LIVERMORE, CA – On August 6, 2019 a Rally, March and Nonviolent Direct Action titled, “Designing Armageddon at Livermore Lab,” will commemorate the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the site where the U.S. is designing new nuclear weapons for use today.
WHAT: Dozens of groups will mark the 74th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan at the gates of Livermore Lab. The rally will expose the humanitarian consequences of the bomb with first-hand testimony from a survivor. Livermore Lab is designing Armageddon. It is imperative to gather at Livermore Lab on the date a nuclear weapon was first used in war to stop the creation of new warheads proposed by President Trump. More than 80% of Livermore Lab’s fiscal 2020 budget is for Nuclear Weapons Activities. Participants on August 6 will say “never again” to the use of nuclear weapons – and demand their global abolition.
WHEN: Tuesday, August 6. Rally at 8:00 AM (see below). At 9:30 AM, participants will march to the Lab’s West Gate, where a Japanese bon dance will call in the ancestors and the outlining of bodies on pavement will commemorate the vaporized shadows found after the atomic bombings. Those who choose will peaceably risk arrest.
WHERE: The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, corner of Vasco & Patterson Pass Roads in Livermore. The march will go southward down Vasco Road to Westgate Drive.
FEATURED RALLY SPEAKERS:
• Nobuaki Hanaoka, the special guest speaker, was an infant when the bomb fell on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. His mother and sister died from illnesses linked to radiation poisoning and his brother died at age 39 from premature aging associated with fallout from the bomb. Rev. Hanaoka is a retired minister in the United Methodist Church, who came to the U.S. following seminary training in Japan. He has settled in the Bay Area where he speaks, writes and teaches on topics of peace and human rights. Rev. Hanaoka will present the “Hibakusha Appeal” and solicit signatures from participants (see WHY, below).
• Daniel Ellsberg will be the keynote speaker. He is perhaps best known as the whistleblower who released “The Pentagon Papers” to hasten an end to the war in Vietnam. He was an analyst at RAND Corp. and a consultant to the Defense Dept., specializing in problems of command and control of nuclear weapons, war plans and crisis decision-making. In 2017 Ellsberg released his critically acclaimed memoirs, “America’s Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.”
• Dr. Sharat G. Lin will speak on current nuclear flashpoints. He is a research fellow and past President of the San José Peace and Justice Center. Lin writes and lectures on global political economy, labor migration, social movements, and public health. Last August he delivered an apology from the American people to the Japanese people for the U.S. atomic bombings at mass rallies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A medical radiation scientist by training, Lin has connections to the nuclear energy programs in Iran and India, providing him with inside knowledge of the decision-making behind those programs. His insights on the nuclear calculations of Iran and North Korea are reinforced by personal visits to these countries, and provide a vision for denuclearization.
• Marylia Kelley will address Livermore Lab’s role in promoting a new, destabilizing global arms race. She is Executive Director at the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs and brings 36 years of research, writing and facilitating public participation in decisions regarding the Lab and the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Kelley has testified before the House Armed Services Committee of the U.S. Congress, the California Legislature and the National Academy of Sciences, among other deliberative bodies. She has lived in Livermore since 1976. Kelley was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2002.
• Rafael Jesús González will offer poetry and insight into the movement for nuclear disarmament. He is the City of Berkeley’s first Poet Laureate and an organizer of the 1983 International Day of Nuclear Disarmament. González has taught at the Univ. of Oregon, Western State College of Colorado, Central Washington State Univ., Univ. of Texas, and Laney College in Oakland, where he founded the Department of Mexican and Latin-American Studies. His poetry and academic articles appear in reviews and anthologies in the U. S., Mexico, and abroad. In 2013 he received the César E. Chávez Lifetime Award. The City of Berkeley honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.
• Roxanne will speak on divestment from nuclear weapons and war. She is a retired Judge who has worked and lived in Indian Country and seen firsthand the impacts of sacrifice zones created by the development of nuclear weapons. Roxanne first came into contact with nuclear issues in the College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, which moved her to pursue graduate studies in renewable energy alternatives to the pollution, destruction and terror that nuclear weapons inflict. Roxanne currently organizes with CODEPINK’s Divest From the War Machine campaign.
• Andrew Kodama and Julia Malakiman are co-emcees. They represent the fresh, dynamic leadership of young adults in the peace movement. Kodama is an educator, artist, and organizer born and raised in Walnut Creek, California. After working for the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center for two years doing community outreach he recently transitioned into the role of Executive Director in June. Malakiman returns to the Bay Area after completing graduate studies in France in Human Rights. She leads the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center in Palo Alto. As Director, she amplifies youth and minority voices while honing in on the grassroots success that local activists before her have fought for and achieved.
WHY: Our world is facing numerous nuclear flashpoints within global conflicts and crises that could catastrophically escalate at any moment. Under Trump, the U.S. is on a path to spend nearly $2,000,000,000,000 (trillion) over thirty years to upgrade its nuclear weapons complex, warheads and delivery systems when inflation and the novel concepts in the Nuclear Posture Review are included. Russia, China, France, U.K., India, Israel and Pakistan have begun nuclear modernizations of their own. While halting talks with North Korea have commenced, the Trump Administration has scuttled the Iran nuclear deal and is escalating pressure on the Iranian regime.
The U.S. announcement, followed by Russia’s, of its intention to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on August 2, 2019 is another sign of deepening crisis among the nuclear-armed states. Following the 2002 U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, this latest move imperils the entire structure of arms control and disarmament, including prospects for extension of the New START Treaty that expires in 2021. We may be heading into new, unpredictable rounds of arms racing.
Having experienced unbearable devastation and sorrow, the A-bomb survivors – known as “Hibakusha”, continue to passionately appeal for a world without nuclear weapons based on their conviction that “no one shall ever again suffer as we have”. In the face of growing nuclear dangers they have launched the “Hibakusha Appeal”, a major international petition drive “call[ing] on all State Governments to conclude a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons. The average age of the Hibakusha now exceeds 80. It is our strong desire to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world in our lifetime so that succeeding generations of people will not see hell on earth ever again.”
OPPORTUNITIES: Interviews in advance or at the rally site with speakers, artists and organizers are available on request. Photo opportunities will be available at the rally site at 8 AM, along the march route and at Livermore Lab’s West Gate. There will be signs and banners. Call for details.
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