WLOE e-news: 60th Anniversary Hiroshima-Nagasaki

August 6-9, 2005

August 5th --

In Japan and elsewhere around the world, the first use of the atomic bomb on civilians is being commemorated, amidst calls for an end to the nuclear era.

Anniversary Actions:
In the U.S. there will be major actions at the "core nuclear weapons sites": Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab, California; Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Lab, New Mexico; Nevada Test Site, Nevada; Y-12 Nuclear Facility, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Details and links are on the Abolition Now website:

The same site also offers a 'starting' list of international actions:
but there will be literally thousands of events world-wide. The internet calendar of the German peace movement lists some 200 alone.
Some actions in the UK can be seen on the website of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

On our site we offer a page with background on the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombing:
and one on actions around the anniversary:

Another page honors the important work of one of our key network activists, Satomi Oba, founder of Plutonium Action Hiroshima, and a dedicated opponent of nuclear weapons and power -- worldwide. Her untimely passing in February 2005 has stilled an important international voice. See her work at:

In 1999, Satomi concluded an article on "Nukes and Japanese Society" by writing:
"For several years now I have been involved in the anti-nuclear movement and I have seen many women and children crying, speaking, laughing, singing, and throwing themselves in front of the authorities. I saw them in Korea, in Taiwan, in Indonesia, in the Philippines, in Thailand, in India, and in Japan, too. And I am convinced that women will find an alternative, supporting each other. For we know that life has to be celebrated."

We admire her determination to balance the devastation of atomic power with the vision of a peaceful alternative. She is one of the activists mentioned in this article by Heather Wokusch:

Women Activists Fighting Nuclear-Weapons Proliferation
April 2005, Activist Magazine
" Nuclear weapons are at the forefront of today's international conflicts, yet women are often left out of the loop regarding crucial proliferation decisions. Determined activists across the globe aim to change that..."

Women, war and peace...
"According to a recent Zogby poll, there is a large gender gap on the issue of invading Iraq; women are twice as likely to oppose sending US troops to Iraq than are men.

It is clear to many women that the United States' aggressive policies in Iraq, and elsewhere, are making the world less stable and less safe. These policies will directly and indirectly escalate violence at home and abroad, and women will be disproportionately affected. For women, this means more physical harm, sexual violence, displacement, and a much harder struggle to meet the needs of their families..."

Women and anti-nuclear activism: In our last newsletter we mentioned the nomination of 1,000 women peace activists for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. The website of this project has a page where the nominees are sorted according to their major area of work. The women listed below represent the many other women worold-wide working for peace. We want to name and honor and thank them. Short profiles of their work can be found at the 1000 peacewomen website:
http://www.1000peacewomen.org/eng/html/nominierte/suche.php (enter keyword: "anti-nuclear activism")

Barbara Gladysch (Germany), Helen John (United Kingdom), Rebecca Johnson (United Kingdom), Patricia Gaffney (United Kingdom), Kumiko Yokoi (Japan), Solange Fernex (France), Jo Vallentine (Australia), Sook-Im Kim (Republic of Korea), Holly Near (United States of America), Annelise Ebbe (Denmark), Gabriela Ngirmang (Palau), Marilyn Waring (New Zealand), Marion Hancock (New Zealand), Alla Yaroshinskaya (Russian Federation), Hilda Lini (Vanuatu), Grace Paley (United States of America), Maria Reinat-Pumarejo (Puerto Rico), Cora Weiss (United States of America), Rosalie Bertell (United States of America), Cynthia McKinney (United States of America), Amelia Rokotuivuna (Fiji), Diana Francis (United Kingdom), Carmen Bigler (Marshall Islands, Dewe Gorode (New Caledonia), Saskia Kouwenberg (Netherlands), Nabeela Al-Mulla (Kuwait), Suliana Siwatibau (Fiji), Joan Hinton (China), Muriel Helena Duckworth (Canada), Zohl de Ishtar (Australia), Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta (Australia), Natalya Berezhnaya (Russian Federation), Ingrid Eide (Norway), Unutea Hirshon (French Polynesia), Olga Doronina (Russian Federation), Kavita Shrivastava (India).

Finally, here are two new articles on-line about the anniversary:

"Hiroshima After Sixty Years: The Debate Continues"
by Gar Alperovitz, August 3, 2005
..."Did the atomic bomb, in fact, cause Japan to surrender? Most Americans think the answer is self-evident. However, many historical studies–including new publications by two highly regarded scholars--challenge the conventional understanding. In a recently released Harvard University Press volume drawing upon the latest Japanese sources, for instance, Professor Tsuyohsi Hasegawa concludes that the traditional “myth cannot be supported by historical facts.” By far the most important factor forcing the decision, his research indicates, was the Soviet declaration of war against Japan on August 8, 1945, just after the Hiroshima bombing..."

"Unhappy Anniversary of the Bomb"
By Matthew Rothschild, August 4, 2005
..."Now, 60 years later, the possibility that the United States would once again recklessly use nuclear weapons cannot be discounted. We have leaders in Washington who view atomic weapons as just another hammer in the toolbox.
Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld are dead set on "modernizing" our nuclear weapons, and they are preparing scenarios for their use..."