The Nuclear Weapons Threat is Real.
by Janice Sevre-Duszynska and Max Obuszewski
For the 35th year, Baltimore’s Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee will remember the atomic bombings of Japan on August 6 & 9, 1945, which killed some 220,000 people. This year’s commemorations will highlight what a dangerous time this is as the Trump administration has a complete disregard for any of the nuclear weapons treaties.
For example, in May 2018, the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement. This was followed by the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran and threats against the country. More recently, President Trump withdrew from the Reagan era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty―an historic agreement that had banned U.S. and Russian ground-launched cruise missiles. Finally, the 2010 New START Treaty might not be renewed after it expires in February 2021.This Treaty reduced U.S. and Russian deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 each. If the treaty expires, it will mean there would be no nuclear arms control agreement between Russia and the United States.
Both countries currently have about 13,000 nuclear warheads. And the U.S. intends to spend more than $1 trillion over 30 years modernizing its nuclear weapons production facilities and adding lower-yield nuclear weapons to its arsenal.
Vigils will be held on both August 6 and 9 calling attention to these dangerous times. And on each evening Homewood Friends Meeting will host several speakers.
On Hiroshima Day, Dr. Gwen DuBois, president of Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, will give an update on the Back from the Brink movement and how to be involved with Prevent Nuclear War/Maryland. For example, the Baltimore City Council unanimously passed a Back from the Brink resolution on August 6, 2018.
Then Ms. Michiko Kodama, a Hibakusha who was 7 years old when she experienced the Hiroshima bombing, will give a presentation. As the Assistant Secretary General of the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), she will appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
On Nagasaki Day, Les Bayless of the Silver Spring Three will speak on the 50th anniversary of a remarkable draft board raid. Then Patrick O’Neill, a member of the Kings Bay Plowshares, will discuss the current legal situation for the seven Roman Catholic activists, including Elizabeth McAlister, arrested at a Trident Submarine Base in Georgia on April 4, 2018. The evening will be dedicated to showing the link between an earlier time’s draft board raids and today’s anti-nuclear Plowshares movement.
McAlister, a grandmother and co-founder of Baltimore’s Jonah House with her late husband, Philip Berrigan, has been imprisoned since the arrest in the Brunswick County, Georgia Jail. On a postcard we received from McAlister, she wrote this: “Thank you for writing and sharing news from Baltimore and efforts for peace and justice. I do get, read, and save pieces from The New York Times and The Baltimore Sun and that is a blessing – more than I can fully absorb. It makes it very clear that we are a nation in deep trouble.”
"Nuclear weapons eviscerate the rule of law, enforce white supremacy, perpetuate endless war and environmental destruction, and ensure impunity for all manner of crimes against humanity...” (Statement of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7). All of the Kings Bay Plowshares will be in court in Georgia on August 7 for a hearing to discuss their legal arguments as to why they engaged in a prophetic disarmament action with blood and hammers enacting the biblical prophecy, “They shall turn swords into plowshares.” On August 11 from 5 to 7 PM at Busboys and Poets, 14th & V Sts., 2021 14th St. NW, WDC 20009, four of the seven Kings Bay Plowshares will speak. A trial will be scheduled probably in the fall. We intend to be at Busboys and Poets on August 11 and will attend the trial, as we firmly believe it is important to support these extremely courageous anti-nuclear advocates who face decades of imprisonment.
The authors are activists with the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"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