August Actions on Nagasaki Bombing – 2005-08-09 08:35:37
Hundreds Protest at Livermore. More Protests Set for August 9
Paul Burgarino / Inside Bay Area
LIVERMORE – Hundreds of protesters took part in a rally and processions outside of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Saturday to protest the use of nuclear weapons.
The Livermore event was one of four nationally coordinated major rallies at active nuclear weapon sites on the 60th anniversary of the American bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Other protest sites were in Las Vegas, near the Nevada Test Site; Y-12 Production Plant in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Los Alamos Lab in New Mexico.
At the site many consider the brain of the nuclear weapons complex in the United States, the Seeds of Change: No Nukes! No Wars! rally began with a pot-luck family picnic, where organizers used sharing and coming together to show their aspirations for a nuclear-free world.
It is important for us to be here to keep the memories of the horror of Hiroshima alive, said Jeffrey Schurtleff of the Sam Mateo County Green Party. There is a need for activism. If everyone just says no and does not act, then nothing happens.
The theme of the event called for protesters to celebrate resistance to nuclear weapons and solidarity.
It is wonderful to get everyone together on such a solemn anniversary, said Marylia Kelly of Tri-Valley CARES. We have to promise the victims that this will never happen again and that it is time for [the U.S.] government to stop the further development [of nuclear weapons].
The event culminated with a half-mile peaceful walk to the lab from William Payne Park.
At the gates of the weapons site, members of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship conducted a peace meditation.
The ceremony concluded with members being able to symbolically plant the seeds of change, by putting sunflower seeds in the earth along the fenceline of the lab.
Sunflowers are the international symbol for nuclear disarmament.
The goal of the event was to demand an end to nuclear arms development in Livermore and plant the seeds of a more peaceful future for the next generation.
It is our hope that our voice helps stop the dangerous design of nuclear weapons, said Tara Dorabjl of Tri-Valley CARES. We are trying to send a clear message that having nuclear weapons anywhere makes us less secure.
The Livermore Lab is one of the primary nuclear weapons design labs in the world, and has been named as the sole site to develop the Robust Nuclear Earth Penerator, or RNEP, a new high-yield bomb.
Lawrence Livermore was founded in September 1952 as a second nuclear weapons design laboratory to promote innovation in the design of the nations nuclear stockpile through creative science and engineering.
The protest was about something that happened seven years before the lab even opened, said David Schwoegler, spokesman for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. What they are protesting now is a question of national security policy and something we can’t control here in Livermore.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only uses of nuclear weapons in the history of warfare. The two bombs caused approximately 210,000 deaths by the end of 1945.
We are gathered in part to honor the victims that suffered from the horror of 60 years ago, and to show that we are a growing non-violent community and celebrate our resistance, said Dorabjl.
In Japan, Hiroshima marked the anniversary with prayers and water for the dead, and a call by the mayor for nuclear powers to abandon their arsenals and stop jeopardizing human survival. At 8:15 a.m., the time of the blast, the citys trolleys stopped and more than 55,000 people at Peace Memorial Park observed a moment of silence that was broken by the ringing of a bronze bell.
More than 500 people gathered at a Los Alamos park where research laboratories stood during the Manhattan Project, which developed the worlds first atomic bomb,
Near Oak Ridge, some 1,100 demonstrators carrying signs and beating drums marched to the gates of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, where the uranium for the original bomb was supplied and warhead parts are still manufactured.
Fifteen people were arrested at Oak Ridge for blocking a road outside the heavily guarded weapons factory that helped fuel the bomb during World War II.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, students and peace activists in Las Vegas gathered for seminars and speeches on eliminating nuclear weapons.
The stance of protest organizers in Livermore is that the U.S. continues to ramp up its nuclear arsenal as the death toll in Iraq mounts.
The government chose Lawrence Livermore to develop the RNEP and plans to double the plutonium supply at the lab, Kelly said. We feel that that a total security of peace comes from getting rid of nuclear weapons, not the creation of more of them.
Kelly mentioned that another demonstration outside the lab is being planned for Aug. 9 to commemorate the Nagasaki bombing.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
AM ACTION AT LIVERMORE LAB;
PM VIGIL IN SAN FRANCISCO
TUESDAY, AUGUST 9: NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION
AT THE LIVERMORE NUCLEAR WEAPONS LAB.
NAGASAKI, NEVER AGAIN!!!
Livermore Lab is one of the world’s primary sites for the creation and
development of nuclear weapons.
WHEN: Tuesday, August 9, 2005 at 8 AM
WHERE: William Payne Park, 5800 Patterson Pass Rd. Livermore, CA.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From 580, exit Vasco Rd, head South. Turn right
immediately at William Payne Park.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Take BART to Dublin/Pleasanton, then take the number 20 buss to Livermore Lab. Exit the bus at the corner of Vasco Rd. and
Patterson Pass Rd. Check the Wheels System on line for timing and schedule.
Join us for a gathering, featuring, Dr. Satori Konishi, an atomic bomb survivor
from Japan. All are welcome to attend; those who chose, will risk
arrest at Livermore Lab. Snacks will be provided. Clan Dyken will also
drum during the program.
NONVIOLENCE GUIDELINES: Nonviolence has always been a core value of the anti-nuclear movement. Details about the nonviolence guidelines are
available at: www.trivalleycares.org and www.wslfweb.org.
To volunteer and for more info: (925) 443-7148 Tri-Valley CAREs
www.trivalleycares.org; (510) 839-5877 Western States Legal Foundation
www.wslfweb.org; and Livermore Conversion Project (510) 663-8065.
60TH ANNIVERSARY OF NAGASAKI BOMBING:
Tuesday August 9, 8:00 p.m.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki on Tuesday, August 9th, the American Friends Service Committee and others will be
hosting an 8 pm Candle Light Vigil at San Francisco City Hall on the Van
Ness Side. For more information contact Sandra Schwartz (415)565-0201
Ext 24 or visit www.afsc.org/events