Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 PHONE: 410-323-1607
PRESS RELEASE-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 8, 2017
CONTACT: Max Obuszewski 410-323-1607 or 727-543-3227 or mobuszewski2001 at comcast.net
BALTIMORE HOLDS 33rd ANNUAL NAGASAKI COMMEMORATION.
IT IS THE 72nd ANNIVERSARY OF THE ATOMIC BOMBINGS OF JAPAN.
WHO: For the 33rd 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 Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, Crabshell Alliance and Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore.
WHAT: The HIROSHIMA COMMEMORATION began at 5:30 PM on Sunday, August 6, 2017 outside Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles Street. Participants demonstrated in favor of the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons: Fifty nations must ratify the Convention to Ban Nuclear Weapons, and ratification begins on September 20. One hundred and twenty two countries signed on to the convention, but they must take it back to their nations for ratification by whatever means each nation has for ratification. As people drove by the demonstration, they honked and waved and gave out peace signs in support of the demonstrators.
After a scrumptious potluck dinner, a statement was read from Rev. Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo, a Baltimore resident, who shared her insights about living in apartheid South Africa. Rev. Mahlangu-Ngcobo was in South Africa on August 6 for a Prayer Intercession in Parliament. The government of Jacob Zuma was being challenged. South Africa is the first nuclear nation to end its program.
Then Dr. Gwen DuBois, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, discussed her work in New York City during the gathering at the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons. She emphasized the need to form a committee to lobby Maryland members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to commit to a goal of abolishing nuclear weapons.
The NAGASAKI COMMEMORATION will begin on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 5:30 PM. Participants will demonstrate at 33rd & N. Charles Streets against Johns Hopkins University’s weapons contracts, including research on killer drones, and will remember the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan.
Afterwards, the group will march to the Homewood Friends Meetinghouse, 3107 N. Charles Street. Baltimore activists will be joined by members of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Areas. Then, with the help of a translator, a Korean Hibakusha, Ms. Jon Sung Lee, will address the group. Ms. Lee was 12 years old when she experienced the effects of the Hiroshima bombing. Her family was part of the large Korean community in Hiroshima forced to work in Japan during WW2. She entered Hiroshima three days after the bombing.
Also speaking will be Sister Megan Rice of the Transform Now Plowshares. On July 28, 2012, she engaged with Greg Boertje-Obed and Mike Walli in a remarkable Plowshares disarmament at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN. The group was convicted and each served time in federal prisons. Dan Zak’s book ALMIGHTY details the story of the Transform Now Plowshares. At 8:30 PM, the group will enjoy dinner at Niwana Restaurant, 3 E. 33rd Street.
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. Thousands of people have died over the years from radiation poisoning.
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.
On July 7, 2017, history was made at the United Nations, as 122 nations voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty will open for signatures on September 20, and would enter into force once 50 nations have signed and ratified it, a process that could take a year or more. The abolition of nuclear weapons remains a dream, but this vote could be the beginning of the end.
For those who believe that nuclear disarmament is but a dream, one must recognize that Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk won the Nobel Peace Prize, one reason is South Africa dismantled its nuclear weapons program in 1989. So nuclear disarmament can be achieved.
Today the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and other countries are victims of U.S. killer drone strikes. As many as six U.S. citizens were executed by drone strikes.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials at the nuclear power plant, following the Tôhoku 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.
“The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs