Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

The Hibakusha of Japan, and of indigenous peoples, victims of nuclear testing

the world is still full of hibakusha who can testify to the rippling consequences of radiation exposure on health, family and community.

Nuclear testing hibakusha who have been removed from their home communities have suffered the social breakdowns 

They often define themselves in relation to the colonial power that irradiated them, i.e., they are victims of French nuclear testing, of Soviet nuclear testing, of American nuclear testing

The late Mrs Milpuddie and her [Aborignal] family were found sleeping in a bomb crater. The people were taken, stripped and scrubbed. Their dogs were shot. Another family were ordered to walk to Western Australia, and ordered not to leave the track. Obeying those orders, the adults died of thirst. Only two children arrived alive.

Hibakusha: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Beyond . Dr Bo Jacobs  11 Aug 12, http://www.dianuke.org/hibakusha-hiroshima-nagasaki-robert-jacobs/ Hundreds of hibakusha gather in Hiroshima today, and in Nagasaki on 9 August. Many more will stay away from such commemorations, preferring to spend these anniversaries in private. Almost all of these hibakusha were children when their families were attacked with nuclear weapons: and it is these grown children who remain to bear witness.
While over 70,000 people were killed in Hiroshima on the day that the US dropped an atomic bomb on the city center in August 1945, even more people became survivors of that attack. Many tens of thousands would die in the coming weeks, months and years, but some would live long and full lives. Their lives would forever be marked by this experience. Many have never shaken the trauma of expecting that they would die, having watched their family and their friends die, having
seen an endless horizon full of the dead and dying and the corpses of people and animals burned beyond recognition, and of seeing their homes and city disappear into fire and rubble.

Beyond the epidemiological and psychological affects on the hibakusha, the social impacts were often as devastating. Experiencing discrimination in marriage and employment, many were also plagued by their own worries about whether to have children, and by anxieties that every subsequent cold or flu that they or their children experienced might be the first signs of an impending fatal illness. In a sense the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki never ended.

While those who can testify to the experience of direct nuclear attack
are shrinking in number to those who were children at the time, sadly,
the world is still full of hibakusha who can testify to the rippling consequences of radiation exposure on health, family and community.
…..
Nuclear testing hibakusha who have been removed from their home communities have suffered the social breakdowns that result from
dislocation from traditional lands and lifestyles. Many end up living
as refugees in the lands of their neighbors, and suffer the loss of
access to plots for farming, water access for fishing, and suffer the
social stigma of being outsiders. The Bikinians of the Marshall
Islands were ostracized in the atolls where the US military moved them
to even though they experienced no exposure to radiation, because they
were deemed foolish for giving up their home atoll, a consequence of
forced removal rather than an actual choice.

Nuclear weapon testing is very closely connected to colonial history.
Most nuclear powers test weapons either in the far reaches of their
empires, or among marginalized populations in their own country.
Partly as a result of this legacy, most of these communities remain in
isolation from other test communities, and from the world at large.
They often define themselves in relation to the colonial power that
irradiated them, i.e., they are victims of French nuclear testing, of
Soviet nuclear testing, of American nuclear testing, etc…. Often
hibakusha from affected communities have no idea that there has been
extensive nuclear weapon testing in other countries. As with so many
legacies of colonialism, the nuclear testing related sicknesses,
deaths and contamination of land suffered by hibakusha communities
have benefited from little or no compensation and no apology. The
neglect with which the nuclear powers have treated them extends the
damage and brutality, now an inheritance for generations…..
… Paul’s comment……John Hutton, an Australian nuclear veteran,
found at least one body of an Aboriginal person on the nuclear range.
The late Mrs Milpuddie and her family were found sleeping in a bomb crater. The people were taken, stripped and scrubbed. Their dogs were shot. Another family were ordered to walk to Western Australia, and ordered not to leave the track. Obeying those orders, the adults died of thirst. Only two children arrived alive.

These are proofs of the nature of the nuclear powers. Journalist
Andrew Bolt made disgusting remarks on the occassion of Mrs
Milpuddie’s funeral.
http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/hibakusha-hiroshima-nagasaki-and-beyond-dr-bo-jacobs/

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August 11, 2012 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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