Friday, November 27, 2015

GLOBAL HIBAKUSHA: The Result of the "People Who Don't Matter" Mindset


"Della Rae Morrison, chair of the Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance
and an Aboriginal woman from the Bibbulmum Nation in Western Australia,
has been active in the fight against nuclear power and uranium mining since
the threat of uranium mining occurred in her country." (Peace Boat image)


The outstanding aspect of the "global hibakusha" phenomenon that I learned about at the World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima was that in situation after situation, great harm is done because someone has the attitude that "these people don't matter." (See HIROSHIMA: What does it mean to say, "We are ALL 'hibakusha'?" )

Spread radioactivity throughout the Navajo lands of the US Southwest? Could it because someone said, "Don't worry, those people don't matter . . . " ?

Radioactive fallout in the lands of the aboriginal people of Australia?  Could it because someone said, "Don't worry, those people don't matter . . . " ?

Workers sent in to clean up the Chernobyl radiation release and then getting radiation sickness?  "Don't worry, those people don't matter . . . "

Workers sent in to clean up the Fukushima radiation release and then getting leukemia?  "Don't worry . . . "

A huge increase in cancers in the Xinjiang area of China after nuclear testing?  " . . . those people don't matter . . . "

Hiroshima?  " . . . those people . . . "

Nagasaki?  " . . . don't matter . . . "

DU in Iraq? Testing in the Marshall Islands? US downwinders? Indian uranium workers?

And on and on and on . . .

It has to do with racism. It has to do with class. It has to do with colonialism and imperialism. Most of all it has to do with power.

The Declaration of the World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima (Draft Elements of a Charter of World Nuclear Victims’ Rights) states:

We acknowledge that the mining and refining of uranium, nuclear testing, and the disposal of nuclear waste are being carried out based on ongoing colonization, discriminatory oppression, and infringement of indigenous peoples’ rights, including their rights to relationships with their ancestral land. These activities impose involuntary exposure to radiation and contaminate the local environment. Thus, the local populations are continually and increasingly deprived of the basic necessities for human life with ever more of them becoming nuclear victims. (Section 5)

(Read the Declaration of the World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima (Draft Elements of a Charter of World Nuclear Victims’ Rights) in English | in Japanese )

That's why it's time to say, "We are ALL hibakusha" . . . and to join the global movement to stop the harm from nuclear radiation.


#GlobalHibakusha: what are we going to do about it?
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