From a Speech by Jackie Cabasso, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ):
Konichi-wa! (Hello!) I am here in Nagasaki for the solemn commemoration of the 64th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of this beautiful port city. On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima and then another on Nagasaki three days later. With just two bombs, more than 200,000 people — mostly civilians — were instantly incinerated or died from radiation poisoning by the end of 1945. Many more have died since and are still dying from the effects of radiation. The effect on future generations are still unknown.
Although Nagasaki has been completely rebuilt, powerful reminders of the atomic devastation can be found everywhere. The personal testimonies of the survivors, the Hibakusha, make the tragedy very real. Let us heed their plea: “Never again!”
Please do your part to abolish nuclear weapons: sign and circulate the petition to President Obama; participate in a local protest, commemoration or educational event; read up on the facts; and make plans to come to New York next May for a national march and conference during the United Nations 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.
At a time of increased international concern about the nuclear intentions of Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel, and even Japan, we seldom hear much about U.S. nuclear weapons. And yet 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons are in the hands of the United States and Russia, with thousands on high-alert.
President Obama’s call for a nuclear weapons-free world and improved relations between the U.S. and Russia present a new window of opportunity. However, former government officials, generals, and other influential members of the nuclear establishment are now engaged in a full-court press to prevent the modest first steps President Obama is trying to take. Now it is up to us to build a movement that will make meaningful progress on disarmament possible.
UFPJ has declared August Nuclear-Free Future Month. The month is being launched with a national petition drive commending President Obama for his welcome historic statement in Prague on August 5, 2009, that “as the only nuclear power to have used nuclear weapons, the United States has a moral responsibility to act.” The petition calls on the President to make good on that commitment by initiating “good-faith multilateral negotiations on an international agreement to abolish nuclear weapons, within our lifetimes!”
UFPJ is working internationally with allies, including the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, Mayors for Peace, and the International Trade Union Confederation, to put nuclear issues on the political agenda of world leaders as the United Nations prepares for the 2010 NPT Review Conference next May. We are also planning a major international rally and march on May 2, 2010, and will be delivering millions of signatures that have been collected around the world.
UFPJ recognizes that nuclear weapons are at the core of U.S. militarism, and that working for their abolition is a fundamental part of our work for peace and justice. Nuclear disarmament should serve as the leading edge of a global trend towards demilitarization and redirection of resources to meet human needs and restore the environment.
To sign the petition: click here. For additional action items: click here. To learn more about the issue: click here. To learn more about Nuclear-Free Future Month: click here.
Now, more than ever, UFPJ needs your financial support! Click here to donate.
For peace and justice in a nuclear-free world,