Waving goodbye to nuclear weapons

IssueJune 2015 - July 2015
News by David Polden

Co-ordinated protests against nuclear weapons stretched around the world at the end of April, including a global ‘wave’ of demonstrations.

On 28 April, the second day of the UN-sponsored Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference in New York, 22 protesters were arrested after nonviolently blockading the two main entrances to the US mission to the UN in the city.

The blockaders, from a variety of US peace organisations, called on the US to abolish its nuclear arsenal – and all other nuclear weapons states to do the same. All 22 were released and summonsed to appear on 24 June.

Peace & Planet

Just before the NPT review conference, there was a ‘Peace & Planet’ international mobilisation for ‘a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world’, bringing together social justice and environmental concerns as well as issues of war and peace.

This included a conference on 24-25 April and demonstrations on 26 April, all in New York city.

Peace & Planet was endorsed by more than 300 environmental, racial justice, anti-war, and other organisations in 20 countries.

On 26 April, Gensuikyo (the Japan Council Against A- and H-Bombs) and others presented a petition with eight million signatures calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons to the president of the NPT review conference, ambassador Taous Feroukhi of Algeria, and to the UN high representative for disarmament affairs, Angela Kane of Germany.

There was also a ‘Global Wave’ demonstration that began in Manhattan at 1pm on 26 April, and then travelled around the world’s time zones (through 50 cities including Wellington, Tokyo, New Delhi, Karachi, Bethlehem, Berlin, Leeds and Buenos Aires) before returning to New York on 27 April.

Topics: Nuclear weapons