While Pax Christi held prayers for peace and an information stall on the steps on Westminster Cathedral yesterday, Trident Ploughshares had a presence in a number of other locations in London to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to draw attention to the continuing effects of nuclear weapons in the world today.
In Victoria Embankment Gardens, immediately behind the Ministry of Defence building, activists began the first of a four-day fast, whilst also hanging banners on railings and handing out leaflets both in the park and at the entrance to the MOD. One worker quietly praised their action, describing his employer as 'the Ministry of Death'.
Elsewhere Trident Ploughshares activists joined the 'Hiroshima rally' at Tavistock Square, organised by CND, and demonstrated outside Cunard House, the building which homes the UK headquarters of Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of both missiles and warheads for Trident.
With tensions mounting between key nuclear weapon states, Trident Ploughshares is calling for four days of action to highlight the links in the nuclear chain today, as well as drawing attention to enormous public and social cost of Trident. The majority of the world's non-nuclear weapons states voted through a nuclear weapons ban treaty2 in 2017. However, the UK has actively attempted to undermine the treaty, whilst the USA has ended Iran Nuclear Deal which was aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Chris Bluemel of Trident Ploughshares said: "The continued possession of nuclear weapons by a minority of countries, including the UK, presents a continuing danger to a world in which a majority of states have given a clear indication that these weapons have no place. The anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should remind us of the danger these weapons continue to pose".
The four days of action will coincide with the Hiroshima-Nagasaki International Fast, which is supported by Trident Ploughshares, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, several Quakers and Church Groups, and many groups worldwide including the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
There will be a Commemoration Service for Franz Jagerstatter and Nagasaki Day Peace Walk in the Crypt of Westminster Cathedral
on Friday, 9 August at 6.30pm The service is followed by the interfaith peace walk to the London Peace Pagoda for a Buddhist lantern-lighting ceremony. Contact the office on 0208 203 4884 for more details.
For more information see: Prayers and peace vigils on anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki www.indcatholicnews.com/news/37621
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