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- The 66th Anniversary of Hiroshima & Nagasaki -
- NDE Presents at World Conference Against A&H Bombs -

NDE Waging Peace Against Nukes at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Japan

The 66th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, August 6th & 9th, 2011, provided an emotionally charged backdrop for the World Conference Against A&H Bombs from August 2-10, 2011. Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) was privileged to have two international delegates present in the week-long international forum, Jim Haber, NDE Coordinator, and Mary Lou Anderson, NDE member and volunteer. Haber and Anderson are available for talks to classes, community groups, in person, or on radio or television, to share their experiences, answer some questions, and raise others with audiences. Contact them through the NDE office to discuss possible presentations.

Jim Haber's earlier words, in the international NDE Statement by he and Anderson, “We're Allies representing Allies”, eloquently expresses the relationship building and alliances formed at this amazing gathering of global peace-makers, dignitaries, constituents and 'real' voices of the people of Japan. The conference, hosted by Japan Gensuikyo, consisted of international governments, inter-governmental organizations and national and local peace movement representatives from the United Nations (UN), Japan, Embassy of Cuba in Japan, Embassy of Egypt in Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia, Government of Mexico, Embassy of Norway in Japan, Venezuelan Ambassador to Japan, League of Arab States, Australia, Tahiti, Marshall Islands, Guam, Palau, The Philippines, Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Peoples Republic of China, India, Nepal, Russia, Lithuania, Norway, Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom and the United States. Eighty-seven international delegates took part in the Conference (7 USA) along with approximately 9,000 participants throughout the week, in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A poignant and sobering opening to the Conference in Hiroshima on the 3rd was delivered by Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs for the UN. Duarte, a long time proponent of nuclear disarmament and renegade governmental (peace) activist himself presented UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's message to the general assembly of the World Conference. Moon expressed his solidarity with the World Conference delegates and urged all to continue to collect signatures on petitions for disarmament, publish documents and commentary, speak up loudly and publicly and hold rallies--to engage the public and educate them as to the value of participating in the anti-nuclear movement, against the deadliness of nuclear weapons. He expressed his gratefulness for the delegation support of both his efforts and those of the UN, and emphasized that, “Together you are the collective conscience of humanity, and a powerful voice for public accountability in fulfilling official disarmament commitments.”

August 2nd marked the dedication of flowers by conference delegates at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum as well as a day to reflect at the Museum and grounds in preparation for conference opening ceremonies. The Opening session on August 3rd was inspiring; delegates from across the globe gave opening remarks and statements, as did various government representatives, the Mayor of Hiroshima, and most impressive, Kodama Michiko, Secretary General of the Japan Confederation of A&H Bomb Suffers Organizations. Both morning and afternoon plenary sessions accommodated talks by numerous Peace Organization delegates, sharing their missions of driving the abolition of nuclear weapons in their respective countries. Nevada Desert Experience was afforded the chance to share our statement of intent in participating in the conference; Jim Haber shared our goals along with current Nevada efforts in organizing interfaith resistance to nuclear weapons. The crowded audience was enormously interested in the state of testing in Nevada and NDE's efforts in driving public awareness of the severity of testing and ongoing expansion of nuclear weapon facilities.

Haber was selected as moderator for two future sessions. Read excerpts from his talks below.

A brief visit was made to the Hiroshima Red Cross A Bomb Hospital which provides services to any hibakasha individual along with their family members. Staggering statistics were shared with the group regarding real numbers of people over the past 66 years who have passed through their doors seeking treatment for bomb-related disease, of which cancer, leukemia and heart disease ranked highest, for both first and second generation victims.

Hiroshima International sessions encompassed numerous talks by delegates sharing their organizations' tactics for nuclear disarmament activism, as well as work on nuclear energy awareness and the eventual elimination of nuclear energy plants in their respective countries. Similar themes abounded throughout the world – peace walks, vigils, signature campaigns, engaging youth, participation in local events, media engagement (as possible), and now, special attention to nuclear power, post-Fukushima tragedy.

August 6th marked the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Delegates embarked upon Hiroshima Peace Park for the early morning ceremonies, followed by an afternoon filled with rallies, speeches by hibakusha, government representatives and many delegates. Brief stops were made in the streets of Hiroshima as demonstrations abounded against nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, by budding young, and seasoned peace activist groups. A beautiful presentation was given by numerous groups of Japanese youth, calling for a total ban of nuclear weapons. The day's events were concluded in the evening at the Peace Park with the annual Hiroshima lantern floating ceremony: wondrous, meaningful, somber.

The Hiroshima portion of the conference concluded week-one and NDE was present at the closing ceremony panelist table. See excerpts below of our statements regarding weapons testing, missile testing, launches, US Military monies budgeted towards ongoing stockpiling, weapons' enhancements and our efforts and goals in making our voices heard.

The primary goal of the Hiroshima portion of the conference was to draft a conference document declaration to present to all delegates at the close of the conference which will ultimately be presented to the United Nations.

The World Conference moved to Nagasaki on August 7th with a moving opening session, addressed by the Mayor of Nagasaki City and many hibakusha and peace organization representatives. Japanese groups presented talks on grass-root nuclear weapon disarmament and nuclear energy abolition; truly inspiring work being done by the real victims, families of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and now, Fukushima. Multiple workshops were offered on Tuesday: Haber moderated the “Building up grass roots movements” session with over 100 attendees throughout the day. Many local individuals shared their work and visions for peace, solidarity, nuclear abolition. Many hibakusha spoke regarding their experiences and life after 66 years. See more regarding pleas from Fukushima victims, families, peace organizations, below.

August 9th marked the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. A moment of silence was observed in the massive opening session, at 11:02 a.m., in memory of victims lost and forever affected by this atrocious attack against humanity. The proposed declaration for a total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons was presented to the delegation with the adoption of the general conference statement. The proposed declaration will be presented to the United Nations in late 2011.

The closing ceremony in Nagasaki was moving, meaningful, and beautiful with many youth peace groups marching across the stage, banners in hand, singing, praying for peace in solidarity with the world.

“We Shall Overcome” chanted loudly by thousands of peace-makers echoed the desire for world peace throughout the halls of the Nagasaki Shimin Kaikan auditorium. Nevada Desert Experience was moved and proud to be part of this strong, passionate international family as we sang and marched in unison with the world, with memories never to be forgotten and a new found determination to continue the work of our NDE predecessors using non-violence solutions for nuclear abolition and an end to all wars.

Read the statement Jim & MaryLou delivered here.

NDE Speaks to Nuclear Abolition Activism

Nevada Desert Experience enjoyed two separate occasions while in Hiroshima, to present overviews of local and national activism about our work about Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) activity (in particular, sub-critical nuclear tests that Japanese activists find particularly alarming), against drones, and general issues faced by the anti-war peace movement in the United States. Haber spoke to a full delegation on August 4th and August 5th. Excerpts from the forums follow below.

Haber thanked Gensuikyo for the NDE Invitation to the conference and gave regards and thanks to our NDE Board of Directors as well as the Mayors for Peace for continually supporting the national nuclear abolition efforts across the US. “Being in Japan at this time is a teachable moment because of the Fukushima (radiation) incident. Let's talk a bit about the core of this conference – nuclear weapons stockpiling and threats and now nuclear energy. We as activist, peace-leaders have historical knowledge, experience – Chernobyl, 3 Mile Island, let's talk about our message to take home. There are many formats to reach the people, and the 'right' people. Ironically, e-letters have very positive results compared to when they first started being used; technology has vastly improved, to our advantage! I'm inspired by the ability in Japan to get so many people to sign a paper petition. Communicating with our local, national representatives is vital, with real numbers behind our messages. They 'still' don't hear us! We attend meetings with politicians who don't even take notes! We have to be strong, consistent with our approach to education and – let's not let related issues be ignored either. Weapon delivery systems – missile development and testing. The United States tests missiles every few months, we can't ignore anti-ballistic missile activity, which is truly offensive and not defensive in nature, as we develop our campaigns. It is essential to connect the many issues. People today are concerned about the environment, social services funding (cuts), humanitarian programs – we 'must' take up their issues so they will listen and believe in our own anti-war sincerity! We need to consider all approaches. During this conference I propose we do more than merely present our thoughts proposed on paper; we must build a (global) collective plan.”

“I'm in agreement with developing an international declaration for the United Nations urging the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. I'd like to share a few points as they directly relate to Nevada. Sub critical testing in Nevada; people need to understand our concern. This testing, which continues, is part of the much larger problem. “Stockpile stewardship”, “life extension” programs and other modernization schemes are very real and ongoing. These US Government terms making a lie out of its calls for nuclear disarmament, as these efforts continue and $185 billion of federal money is pledged to them in the midst of the US Economy collapse! There's no justification! Also, we don't need to test missiles. In the end of July there was another ICBM missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. In 40 years of tests, this was the only ICBM test to fail. They're offensive in nature, yet when Iran or North Korea tests more primitive, shorter range missiles, the US Government makes vitriolic condemnations. Hypocrites need to be called out. Thank you Japan for calling us out. Also, we need to call out the United States for development of anti-ballistic missiles. People in this room understand, we need to connect this message to people in our own countries to challenge the US! They are developing new, smaller nuclear weapons and say they don't count as new weapons. If a person makes a baby, we say it is a new generation. I n a sick way, this is also true for bombs. This is a dangerous new generation of nuclear weapon advancement. $185 billion dollars has been budgeted in the United States for new, improved weapons! We can't let this continue. Further, the funding for dismantling nuclear weapons in the United States is being cut. The NNSS (formerly Nevada Test Site) does not perform full scale testing but still conducts different tests and is diversifying its mission. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what's happening at the NNSS due to the strong level of secrecy of the government. And of course we know, whistle blowers are not protected so our information is often a little vague. “

“Nevada Activities – We struggle to get media attention; it's very difficult. We attempt to keep our messages of peace, disarmament, anti-war very simple. We continue to try to increase our sphere of influence in the world and say no to federal monies to war! Peace begins at home everyone, we in Nevada continue to educate, hold vigils, demonstrate, walk for peace, drive signature campaigns, all in solidarity with the goals of this memorial conference.”

Fukushima, Japan Survivors, Peace-Makers Speak Up

The World Conference in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki was blessed with many local Fukushima peace-organizations and concerned citizens and families. For the first time, the Gensuikyo event focused heavily on nuclear energy, it's dangers and risks, in light of the recent Fukushima incident. Participants such as Sato Hachiro, Village Assembly Member, Itate Village, Fukushima along with delegates from Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima delivered pleas and appeals to the delegation, for support and understanding of the critical needs of their people and their environment in the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdowns and radiation exposure.

Families in Fukushima are in fear for their children; actual radiation levels are not being reported to the general population. Divorce rates have spiked as mothers and children are moving away for fear of radiation poisoning as husbands and fathers remain back, continuing to work to support their families. Foodborne radiation appears to be spreading quite rapidly, while the government remains in discussions as to whether completely shut the reactors down. Communities are frightened and under-informed. Peace activist groups are distributing questionnaires asking citizens to voice their opinions. Students are fleeing Fukushima as well. In the meantime various relief centers have been setup to respond to the peoples' needs. Activist organizations are demanding radiation counters be installed, and also are demanding immediate clean-up of the reactor sites and affected areas. Fukushima School Board of Directors have ceased recruiting teachers, as so many families have fled; the schools are now suffering as well.

A Fukushima Nuclear Physicist stated, ...my connection to this conference is my belief that people can bring about change! All of us together are a large force and we're holding this conference at a time when radiation is spreading throughout Japan! Authorities have told us and continue to tell us that Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Arms are two different things not so! Signatures on petitions demanding answers and a ban of nuclear energy are so powerful! The enemy (government!) becomes frustrated when we petition them; that's good for us, we need to frustrate them as much as possible!

Spending time with citizens of Fukushima was enlightening, humbling, and educational. The level of fear, uncertainty, and anger continues to increase within their communities while governmental and media entities continue to downplay the severity of radioactivity. Another earthquake (amidst daily aftershocks) measuring 5.4, hit Fukoshima Friday morning, August 12th and could be felt in Tokyo.

Peace be with the people of Fukushima, peace be with the peace makers and activists of Japan. As an international group driving nuclear abolition, we will continue to keep the people of Fukushima in the forefront of our minds and actions, to stop the madness and set the land and people free.


NUCLEARISM: /NU-klee-ir-êsm/ [Mod. Eng., Psych., Relig.] (n) 1. ideology among some U.S. Americans and their allies in which nuclear weapons are held in such high esteem that they are regarded as essential to maintaining worldwide U.S. military and economic dominance. 2. belief rising in the late 20th century among many scientists, military persons, corporations, government agencies, and others within the military-industrial complex that nuclear weapons are useful, valuable, and needed to maintain/enforce "peace." 3. habitual engagement in working for the nuclear industry. 4. "death cult" (often subconsciously observed) which believes that peace is created by ultimate violence or threats of ultimate violence (i.e. the power to annihilate others); the worship of the deadliest substance that humans have created to-date.
 
In 1992, the United States signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Between 1992-1997 the United States in accordance with the Treaty stayed the all forms of nuclear testing. Since 1997, sub-critical nuclear testing has occurred regularly in violation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Sub-critical testing is the term used to describe the process of testing component pieces of a nuclear bomb without inducing a full explosion. While sub-critical testing is less politically visible, the resumption of any form of testing reinvigorates the nuclear weapons’ machine and greatly increases the possibility of a return to full scale testing in the near future.
 
- Recent Nuclear Tests -

"Rebound" was the 1st Post-Moratorium U.S. Subcritical Test on 2 July 1997 @ NTS (conducted by LANL)
"Holog" (2nd Post-Moratorium U.S. Subcritical Test) on 18 Sept 1997 @ NTS (conducted by LLNL)
"Stagecoach" on 25 March 1998 @ NTS
"Bagpipe" on 26 September 1998 @ NTS
"Cimarron" (5th Post-Moratorium U.S. Subcritical Test) on 11 October 1998 @ NTS
"Clarinet" on 9 February 1999 @ NTS
"Oboe" on 27 September 1999 @ NTS
"Oboe 2" on 10 October 1999@ NTS
"Oboe 3" on 6 February 2000 @ NTS
"Thoroughbred" (10th Post-Moratorium U.S. Subcritical Test) on 22 March 2000 @ NTS' Lyner facility
"Oboe 4" on 9 April 2000 @ NTS
"Oboe 5" on 18 August 2000 @ NTS
"Oboe 6" on 14 December 2000 @ NTS
"Oboe 8" on 26 September 2001 @ NTS
"Oboe 7" (15th Post-Moratorium U.S. Subcritical Test) 13 December 2001 @ NTS
"Vito" on 14 February 2002 @ NTS
"Oboe 9" on 7 June 2002 @ NTS
"Mario" on 29 August 2002 @ NTS
"Rocco" on 26 September 2002 @ NTS
"Piano" (20th Post-Moratorium U.S. Subcritical Test) on 19 September 2003 @ NTS
"Armando" on 25 May 2004 @ NTS
"Krakatau" on 23 February 2006 @ NTS
"Unicorn" on 30 August 2006 @ NTS
"Bacchus" at 5:35 p.m. on 15 September 2010 @ NNSS (conducted by LANL)
"Barolo A" (25th Post-Moratorium U.S. Subcritical Test) on 1 December 2010 @ NNSS
"Barolo B" on 2 February 2011 @ NNSS

 

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