Monday, April 20, 2015

4.24-26 NYC Demonstrators to rally for nuclear abolition


Thousands of protesters are set to gather in New York City this week to demand a nuclear-free world in advance of the five-year Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference.
Activists, scholars and students with anti-nuclear, peace and environmental justice movements will call on the NPT Review Conference meeting at the United Nations to mandate the commencement of “good faith negotiations” for the complete elimination of the world’s nuclear arsenals, as required by the treaty.
Activist events include an international conference April 24-25 at the Cooper Union featuring speakers from more than a dozen countries.
On April 26, a mass rally will take place in Union Square, followed by a march to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, where millions of petition signatures will be presented to UN and NPT officials.

The rally will launch a “Global Wave,” with participants symbolically waving goodbye to nuclear weapons. The Global Wave will travel west, by time zone, with public events scheduled in Papeete, Manila, Amman, Bethlehem, Stockholm, Paris, London, Sao Paulo and points in-between.
An interfaith service will precede the rally.

Joseph Gerson, disarmament coordinator at the American Friends Service Committee and one of the events’ lead organizers, is working with activists from Tokyo to Toronto and Berlin to Brazil.
He said, “More than a thousand Japanese activists, including 50 Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bomb survivors, will be joining us in this 70th anniversary year of the U.S. atomic bombings. Their suitcases will be filled with 7,000,000 petition signatures calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.”

In the United States, peace walks originating in Tennessee, at the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons production facility, California and New England, will converge in New York, with groups journeying on peace trains from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut, and coming on buses from as far away as Chicago and Massachusetts.

A “Bike for Peace” ride from Washington, D.C., will arrive in New York City on April 24.
Organizers say nuclear disarmament is now more important than ever.

“We applaud the recent agreement between the U.S. and Iran, but if we are to prevent nuclear calamity, the U.S. and the other nuclear armed nations must fulfill their part of the NPT bargain by ending the era of trillion dollar arms races which drive nuclear weapons proliferation” said Kevin Martin, executive director of Peace Action. “As we see with the nuclear saber rattling over Ukraine, nuclear weapons threaten human survival as they did throughout the Cold War. Endless wars abroad and growing nuclear weapons budgets are reflected in militarism at home, environmental degradation globally, and economic and racial inequality.”

The fundamental NPT bargain was that states not possessing nuclear weapons foreswore ever obtaining them.In exchange, nuclear-armed parties committed in Article VI to undertake good faith negotiations for their complete elimination. The NPT was entered into force 45 years ago and there are no negotiations on the horizon.

Peace and Planet co-organizer Jackie Cabasso of Western States Legal Foundation and United for Peace and Justice, said, “The U.S. plans to spend a trillion dollars to modernize its nuclear weapons arsenal and infrastructure. This means that contrary to President Obama’s pledge in Prague, preparations for nuclear annihilation will remain the cornerstone of U.S. policy throughout the 21st century. This is unacceptable and unsustainable. We say: Yes to a Nuclear-Free World! Yes to Nonviolence! Yes to Economic Justice and Environmental Sustainability! And Yes to Peace!”

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