PRESS RELEASE-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 5, 2015
CONTACT: Max Obuszewski 410-366-1637 or 727-543-3227 or mobuszewski at verizon.net
BALTIMORE HOLDS 31st ANNUAL HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI COMMEMORATIONSIT IS THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ATOMIC BOMBINGS OF JAPAN
WHO: For the 31st year, the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee will remember the atomic bombings of Japan on August 6 & 9, 1945, which killed more than 250,000 people. Other organizations involved in the commemorations are the Baltimore Quaker Peace and Justice Committee of Homewood and Stony Run Meetings, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, Crabshell Alliance and Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore.
WHAT/WHEN/WHERE: The HIROSHIMA COMMEMORATION will begin at 5:30 PM on Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 33rd & N. Charles Streets. Participants will demonstrate against Johns Hopkins University’s weapons contracts, including research on killer drones, will commemorate the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and will remember the nuclear energy disaster at Fukushima, Japan.
At 6:30 PM there will be a march to the Bufano Sculpture Garden on John Hopkins University Homewood campus. Guests, Hiroshima Hibakusha [survivors], Mr. Goro Matsuyama  and Ms. Takako Chiba , will elaborate on their experiences with the atomic bombing. Ms. Yukie Ikebe will guide the Heartful Chorus, which will sing a cappella. Matsuyama was a 4th grader of Hiroshima 2nd Middle School at the time, and working as a mobilized student worker at a military factory at the edge of the city (two and half miles from the epicenter). He walked through the devastated city to his dormitory and then to his home, exposing himself to the radiation. After retiring from teaching in Hiroshima Prefecture, he is very active in Hibakusha peace movements. He compiled and published a collection of Hibakusha testimonies, and is presently president of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Hibakusha Association of Neyagawa City in Osaka Prefecture.
Chiba was three years old at the time and survived the bombing at one and half miles from the Hiroshima bomb epicenter. She grew up watching her mother working for support activities of Hibakusha. After retiring from teaching, she started earnestly working for anti-nuclear movements. She came to NY City for the 2010 NPT Review Conference and gave her testimony. She is president of Ashiya City Hibakusha Association. She is also active in the anti-nuclear power movement.
Ikebe is the leader/instructor of the sixteen person Heartful Chorus choral group, in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. She is a peace activist and an accomplished pianist, and has performed throughout Japan and in France and East Asian countries. There will be an opportunity to converse and dine with our esteemed Japanese guests at the Niwana Restaurant, 3 E. 33rd Street.
WHAT/WHEN/WHERE: The NAGASAKI COMMEMORATION takes place on Sunday, August 9, 2015 at Homewood Friends Meeting, 3107 N. Charles Street. It begins at 6 PM with a potluck dinner. At 7 PM the program will begin. The death of Freddie Gray ignited a movement to seek positive social change. Speaking on this issue will be Ralph Moore, a civil rights icon, who once said “Economic justice is the one [issue] I’ve focused on most over the years. Various issues spill out from that; it’s been housing, it’s been hunger, it’s been education, it’s been jobs and it’s been anti-war.”
After Ralph’s address, there will be a Q & A. Then participants can share through verse, poetry or song how to cure the ill of poverty in Baltimore. The suggestions will be sent to the mayor and the City Council.
WHY: On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan, killing an estimated 150,000 people in the immediate blast and fire. Three days later, on August 9, 1945, more than 75,000 people died in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. More than 100,000 people died in the days and years ahead, and continue to die, from the radiation poisoning of the first atomic bombings.
The atomic bombing of Nagasaki may have been the most destructive test ever performed by the U.S. government. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was a plutonium-based bomb. The atomic monstrosity dropped on Nagasaki had a uranium core. There was no need to drop either bomb, as Japan was defeated. The bombs were the first salvos in the Cold War. The atomic weapons were actually used to show the Soviet Union that the United States added new and powerful weapons to its arsenal. The civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki suffered the consequences.
Today the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen are victims of U.S. killer drone strikes. As many as six U.S. citizens were denied due process and were assassinated by drone strikes.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. It is the greatest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident of 1986. The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee will continue its work to end the use of killer drones and to rid the planet of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.