Peace and justice activists remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Gail Snyder of the Nuclear Energy Information Service told the audience at the annual “Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that “the World is not at peace and we live under the constant threat of a nuclear war and a nuclear accident.” Ms. Snyder said her organization “is focused primarily on bringing an end to the use of nuclear energy in Illinois as well as the nation and the world.” (Photo by Owen M. Lawson)

Staff writer

Representatives from more than 12 peace and justice organizations throughout Chicago gathered at the Henry Moore Sculpture to Nuclear Energy, 5625 S. Ellis Ave., on Tuesday evening to speak out against nuclear proliferation under the Trump administration.

The annual Aug. 6 commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki not only focused on the events of 1945 and the destruction that Japanese civilians faced afterward, but it was a call to action against the threat of another nuclear war.

“The world is not at peace when we live under the constant threat of a nuclear war and a nuclear energy related accident,” said Gail Snyder of Nuclear Energy Information Service. “The argument that more nuclear weapons are a deterrent against actually using them or that nuclear energy is a solution to climate change minimizes the risks over time.”

During the evening, activists spoke to a small crowd of around 50 people to persuade them to organize against nuclear weapons and nuclear energy and to push for the end of military action in countries throughout the world. Organizers walked around to pass out flyers to those interested in the next steps to prevent nuclear war.

“Not a single approach or any number of approaches can guarantee a nuclear-disaster-safe world, but some approaches can move us in the right direction,” said Linda Groetzinger of Second Unitarian Church in Chicago. “I urge you to visit your congress people and senators during this August break; urge them to work to end our endless wars around the world, legislation that limits the power of any one person to decide whether to launch a nuclear attack and for legislation to commit our nation to no first strike, not only for nuclear war but for any war.”

After the event, members of the audience were encouraged to talk to activists to connect to their organizations if they were interested in peace-keeping efforts in Chicago and in the nation.