On Hiroshima anniversary, Minneapolis says no to nuclear war
Minneapolis, MN – Around 75 people rallied on August 6 to commemorate the deadly U.S. atomic bombings of Japan during World War II and to call for an end to U.S. wars and provocations that threaten nuclear war in the present. Activists lined busy Lake Street with signs and banners while chanting anti-war slogans and delivering speeches.
77 years earlier, on August 6, 1945, the U.S. warplane Enola Gay detonated a nuclear bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, on August 9, U.S. forces detonated another nuclear bomb over Nagasaki. Comprising the only uses in history of nuclear weapons in an armed conflict, the two attacks killed an estimated 129,000 to 226,000 people, almost entirely civilians. The anniversaries of the bombings have been commemorated by peace activists around the world ever since.
At the Minneapolis rally, activists highlighted the renewed threat of nuclear war stemming from ongoing imperialist U.S. foreign policies.
Kent Mori is an organizer with the Japanese-American social justice group Tsuru for Solidarity as well as the Twin Cities-based Climate Justice Committee. “Since at least 2014, the U.S. and NATO have been meddling in Ukraine, provoking that government to serve as a proxy to fight Russia. This proxy conflict doesn't serve the interests of the Ukrainian people, only U.S. and NATO aggression. And it brings us closer to the possibility of nuclear war,” Mori explained.
“The U.S. military is also the largest single organizational source of greenhouse gases,” he added. “You could say U.S. aggression and imperialism is climate change in action.”
John LaForge, co-director of the Wisconsin-based peace and environmental justice group Nukewatch, also spoke at the rally. “Rehearsals for attacks on Russia by NATO forces involve nuclear war rehearsals,” he said. “The NATO exercises practice with weighted dummies to practice nuclear war attacks on Russia on a regular basis – rehearsing and preparing for nuclear weapons use on Russian territory.”
The event was called by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, and endorsed by Antiwar Advocates of Minnesota Congressional District 2, Anti-War Committee, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Mayday Books, Minneapolis-St. Paul Hiroshima Nagasaki Commemoration Committee, Minnesota War Tax Resistance, Movement 4 A Peoples Democracy, Nukewatch, Party for Socialism and Liberation – Minneapolis, Party of Communists USA, St. Joan of Arc Peacemakers, St. Paul Eastside Neighbors for Peace, Socialist Action, Socialist Party USA – Twin Cities Local, Twin Cities Assange Defense, Veterans for Peace Chapter 27, Welfare Rights Committee, and Women Against Military Madness.