On the 6th and 9th of August, community groups around the world will commemorate the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In 1945, the United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (6th August) and Nagasaki (9th August). Over the following two to four months, the effects of the atomic bombings killed between 90,000 and 146,000 people in Hiroshima and between 39,000 and 80,000 people in Nagasaki. Roughly half of these deaths occurred within 24 hours of these bombings. For months afterwards, large numbers of people continued to die from the effects of burns, radiation sickness, and injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition. Most of the victims were civilians.
As well, one should not forget the human and environmental costs of nuclear weapons testing that has devastated local communities, including the British nuclear tests at Maralinga in South Australia (1956 and 1963) plus the US tests in the Marshall Islands (1946 and 1962) and the French tests in French Polynesia (1966 and 1996) in the Pacific.
Nuclear weapons pose an intolerable threat to the very survival of the human species and the planet’s ecosystems. A significant step towards preventing such a catastrophe occurred on 7 July 2017 when the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) with the support of 122 member nations. This is the first legally binding international agreement dedicated to prohibiting and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons. The TPNW entered into force on 22 January 2021.
As of 26 July 2021, the TPNW has been ratified by 55 states parties while a further 33 states have signed but not yet ratified it. Thus, in total, 88 states (or 44.7% of all states) are either states parties or signatories to the Treaty. Australia has yet to sign and ratify the TPNW.
Sign the petition calling for one minute’s silence at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Enrol in ICAN’s Ban School – Ban School is for anyone in Australia and the Pacific who wants to learn more about the movement to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons and be part of history in the making. Enrol in the full program or pick and choose your classes.
Below is a list of events taking place in Australia to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
THURSDAY 5th AUGUST WEBINAR: REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI
Organised by a coalition of Brisbane-based groups and featuring Dr Helen Caldicott, Bob Henricks (former secretary of the Electrical Trades Union), Ross Gwyther (founder of People for Nuclear Disarmament in Brisbane) and Chris Henderson (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Australia).
FRIDAY 6th AUGUST COMMEMORATION, ADELAIDE
8-8:30am at the Adelaide Peace Park
Featuring the Hon Mark Parnell, former member of the SA Parliament. Organised by the Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation and the Romero Community.
SUNDAY 8th AUGUST DEMONSTRATION, BRISBANE
2-3pm AEST, at the boundary of Brisbane City, 247 Dawson Pde, Keperra
Bring back the Brisbane City Council nuclear free zone signs!
Additional details here.
MONDAY 9th AUGUST WEBINAR: HOW TO END NUCLEAR DETERRENCE AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE (BAN SCHOOL CLASS #3)
Featuring Associate Prof. Marianne Hanson (University of QLD, ICAN Australia), Yhonnie Scarce (Kokatha and Nukunu glass artist), Lucy Stewart (Disarmament and Security Centre, Aotearoa New Zealand) and Dimity Hawkins AM (ICAN co-founder).
THURSDAY 26th AUGUST TESTIMONTY BY SETSUKO THURLOW: FROM VICTIM TO ACTIVIST
This is the testimony of a Hiroshima atomic bombing survivor whose life has been transformed from a victim of the devastation of her hometown to a life-long advocate for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. Co-hosted by the University of Melbourne and ICAN Australia.