Friday, August 7, 2015

#HiroshimaNagasaki70 - What I Learned on Twitter

Much of my last year has been focused on the 70th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- including innumerable tweets, posts, and shares on social media.

Now I am watching.

Here are some of the things I'm noticing, particularly in connection with the hashtag #HiroshimaNagasaki70 on Twitter.


(1) A global groundswell: The call for nuclear abolition

I've written about the idea -- shared by so many -- that now is the time to ban nuclear weapons.

This message from @HiginiaRoig was retweeted over 300 times:


@HiginiaRoig on Twitter:
"Jo també reclamo l'abolició de les armes nuclears."
["I also demand the abolition of nuclear weapons."]


The screen in the image says "Never again" in Catalan, and shows the website of Abolim les Armes Nuclears/FundiPau - the Catalan affiliate of ICAN: International Campaign to Abolition Nuclear Weapons.

This tweet reminds me that the cause of nuclear abolition is the cause of people everywhere -- and especially of people struggling against imperial, statist, and racist oppression.


(2) "It's all our blood"

Nearly every day for the past year I've looked at images relating to the problem of nuclear weapons.

The tweet from Pentagram Design led me to this poster by Harry Pearce:


"It's all our blood"
Poster by Harry Pearce.


(Watch the video about the creation of this image here.)

This tweet reminds me of the continuing need for art in all its forms to wake people up to nuclear weapons and the work that still remains to be done.


(3) Say the word: "terror"

This simple tweet goes to the heart of the discourse on nuclear weapons (and those who have them and those who have used them):


@ShujaRabbani on Twitter:
"You'll never hear anyone refer to
#HiroshimaNagasaki70
atom bombing as an act of terror.


In a time when the West -- and particularly the US -- has itself tied up in knots over "terrorism," why can't it speak frankly about its own acts of terrorism?


(4) Scotland

One of the most hopeful signs of the past year has been the determination of people in Scotland to get nuclear weapons out of their country and out of the UK.

This tweet by Scottish National Party member of parliament Mhairi Black sums it up:


@MhairiBlack on Twitter:
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
- George Santayana


This tweet reminds me that, through mass action, it is possible for the people to get the politicians to work for nuclear disarmament!

(See "No Nukes Politician" -- IS There Such a Thing ???  and "Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion" - the 114th Time's the Charm! )


(5) Hypocrisy

Well, at least one person said it. (And 437 people retweeted it, and 302 people favorited it:


@AbbyMartin on Twitter:
As US still lectures the world on who deserves nuclear weapons,
remember it's the only country to ever use them.
Twice.


This tweet reminds me how the rest of the world thinks of the US and its citizens.

(For more, see: 360 Degree Feedback in New York (2014 NPT Prepcom and How the World Views the United States) and  A DEAL'S A DEAL! (What part of "nuclear disarmament" doesn't the US understand?) )


(6) Mainstreaming Nuclear Abolition

This rather plain tweet got retweeted over 300 times. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it came from Greenpeace.


@Greenpeace on Twitter:
70 years ago today, we remember #Hiroshima No war, #NoNukes Not ever.


Greenpeace: nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter!

This tweet reminds me that we can't allow nuclear abolition to remain a fringe issue. We need the very biggest organizations -- with organized power: organized people, organized money -- to join together to make it happen.


The focus on the problem of nuclear weapons on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is encouraging. As always, the problem remains: What happens on the day after?


Related posts

Let's dedicate June, July, and August this year to recognizing the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and 9, 2015). . . AND let's do something about it: make a nuclear ban a reality.

(See TIME FOR A NUCLEAR BAN? On the 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki )





There are three centers of power that will impact nuclear disarmament: the President, the Congress, and the people. One of them will have to make nuclear disarmament happen.

(See Countdown to U.S. Nuclear Disarmament (With or Without the Politicians) )








In light of the upcoming review of the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and the fact that organizations throughout the country and worldwide are organizing to press the U.S. to substantially reduce its stores of nuclear weapons, it seems like a good time to use social media to get EVERYONE on board!

(See 5 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference on #NoNukesTuesday )








"It's not enough to remember this just once a year; it's not enough that we make a single book -- Hiroshima -- required reading, and never go beyond that. There should be a whole canon that people study progressively, year by year, to grasp and retain the horror of this."

(See FIRE AND BLAST: A Curriculum that Confronts Nuclear Danger?)