8 August 2004: for immediate use
On the 59th anniversary of the nuclear attack on Japan the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament will be honouring the victims of the nuclear horror in ceremonies and events up and down the country. CND will be calling on the UK government to remember those who died by abiding by their disarmament treaty obligations and ending the nuclear hypocrisy.
Within one week two nuclear attacks were a death sentence for over 280,000 men women and children, with the long term impact of the radiation causing suffering and debilitation for countless others. The US dropped the atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima on the 6th August 1945 killing 80,000 people outright and 140,000 overall in the subsequent days, weeks months and years. On the 9th August 1945 the US dropped a second bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki again killing 140, 000 people. Despite the horror we still have not learnt. Each missile-head in Britain’s nuclear weapons system has an explosive power eight times the power of the atom bomb dropped in Hiroshima.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said,
“Rather than disarming under its commitment to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the UK is maintaining its nuclear arsenal and threatening non nuclear states with its use. If we are to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and guarantee that there will never be another Hiroshima or Nagasaki we must scrap Trident and say No New Nukes.
The UK is looking to develop new ‘usable’ nuclear weapons and to replace the UK’s nuclear weapons system Trident when its current service life runs out. Central to this hypocrisy is the Mutual Defence Agreement which is key to UK nuclear subservience to the US, and without it, it is extremely unlikely that the UK could remain a nuclear weapons states.
Fifty-nine years since the horror of the atomic bomb was first unleashed the UK government must actively abide by its Non Proliferation Treaty obligations and say Never Again. ”
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Notes to editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Ruth Tanner, CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 700 2350 or 07968 420859
2. Events to commemorate the anniversary
Hiroshima Day ceremony London
6th August 2004 From noon to 1pm, at the commemorative cherry tree in Tavistock Square, London WC1. (Euston tube). Speakers include Cllr Barbara Hughes, Deputy Mayor of Camden, Kate Hudson, CND Chair, Revd Paul Hawkins, Vicar of St Pancras Church and Ken Savage, Chair of The Gtr London Pensioners’ Association.
For further info: London Region CND, 020 77607 2302.
Hiroshima Day events in the West Midlands
Birmingham, Cathedral Churchyard, vigil, 6 August, 12.30
Coventry, Chapel of Unity, Cathedral, Hiroshima Day Service, Friday 6 August, 18.00-19.00
Hereford, High Town stall, Saturday 7 August, 10.30-15.00
Malvern Churches Justice & Peace Group is holding a Hiroshima commemorative event on Saturday 7 August, at Malvern Priory, Church Street, Great Malvern. A programmed vigil in the Priory churchyard from 10:30 to 11:30 will be followed by a devotional gathering inside the Priory from 11:45 to 12:15
West Midlands CND: Vigil at St. Stephens Church, Reddictch, between 12-1.
For further info: West Midlands CND: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace Walk between the UK’s two Star Wars bases in Yorkshire –6th – 9th August 2004
Campaigners from Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament aim to link the current and new nuclear threats this weekend as they mount a peace walk between the UK’s two Star Wars bases, both in Yorkshire. The walk takes place between Hiroshima day (Aug 6th) and Nagasaki day (Aug 9th), marking the 59th anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bombs.
The six adventurers, which include Dave Knight – a Vice-President of CND, Yorkshire CND’s Campaign Worker and students from Leeds, aim to highlight the key nuclear issues and make the links between Star Wars and the nuclear bomb.
The walkers will meet at the main gate at Menwith Hill at 9.30am on August 6th and tie five cardboard figures of people on to the fence of the base – each one representing 50,000 people killed by the bombs. When they reach Fylingdales they will do the same to the Outer fence there. They also plan to hold a candlelit minute’s silence at each base in remembrance of those that were killed and to display banners saying “No More Hiroshimas” and “No More Nagasakis”. They will then head off on the 70 mile walk to Fylingdales, planning to arrive at 2pm on August 9th – Nagasaki Day.
Picnic for Peace
8th August 2004 – Regents Park, London from 12 noon till 4pm.
On the 59th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, CND will be remembering the dead and saying never again as we take part in the Worldwide Picnic for Peace on Sunday 8th August. No speeches, no rally, just food and fun. It is a child-friendly event, so bring your family, friends, neighbours and your own picnic. There will be magic, stilt walking, fire juggling, competitions with prizes and a tombola.
Organised by CND, The Stop the War Coalition, and Peace Direct. Phone: CND 020 7700 2393
3. Hiroshima and Nagasaki
· The atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 bomber, at 8:15am local time on August 6, 1945.
· The population of the city of Hiroshima had reached a peak of over 380,000 people earlier in the war but prior to the atomic bombing the population had steadily decreased due to a systematic evacuation ordered by the Japanese government. At the time of the atomic bombing attack the population of Hiroshima was approximately 255,000. This figure is based on the registered population, used by the Japanese in computing ration quantities, and the estimates of additional workers and troops who were brought into the city may not be highly accurate.
· The atomic bomb called “Little Boy” was dropped over the central part of the city and the bomb exploded with a blast equivalent to 12,000 tons of TNT, killing 80,000 people outright. By the end of 1945, an estimated 60,000 more people died due to nuclear fallout sickness. However, this total does not include longer term casualties from radiation exposure. .
· The bomb killed men, women, and children indiscriminately. It killed both military personnel and civilians. Although the city produced military items and housed soldiers, it was not selected as a “purely military target” as President Truman had promised. There were six civilians in Hiroshima to every soldier.
· In a radio speech to the nation on August 9, 1945, President Truman called Hiroshima “a military base.” Truman delivered his speech from the White House at 10 P.M. Washington time on August 9, 1945. By this time, a second atomic bomb already had destroyed the city of Nagasaki. Because of the great length of the speech, most of which dealt with Germany, only the relevant paragraph is quoted here: “The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. But that attack is only a warning of things to come. If Japan does not surrender, bombs will have to be dropped on her war industries and, unfortunately, thousands of civilian lives will be lost. I urge Japanese civilians to leave industrial cities immediately, and save themselves from destruction
· The second bomb, called “Fat Man,” exploded over Nagasaki, Japan, at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945. It exploded at 1,650 feet with a force of 22,000 tons of TNT. 70,000 people lost their lives in Nagasaki by the end of 1945 due to the bombing. A total of 140,000 died within the next five years.
4. The Mutual Defense Agreement
· EDM calling for a debate on the MDA – http://edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=1407
· Advice from Matrix for the British American Security Information Council –
5. The Non Proliferation Treaty
Link to content of 2000 NPT Conference agreement