Marking 70 Years since the US Bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki

by Mary Ann McGivern

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Thursday, Aug. 6, the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, many people around the world began a four-day fast -- in penance, or to take on a small suffering on behalf of the many who suffer every day, or in protest of continued manufacture of bombs and threats to use them. A smaller but still significant act to mark the day would be to read President Obama's speech making the case for the nuclear treaty with Iran

Throughout the United States many actions have been planned. Peaceworks Kansas City is sponsoring an Aug. 6-Oct. 3 library exhibit, "70 Years Beyond the Bombings: At What Cost?" The Kansas City Plant Accountability Project (The Kansas City Plant makes the non-nuclear components of the bomb), sponsored by Peaceworks, holds regular die-ins and trespass actions at the plant site, most recently this past spring. On Aug. 9, Peaceworks will hold a Nagasaki commemoration event at the Sanctuary of the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Mo. Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, will serve as the event's keynote speaker.

The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance hold a vigil every Sunday at the Y-12 plant. On Saturday, Aug. 8, a march, rally and action will be held there under the banner: The bomb started in Oak Ridge. It should stop here. Now.

In Los Alamos, New Mexico, peace groups have banded together as the Los Alamos Study Group, but the August actions in recent years have been led by Pace Bene in conjunction with Nuclear Watch New Mexico which takes leadership in research and action.

This year protesters planned to march in sackcloth and ashes from Ashley Pond in Los Alamos up the hill to the gates of the laboratory on Thursday, Aug. 6, and again on Sunday, Aug. 9. Ashley Pond is the exact spot where the Hiroshima bomb was built. In past years, the simple act of crossing the barriers into the laboratory parking lot has constituted civil disobedience there.

On Friday, Aug. 7, Pace Bene will hold a workshop on non-violent direct action and on Saturday a larger conference on resistance. The website invitation reads:

Join us for the first national gathering of Campaign Nonviolence to energize, inspire and prepare us for the second wave of actions across the U.S., September 20-27th, 2015 and to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Hundreds of actions are planned for this week.

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