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© Marnie Johnson

Hastings’ Hiroshima Day gathering

Thursday 6 August 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Nagasaki suffered the same fate three days later. The number of victims from these attacks on civilian populations are estimated at over 200,000. Hastings Against War will be organising their annual Hiroshima Day remembrance gathering and invite you to come along.

For over 25 years, local supporters of CND – Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament – have gathered on 6 August at the boating pond in Alexandra Park to remember the victims and resolve to continue campaigning against nuclear weapons. In the coming year, the UK government will decide about renewing Trident, so this is an important opportunity for people of peace to make their opinion count.

If you haven’t been before, it is a very moving ceremony. At sunset, we set floating paper lanterns on the water, echoing the ceremony in Hiroshima and many other towns and cities throughout the world, connecting Hastings with people of like mind world-wide. Our aim is to promote a culture of peace in our country, one of the nine nuclear weapon states.

Join us for a short programme of talks and peace songs until darkness falls, when we light the paper lanterns. Although it is a solemn occasion, it is suitable for children under supervision (due to darkness and sharp drop at the pond edge).
We gather regardless of weather conditions.

Hiroshima Day flyer

Hiroshima Day flyer

Hiroshima Day gathering

Thursday 6 August, gather at 8.15pm by the boating pond in Alexandra Park, Hastings (near the war memorial and main gate from Queens Road)

For more information, please call John on 07512009281 or Rona on 07895830125.
To help in the planning for this event, come to the next regular meeting of Hastings Against War on Tuesday 21 July at 7.30pm at The Friends Meeting House, South Terrace, Hastings. Ground floor – easy access – all welcome

Join us in making the 70 paper lanterns on Tuesday 4th August at 7.30 pm at Friends (Quaker) Meeting House, South Terrace, Hastings.

What is Trident? The CND ‘No To Trident campaign.

Can the use of weapons such as the H-bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ever be justified? When we meet people who hold this view, we challenge it pointing to the stark reality of the current dangers and reminding them of the Japanese eye witness survivors, called hibakusha, who travel the world urging people and governments, ‘Never Again!’

What happened 70 years ago?

On 6 August 1945, an American B-29 bomber dropped a nuclear bomb called ‘Little Boy’ over the centre of Hiroshima in Japan. It exploded about 600 metres above the city with a blast equivalent to about 15,000 tons (15 kilotons) of high explosive TNT. Although only a fraction of the destructive power of today’s nuclear weapons, it was sufficient to kill instantly an estimated 70,000 people. By the end of 1945, thousands more had died from their injuries and radiation poisoning.

Three days after the first bombing, on 9 August 1945, another B-29 dropped a second atomic bomb called ‘Fat Man’ on Nagasaki. The resulting explosion had a blast yield equivalent to 21 kilotons of TNT. The estimates for immediate deaths range from 40,000 to 75,000 out of Nagasaki’s 240,000 residents. Total deaths by the end of 1945 may have reached 80,000.

What is the current situation?

There are now over 16,000 nuclear warheads, all many times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. They are irrelevant for today’s security needs and any use would not only be illegal, but suicidal. Despite the obligation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to disarm, in exchange for other countries not acquiring them, all nine nuclear-armed states – USA, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – are planning to upgrade their weapons. After three recent conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons held in Norway, Mexico and Austria, 107 nuclear-free nations have now signed the Humanitarian Pledge “to work for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.” Frustrated by the intransigence of the nuclear-armed states, these nations are prepared to advance the goals of the pledge on their own.

The aim is to start negotiations on the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. John Loretz of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War writes:

“The nuclear-armed states are on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of morality and the wrong side of the future. The ban treaty is coming, and then they will be indisputably on the wrong side of the law. And they will have no one to blame but themselves”.

What can you do? 

Keep up to date by subscribing to the newsletter of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Join the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

Tell family and friends. Ask at school or college for a CND educational visit. Email educationoutreach@cnduk.org

Join your local peace group. Contact Hastings Against War on Facebook.

Write to your MP (amber.rudd.mp@parliament.uk) to say you reject a defence policy based on the readiness to incinerate millions of innocent civilians and inflict unspeakable suffering on survivors.

Posted 08:04 Saturday, Jul 25, 2015 In: Campaigns

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