Hiroshima–Nagasaki fast and actions

IssueOctober - November 2019

In August, demonstrators in town crier costumes walked around Whitehall in central London, shouting the good news about the UN's Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Trident Ploughshares activists also held an oration and die-in on the steps of the British Museum to protest at the holding of an MoD-sponsored exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the UK’s nuclear-armed submarines.

When the group held the same demonstration in the museum’s Japanese Galleries, it was applauded.

These actions were part of the London end of the annual international fast against nuclear weapons, held between Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days (6–9 August) since 1984.

The fast, which began in France, was held this year at Mutlangen and Büchel military airfields in Germany; in California, Kansas City, Los Alamos and Nevada in the US; in Kerala in India; in Auckland, New Zealand; and in Togo and the Ivory Coast; as well as in seven places in France, including Paris.

In Britain, the fast was held in five places: Iona and Edinburgh in Scotland; Knighton in Wales; and, in England, Barnstaple, and at the ministry of defence (MoD) in Whitehall.

In Knighton, events included the tolling of church bells to mark the times of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, as well as readings from survivors of the bombings.

In London, fasters were based in Embankment Gardens behind the MoD. Banners were displayed and passers-by, including MoD staff, were leafleted.