Australian news, and some related international items

17 June Tasmanians will join the global movement towards banning nuclear weapons

All in Tasmania who feel strongly that we should ban these weapons are welcome to gather together for an hour in a “Ban the Bomb” vigil on Parliament House lawns from 11am to noon on Saturday, next weekend.

Talking Point: Tasmanians can join UN bid to ban nuclear weapons, June 10, 2017 WHEN I was a child an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and a few days later, a second on Nagasaki.

Just two bombs killed about 80,000 people in Hiroshima and 40,000 in Nagasaki.

I felt sick then. It still shocks me.

Thereafter, we saw photos and film of people, including children, running screaming, their clothes torn off and their skin hanging in strips.

We saw photos of hospitals full of innocent people dying of radiation, their devastated cities and surrounding farming land irradiated 70 years ago and still unusable.

In 1956, a series of British nuclear tests at Maralinga in South Australia also left an area of our great nation contaminated. Australians then said: “Never again.”

The Australian Government was at the forefront of countries that established the United Nations, with the main task of preventing war, in particular nuclear war.

However, since then, the world has experienced one war after another, with increasingly sophisticated weapons, plus an underlying dependence on violence rather than justice, education, negotiation and compromise to solve the thorny issues.

There are nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons worldwide, each one of which can cause devastation like that of Hiroshima and thereafter cause a nuclear winter sufficient to destroy all human life. Nine countries have these weapons and more, such as North Korea, are trying to make them.

No one should have them.

It will only take a disaster such as another tsunami, earthquake or fire to cause some of these weapons to explode without warning and render life on Earth untenable, especially if they are not rigorously maintained, and we cannot guarantee they are.

If these nuclear weapons acted as a deterrent to war, there may be reason to keep them, but they do not.

Modern warfare has transformed and is evolving, often now manifesting as bloodthirsty acts of terrorism. Nuclear weapons are no deterrent to this type of terror.

Until now, we have failed to get rid of these weapons, and there has been virtual silence on something that is just as critical to the survival of our children and grandchildren as obesity or global warming.

More than 130 nations think the world should ban nuclear weapons, especially as leaders with questionable judgment have their fingers on buttons, such as Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea.There are enough global problems — such as drought and climate change — without nuclear weapons.

It seems sensible to do all we can to reduce the number of threats to life for future generations. A nuclear bomb-free world would be a satisfying start.

Following moves by the UN last year in Geneva, resulting in two recent conferences, the UN has developed a Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, to once again work to rid the world of these bombs. There are enough other destructive weapons without them.

The draft convention was drawn up at the UN in New York in March.

As final discussions on the treaty begin in New York, across the world people will be marching to show their support — as well as their concern for the failure of some nations, America in particular and Australia — for banning nuclear weapons.

More than 130 other nations in the UN are now working towards this result.

However, because several nations have not joined in the negotiations, women in countries and groups across the world and in most capital cities of Australia, are gathering on Saturday, June 17, to show their support for the 130 countries, and to express their concern that our Australian Government decided not to support the proposed ban.

All in Tasmania who feel strongly that we should ban these weapons are welcome to gather together for an hour in a “Ban the Bomb” vigil on Parliament House lawns from 11am to noon on Saturday, next weekend.

One politician from each political party will speak briefly on the weapons.

The state branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom has made a clothesline of children’s clothes with “Ban the Bomb” on them as a banner to express our concern for the future of the world’s children and families if these horrific weapons are not completely eliminated.

Linley Grant is state president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She has received many awards, including an Order of Australia Medal for community service.


June 10, 2017 - Posted by | ACTION

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