifices New Mexicans made," said Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders. "We are still suffering from it."

The article concludes:

Tularosa and other area residents were not included in the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act program, which provides a $50,000 payout as compensation for health problems.

The law only covers areas in Nevada, Arizona and Utah that are downwind from a different test site.

Officials with the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Division, which oversees the program, said Congress would have to amend the act to expand payouts to New Mexico residents.

Cordova said affected people in New Mexico may have been excluded because of racism since many are Hispanic and American Indian.

In a statement, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said residents of Tularosa deserve recognition from their government and coverage under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

"But while our nation has long recognized the horrific suffering endured by the victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have not adequately recognized the suffering endured by the victims of the Trinity blast right here in New Mexico," Udall said.

Wednesday
May112016

Obama to Hiroshima: Kevin Martin on Democracy Now! & Send a Message

This just in from our colleague Joseph Gerson, author of Empire of the Bomb, at Peace & Planet:

Friends,

As you have no doubt heard or read, it has been confirmed President Obama will visit Hiroshima later this month following the G-7 summit in Japan.

Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action and a Peace and Planet Co-Convener was interviewed yesterday on Democracy Now!.  It’s worth taking a few minutes to tune in to Kevin’s responses to the announcement, to the words of Nobel Laureate Oe Kenzaburo, and Hosokawa Koji, a Hiroshima Hibakusha.

It’s also not too late to send a message urging President Obama not to go to Hiroshima empty handed. We’re told that he wants to “send a forward looking signal.” That signal could be:

• Announcing the end of the $1 trillion triad

• Calling for commencement of the good faith negotiations for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons as required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

• Ending the U.S. first-strike nuclear war-fighting strategy, or

• Announcing a significant unilateral reduction in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

You can also express your solidarity with the Hibakusha (witness/survivors of the A-bombs) by signing their petition.

For Peace, Planet and a Nuclear-Free World,

Joseph Gerson

Sunday
May082016

Obama Weighs Visiting Hiroshima or Nagasaki

President Obama with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan in Washington last year. Mr. Obama, who will attend a summit meeting in Japan this month, once said he would be “honored” to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki during his presidency. Credit Kevin Lamarque/Reuters As reported by Gardiner Harris in the Washington Post, President Barack Obama is considering visiting one of the cities in Japan atom bombed by the United States of America at the end of World War II.

Obama will visit Japan for the fourth -- and likely final -- time as president, later this month, during a G7 meeting of industrialized countries.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Hiroshima during preparations for the G7 meeting, making him the highest ranking, serving U.S. official to do so.

Regarding Kerry's visit, the article reports:

“Everyone should visit Hiroshima, and everyone means everyone,” Mr. Kerry said at a news conference. He called the visit “stunning” and “gut-wrenching,” and he wrote in a guest book: “It is a stark, harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to rededicate all our effort to avoid war itself.”

Former President Jimmy Carter visited Hiroshima after leaving office, in 1984, as did Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in 2008, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Roos on Hiroshima Day in 2010, as has U.S. Ambassador Kennedy since assuming office.

Friday
May062016

A Moral Giant: Remembering Father Dan Berrigan, co-founder of the nuclear weapons abolition Plowshares movement

This photo of Dan Berrigan (smiling, center) shows his apprehension after many months living underground, evading arrest. Despite being on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list, Dan Berrigan continued to speak and preach against the Vietnam War, once narrowly slipping through the dragnet by hiding inside a giant puppet after addressing an anti-war rally.As reported by Amy Goodman at Democracy Now!, Father Daniel Berrigan passed on Saturday, April 30th, just shy of his 95th birthday. Democracy Now! dedicated its entire hour-long episode on Monday, May 2nd to remembering Father Dan Berrigan, "a moral giant." Those interviewed included Father Berrigan's niece Frida Berrigan, a columnist for Waging Nonviolence and the author of "It Runs in the Family: On Being Raised by Radicals and Growing into Rebellious Motherhood."

Dan Berrigan co-founded the nuclear weapons abolition Plowshares movement, named after the Old Testament prophet Isaiah's injunction to beat swords into plowshares, and study war no more. In 1980, Berrigan, his brother Philip, and several others conducted a disarmanent action at a nuclear weapons manufacturing plant in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, disabling a nuclear warhead, then submitting to arrest.

Both Berrigan brothers, and their comrades in disarmament, would continue to commit numerous non-violent civil disobedience anti-war and anti-nuke actions for the rest of their lives, for which they ended up spending long time periods in prison (Philip Berrigan spent a total of 11 years in prison).

Dan Berrigan's funeral mass on Friday, May 6th at St. Francis Xavier Church in New York City was livestreamed; the eulogy delivered by his niece Frida Berrigan is posted online.

Thursday
Apr282016

Hibakuaha's International Signature Campaign Launched. Please Support It

Friends,

                Yesterday Peace & Planet Japanese member organizations Nihon Hidankyo, Gensuikyo and Peace Boat launched an international petition campaign urging support for the Hibakuksha’s call for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

                Please find the announcement and a link to the petition below. Better yet, please print out the petition, sign and circulate it.

                For a nuclear weapons-free, peaceful, just and sustainable world,

                Joseph [Gerson, Peace & Planet]
 
 

A starting joint action of the international signature campaign in support of the Appeal of the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki) for the elimination of nuclear weapons was carried out at downtown Shibuya, Tokyo on April 27, 2016.

With a banner reading “Hibakusha Earnestly Desire Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” hanging high, Terumi Tanaka, secretary general of Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), called on passers-by to support the petition for the abolition of nuclear weapons.  He said, “I want hundreds of millions of people in the world to support the petition”.  Many Hibakusha took part in the action from Tokyo and nearby prefectures, and insisted that nuclear weapons must never be used again, speaking of their A-bomb experiences. Many peace organizations and individuals, which support the Appeal of the Hibakusha, also joined the street action and called for the start of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.  They include Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo), Japan Peace Committee, Peace Boat, Religions for Peace Japan, etc.

The Hibakusha and participants were so much encouraged to get support for the petition from young people, high school students, housewives and tourists from USA, UK, France and China.  A total of 277 signatures were collected in the 45-minute action.

Linked here, please find the Appeal of the Hibakusha and petition form

The Appeal of the Hibakusha was announced in April, 2016 in Tokyo, and this signature campaign was proposed and initiated by the Hibakusha and Nihon Hidankyo.  Japanese peace organizations and individuals are determined to jointly support and develop this campaign in Japan and the rest of the world.

Please send us your support message to the petition and spread this signature campaign in your country.

Sincerely,
Yayoi Tsuchida
Gensuikyo Assistant general secretary