Friday, October 9, 2015

Nov 21-23, 2015 in Hiroshima: World Nuclear Victims Forum -- I'll Be There

I'm excited to have attended the World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima in November. (Also: Facebook page and Japanese language webpage.)

Here's the main page for my takeaways from and follow-up to that event:

Hibakusha is a word that has traditionally been used to refer to people affected by the nuclear blasts in Hiroshima and Nagaski.  It is now being broadened to recognize the many additional victims of acute affects of nuclear radiation (including fallout from tests and radioactivity from mining and processing). In fact, we are all subject to the impact and threat of nuclear radiation spread indiscriminately by nations and corporations.

(See HIROSHIMA: What does it mean to say, "We are ALL 'hibakusha'?")

Here are additional blog posts on my time in Japan for this event:

There is a monument to mothers and children killed by the atomic bomb in Nagasaki. I felt that if there was just one image to sum up my visit here, it would be this one.

(See Nagasaki: Impressions )

"To see the atom bomb museum," I said. And again I wondered, what can a child in Nagasaki think when they see a person from the US who has come here to see the atom bomb museum?

(See Encounter in Nagasaki )

For each week from March through July, you can see the month and day, followed by the count for "white," "red," and "blood." If you follow closely, as I did, you see the counts rise and fall. You wonder, "What did Sadako think as she read each new set of numbers? Is this week's result good? Or bad?"

(See "May the odds be ever in your favor!" ("Live in fear . . . . ") )

After removing a thin layer of soil from just the residential areas, the workers had produced acres of garbage bags full of contaminated soil.

(See Radioactive Waste: "What are you gonna do with it?" )

For earlier notes, I used this space to share thoughts as the event approached.

Below, I've appended a list of my blog posts on this topic at the end of this post.

Updates . . .

October 12, 2015

Svetlana Alexievich,
Voices From Chernobyl:
The Oral History of a
Nuclear Disaster
As I was preparing this post, the announcement came out that Svetlana Alexievich had been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature.

One of her most important works is Voices From Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster, about those affected by the 1986 disaster.

Valuable reading in preparation for Hiroshima . . . .

(Related resources: see the short film called The Door, which made me realize, "My city could become off-limits -- a ghost town -- if there was a nuclear accident here!" The novel All That Is Solid Melts Into Air makes clear that, once radiation is released, it is a monumental (and nearly hopeless) task to contain it.)

October 13, 2015

Stunning: reminder of the lengths the US will go to in order to avoid its culpability in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima! See "US Reluctant over Possibility of Hiroshima Hosting 2016 G-7 Summit, Official Says" on the Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific website.

October 15, 2015

The US rolls its war machine over country after country, and very few people ever stop to think about the effect of the harmful/lethal chemicals and radiation it leaves behind.

It is significant that even the US military's own veterans must struggle constantly to get the health care they need for their own exposure to those materials. As far as the US government is concerned, the goal is to sweep the issue under the rug.

At a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee meeting on September 29, Senator Richard Blumenthal said,

"Congress and the country have simply chosen to look the other way. Whether it is Agent Orange or the chemicals in the water that you processed, or the depleted uranium pollutants from burn pits, or nerve gas in unexposed ordinates found on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, our men and women in uniform have suffered and they continue to suffer and their children and grandchildren will suffer."

(See "At SVAC Hearing, Blumenthal Reiterates Call For Increased Support For Veterans, Families Effected By Toxic Exposure")

How much more effort would it take for the US to attend to the injury it has done to the actual inhabitants of the countries upon which it has inflicted these materials?

(I'm grateful to the Epoch Times for their article on the SVAC hearing, which alerted me to look into the hearing report.)

See also my post: DU: Will we ever be able to say "We're done here" ?

October 17, 2015

More good news from the UK, where the pressure continues to eliminate the UK nuclear weapons. See "Labour's Jeremy Corbyn to become CND vice-president."

(See also: In the UK: Anti-Nukes + Democracy = ? )

October 20, 2015

"Workers watch a monitor screen while removing fuel
assemblies in the No. 4 reactor building of the
Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in October 2014."
(Pool image from Asahi Shimbun story.)
MAJOR DEVELOPMENT: "[Japan's Health] Ministry recognizes link between Fukushima nuclear worker’s leukemia and radiation exposure for 1st time" in The Asahi Shimbun.

The devastation caused by the Fukushima disaster is a topic that the mainstream media avoids. Project Censored has named Fukushima the 5th most important under-reported story of 2015:

"The 2011 nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, continues unresolved, despite both assurances by government authorities and major news media that the situation has been contained and the assessment of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency that Japan has made “significant progress” in cleaning up the site. (More on Project Censored . . . )"

(I'm grateful for the coverage of Project Censored in the East Bay Express for bringing this to my attention.)

October 28, 2015

I've just learned of protests planned for November 3 in Sardinia. There is longstanding opposition to the use of Teulada and other areas of Italy as areas for military exercises, particularly on account of contamination with radioactive thorium.

At Scottish Labour party conference:
" 'Death, destruction and chaos' the result of keeping Trident, 16 year old
delegate says as he concludes speech to loud applause" (See more)

November 1, 2015

Exciting! "Trident" is trending on Twitter as the Scottish Labour party debates a resolution on scrapping Trident nuclear weapons.

Conference recognises that the question of Britain’s nuclear weapons system is a moral issue and a strategic one concerning Britain’s place in the world and the international environment we wish to see. Such weapons would, if used, constitute a moral threat to humanity’s survival; they are massively expensive; senior military figures have described them as ‘militarily useless’ and said that they should be scrapped; and our possession of them encourages other countries to seek similar arsenal.

(See "Full text of Scottish Labour motion on scrapping Trident")

I have long admired the determined and creative work of activists in Scotland and throughout the UK to get nuclear weapons out of their country.

November 10, 2015

I've just received preliminary information on the 3rd "Atomic Age" conference - to be held in Chicago April 15, 2016:

Atomic Age III:  Friday, April 15, 2016
Depaul University, Chicago
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Timothy A. Mousseau
Professor of Biological Sciences
University of South Carolina, Columbia
Keynote Speaker: Ms.Marian Naranjo
Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE)

More information is available from the conference organizer, Prof. Yuki Miyamoto.

Check out @TheAtomicAge for frequent updates, and view info on the past Atomic Age conferences.

relevant to World Nuclear Victims Forum

(I) Personal Background

Several posts give some idea about how I came to this issue:

Chicago, IL: Zero Carbon AND Zero Nuclear! on Zero Carbon Chicago
Obama in Japan: How About a Pivot Toward Peacemaking?
The Children Are Waiting
GRATITUDE: People Are Making the Difference in Eliminating Nuclear Weapons

(See also Section (III) below.)

(II) Confronting Nuclear Injury

In recent years, I have written frequently about the importance of facing the reality of what nuclear weapons do. People often wish to avoid seeing these painful facts. And yet seeing them is essential to enabling us to act.

Some of my posts focus on past injury:

American Fire: Still Spreading, Still Inextinguishable
Good Friday 2015: People Will Find the Way to Eliminate Nuclear Injury on Chicago Nuclear Injury Action Group
The Fire and Blast of Hiroshima: Why Are We Still Hiding It?
Approaching Hiroshima: A Challenge for Children's Literature and Peace Education
Can We Confront the Fire and Blast of Nuclear War and Still Remain Human? (Watching "Grave of the Fireflies")
NEEDED: MESSENGERS - Americans Need to Hear the Awful Truth of Nuclear Devastation

Some of my posts urge people to think about what could happen in the future:

What's YOUR "appetite for risk"? (Eliminate nuclear weapons NOW!)
What Would a Nuclear Weapon Do to Chicago? (Go ahead, guess . . . )
Obscene Geometry: The Hard Facts about Death and Injury from Nuclear Weapons
Unfinished Business in Chicago (Nuclear disarmament, that is)
9/11 Fourteen Years On - A Visual Reflection (รก la Alfred C. Barnes)
Upgrade Your World. Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
US Mayors "Get It": The Nuclear Threat Must Be Stopped

(III) The People vs. Nuclear Weapons

My political understanding of the need for The People to assert their consent, in place of nuclear weapons and the handful of men who wield them, is based on the work of my sister, Elaine Scarry:

Reviews of "Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing Between Democracy and Doom" by Elaine Scarry

Her work has inspired numerous posts by me, including:

NEEDED: Heroes to Bring About Nuclear Disarmament

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

People Power Against War in Japan: A Lesson for Us All?
In the UK: Anti-Nukes + Democracy = ?
Congressional Power and People Power over Nuclear Weapons - What's it gonna take?
EXTRA! U.S. Congress Notices Problem with Nuclear Weapons!

(IV) Organizing Resistance to Nuclear Weapons


Key 2015 Events for Nuclear Disarmament Movement Organizers
TIME FOR A NUCLEAR BAN? On the 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki
Why I'll Be in NYC for Peace and Planet April 24-26
ANGELS, SHEPHERDS, and MUSICIANS: Ring Them Bells for Nuclear Disarmament in 2015

(More on the "Phase Out Weapons Of Mass Destruction" page that is part of the World Beyond War campaign I'm involved with.)

In the Chicago area:

Why Does Chicago Need a "Nuclear Injury Action Group"? on Chicago Nuclear Injury Action Group

Much of my work has involved the use of social media to organize for nuclear disarmament:

5 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference on #NoNukesTuesday
#HiroshimaNagasaki70 - What I Learned on Twitter
"Memes" for Peace and Planet - Promoting the April 24-26, 2015 events
#GOODBYENUKES: 10 Images I'll Be Sharing From #HINW14Vienna
US NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT: 3 Things Every Tuesdayista Needs to Do

I have joined the call to the faith community to play a leading role in this effort:

Nuclear Disarmament: Are the Churches the Key?
ATOMIC HUBRIS: Are There Some Things That Won't Be Forgiven?
NUCLEAR WEAPONS: Who will bring us down to earth?
Pope Francis and Nuclear Disarmament: Audacter Dis

(See also this article by my daughter, Alanna Huck-Scarry: "Pope Francis Will Underscore Immorality of Nuclear Weapons" on Women's Action for New Directions(WAND) )

(V) The Special Need to Focus on US Refusal to Eliminate its Nuclear Weapons

US obligations under Article VI of the NPT:

IT'S A START: U.S. Ambassador: "The P-5 have a responsibility to do more"
A DEAL'S A DEAL! (What part of "nuclear disarmament" doesn't the US understand?)
360 Degree Feedback in New York (2014 NPT Prepcom and How the World Views the United States)
IRAN NUKES DEAL: What Are They Trying to Tell Us?

More on the need for the US to disarm:

"Two nuclear weapons hit our country in 1945. It is not necessary." on Chicago Nuclear Injury Action Group
4 WORDS: " . . . and eliminate OUR nukes!"
The Lesson of Reykjavik: TALK About Nuclear Disarmament (You Never Know)
Job #1 Vis-a-vis Russia: NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
An Open Letter to Congressman Mike Quigley: Can We Reduce (or Eliminate) the Nuclear Threat?
SOTU 2015: What Will Obama Say January 20 About Nuclear Disarmament?
U.S. and Its Nukes: "We just have kind of taken our eye off the ball here"
Why Are These Military Experts Saying CUT CUT CUT Nukes?
The Cynical American Scapegoating of Korea as a Cover for Nuclear Terror 
The Bankruptcy of U.S. Nuclear Doctrine

(VI) Other

Boeing and the Bomb Worshipers
Now HERE'S an "Asia Pivot" I Can Believe In! (Marshall Islands Sues Nuclear "Haves")
THE UGLY FACTS IN "RED OCTOBER": And You Thought the Nuclear Threat Was Hush-Hush
FARE THEE WELL: Deadheads for Nuclear Disarmament?
We're Rooting for You, Scotland! (Trident NO Scotland YES)

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