August 9th will mark the 71st anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nakasaki. Activists and concerned citizens will stand with survivors of nuclear weapons and all those harmed by nuclear technology by gathering at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, in conjunction with Chain Reaction: a global action for nuclear disarmament, a nonviolent global movement encouraging nuclear disarmament actions by governments and the United Nations.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a branch of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Although managed by the University of California, the lab is under contract with the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and has outgrown its status as branch laboratory to become a national resource in nuclear weapons development.

The participants in the Livermore event, called Disarm Now: We Stand with Nuclear Survivors for Global Justice, are scheduled to meet on August 9th at the Livermore lab and demand that the lab cease developing new nuclear weapons for the U.S. arsenal and instead divert funds from their nuclear weapons budget (which makes up 86% of their total funding).

The gathering will feature music, art, and speakers. Keynote speaker Tony deBrum, former foreign minister of the Marshall Islands and noted climate advocate, will speak about the U.S. nuclear testing that occurred in the tiny pacific state between 1946 and 1958, where the equivalence of 1.7 Hiroshima bombs were detonated daily. He will also speak on current lawsuits leveled against the U.S. and eight other nuclear weapons states for their failure to disarm, known as the “Nuclear Zero” lawsuits. Nobuaki Hanaoka, a Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor, will also share his experiences and insights.

Following the talks, participants will march to the lab’s West Gate for a Japanese bon dance, and those willing will participate in a nonviolent direct action. The nonviolent direct action will fall in accordance with a set of nonviolent guidelines developed by the gathering’s planning group. These guidelines ask that participants agree to remain nonviolent and respectful throughout the actions. Those willing to engage in the direct action will, according to Disarm event literature, “peacefully risk arrest.”

Rallies commemorating the anniversaries of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings at the Livermore labs have been organized on a regular basis. Notable past participants include anti-nuclear activist and “Pentagon Papers” whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg.

For more information on how to participate in Disarm Now, check out the flier here.

Editor’s Note: This post was mainly based on information provided by the organizers for Disarm Now: We Stand with Nuclear Survivors for Global Justice.

 

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