Hiroshima and Nagasaki Week: The Time to Ban Nuclear Weapons is Now

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Hiroshima and Nagasaki Week in Massachusetts

August 5-9, 2017

72 years have passed since the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 47 years since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) took effect, and yet the five original nuclear weapons states, led by the United States, have not taken serious action on their commitments to abolish nuclear weapons.

In response, the vast majority of the world’s non-nuclear states, under the auspices of the United Nations, adopted a new treaty July 7 to ban nuclear weapons.  

Nuclear Ban conference president Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica gives a victory salute after ban treaty is approved

Nuclear Ban conference president Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica gives a victory salute after ban treaty is approved July 7

The United States and the other nuclear powers, along with allied “nuclear umbrella” states that are “protected” by U.S. nuclear weapons, did not participate.   Instead, President Trump is pushing ahead with a $1 trillion program to modernize U.S. nuclear weapons, building new generations of bombers, submarines, ICBMs, air-launched cruise missiles, and bomb production factories, and with nuclear threats against North Korea, which have resulted in acceleration of North Korea’s own nuclear program.

Without a powerful grassroots movement dedicated to nuclear disarmament, the world’s nuclear crisis will only get worse instead of better. Therefore, Massachusetts Peace Action joins with peace groups, people of faith, youth, community groups, and human rights advocates who have organized events across Massachusetts on August 5-9, 2017, to call attention to the people’s demand for an end to the $1 trillion nuclear weapons escalation and the failure of the United States to support the nuclear ban treaty. We have posted the events we know about here.

Calendar

In Pittsfield, Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice will present the new film Paper Lanternswhich tells the story of Mr. Mori, a Hibakusha who worked for 40+ years to comfort the families of American soldiers killed during the atomic bombings.  UU Church of Pittsfield, 175 Wendell Ave., Thursday, August 3, 7:30 pm.

The Buddhist monks and nuns of the New England Peace Pagoda will hold Ban Nuclear Weapons events at the Pagoda in Leverett on Aug. 5 at 6:30pm; at Northampton City Hall on August 6 at 3:30pm; and on Amherst Commons at noon on Aug. 7.

Peace Vigil, Arlington, MA

Peace Vigil, Arlington, MA

In Arlington Center, Arlington United for Justice and Peace will organize a Peace Vigil event commemorating Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 5 from 10:30 to 11:30 am.

In Ipswich, the Veterans for Peace Samantha Smith Chapter will hold an anti-war, anti-nuclear weapons vigil on Saturday, Aug. 5, 11-12 am at the bottom of the hill with churches in the center of Ipswich.

In Walpole, Walpole Peace and Justice Group will organize a “Nagasaki & Hiroshima: The Time to Ban Nuclear Weapons is Now” event on Walpole Common on August 5 at 11:00 am. 

On Cambridge Common, Massachusetts Peace Action’s Faith Communities Network will organize a Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance and Celebration of the U.N. Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons at 11:45am on Hiroshima Day, August 6.

Veterans for Peace Smedley D. Butler Brigade will hold a Peace Gathering to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at Harvard Square, Cambridge on August 6th from 12:00-1:00 pm (Postponed from the 5th due to rain) Signs are encouraged! 

In Jamestown, RI, activists will organize a Commemorate Hiroshima: Call For World Peace event, August 6 at noon at East Ferry Green.  Bring banners, signs, families.

In Watertown, Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment will organize a Building a Nuclear-Free World event with candle boats on the evening of August 6.

In Easthampton, American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts will organize The World We Want: Hiroshima & Nagasaki – Never Again event with a floating lantern ceremony at 7pm on the evening of August 6. 

In Winsted, CT, Winsted Area Peace Action and Camp Kinderland will organize a Candlelight Vigil event commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan on the evening of August 6. 

Thomas Merton

    Thomas Merton

Cambridge Friends Meeting will  hold a collective reading of Thomas Merton’s “Original Child Bomb” at 5 Longfellow Park, Cambridge on August 6th at 7:00 pm.  After the reading they will walk to the Charles River to set adrift candle boats and offer reflections, as they’ve done for the past 8 years.  For more information:  contact John Bach johnmbach@yahoo.com or (970) 209-8346.

 
In Pittsfield, Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice, the Global Issues Resource Organization, and the Western Massachusetts American Friends Service Committee will hold a Hiroshima Day Vigil in Park Square on August 6th from 8:00-9:00 am. 
  
In Andover, Merrimack Valley People for Peace will hold a Hiroshima Vigil on August 6th from 12:00-1:00 pm in Shawsheen Square at the crossing of route 133 and route 28. Signs, peace flags, earth flags, big origami cranes, musical instruments and singing voices are welcome! 
 
Actors Refugee Repertory Theatre will present a Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Memorial with Women of the World commemorating the 72nd anniversary of the bombing on August 6th from 6:30-8:15 pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookline.  Performances will include a crystal singing bowl meditation, dance “prayer” dedication, an original short play, music, and more. 
 
Waltham Concerned Citizens will hold a Hiroshima/Nagasaki Anniversary Vigil to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 9th from 7:45-8:30 am. 

Concluding the Week, MAPA will sponsor Remembering Nagasaki: Welcoming the Nuclear Ban Treaty at the First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, on August 9th at 6:30 pm.  John Loretz, Angela Kim, and Ashley Squires will speak on the Ban Treaty, the North Korea nuclear crisis, and US/Russian relations, and musicians John Loretz and Anne Sandstorm will perform throughout the evening.  
 

How to Participate

We urge your organization to plan an event in your town, church, or campus. Send information on your events to info@masspeaceaction.org and we will add it to our current calendar so that all people who seek a peaceful world will know that they are not alone! Last year, we listed 18 events in Massachusetts and we hope to top that this year!  

75 to charity

We have launched a petition to Congress to prevent the president from launching a nuclear first strike unless Congress has declared war, and we invite your organization to help us circulate it. The petition is available online or in paper form.

We hope you will collaborate with us in this joint effort! Contact 617-354-2169 or info@masspeaceaction.org with questions or to connect and exchange ideas.