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Little boy and hell on earth.

by Elco B Mon Aug 6th, 2007 at 10:14:49 AM EST

That fateful summer, 8:15. The roar of a B-29 breaks the morning calm. A parachute opens in the blue sky. Then suddenly, a flash, an enormous blast - silence - hell on Earth.

The eyes of young girls watching the parachute were melted. Their faces became giant charred blisters. The skin of people seeking help dangled from their fingernails. Their hair stood on end. Their clothes were ripped to shreds. People trapped in houses toppled by the blast were burned alive. Others died when their eyeballs and internal organs burst from their bodies-Hiroshima was a hell where those who somehow survived envied the dead.

Within the year, 140,000 had died. Many who escaped death initially are still suffering from leukemia, thyroid cancer, and a vast array of other afflictions.

But there was more. Sneered at for their keloid scars, discriminated against in employment and marriage, unable to find understanding for profound emotional wounds, survivors suffered and struggled day after day, questioning the meaning of life.

August 6, 2007
Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba
The City of Hiroshima


Today, exactly 62 years ago...

The story of the US B-29 bomber, "Enola Gay" releasing the world's first nuclear weapon "Little Boy"  over Hiroshima is well known (I hope) and very well documented.

Nowbody knew in this days what the effect of the nuclear weapon would be.

The results of the devastating effects left many people in disbelief and shock. Even scientists who worked on the bomb opposed the military use of it, characterizing it as war crime or crime against humanity.

And still we have political leaders who think we need nuclear weapons.

Sigh..when will they ever learn?

But there's a way to resist.
Mayors for Peace.

On June 24, 1982, at the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament held at UN Headquarters in New York, then Mayor Takeshi Araki of Hiroshima proposed a new Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

This proposal offered cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition. Subsequently, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called on mayors around the world to support this program.

In my small town (20.000 inhabitants) after two years of campaigning, our mayor signed  to take part in the organisation. Finally, backed by the city-council a yearly financial contribution was introduced.

This was an initiative started by some people, and local politicians were forced to take positions.

In Belgium we have 589 mayors.
Of them 259 so far take part in the Mayors for Peace organsation.Internationally there are 1698 member cities in 122 countries.

And now there is the 2020 Vision Campaign:
- 2020 Vision Campaign

The 2020 Vision Campaign is the central activity of Mayors for Peace. Originally launched in November 2003 as an Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons, the Campaign has taken on the name of its 2020 Vision, that is, a world freed of nuclear weapons by the year 2020. Even though this goal is years away, we continue to operate in an 'Emergency' mode, since each of those years must be put to good use if the goal is to be achieved on schedule.

Hiroshima: 33 Belgian cities and municipalities committed to support 2020 Vision financially - 2020 Vision Campaign

Already 33 Belgian cities and municipalities have made commitments to support the international 2020 Vision Campaign financially.
Czech mayors say US Missile Defence in Europe is fueling a new nuclear arms race - 2020 Vision Campaign
The Czech Mayors Mr. Josef Hála, mayor of Jince, and Mr. Jan Neoral, mayor of Trokavec, published an Op-ed today in two Belgian quality papers - De Morgen & La Libre Belgique-  in co-operation with Abolition 2000 Belgium. Both mayors have taken the lead in opposing NMD and were the first to organise referenda where the inhabitants overwhelmingly rejected NMD to be deployed in their area.

Maybe naive to believe this campaign will succeed.
But we have to start somewhere to stop the insanity, isn't it ?

Hiroshima Peace Declaration marking 62nd anniversary A-bombing - 2020 Vision Campaign

However, here in the 21st century the time has come when these problems can actually be solved through the power of the people.  Former colonies have become independent. Democratic governments have taken root.  Learning the lessons of history, people have created international rules prohibiting attacks on non-combatants and the use of inhumane weapons.  They have worked hard to make the United Nations an instrument for the resolution of international disputes.  And now city governments, entities that have always walked with and shared in the tragedy and pain of their citizens, are rising up.  In the light of human wisdom, they are leveraging the voices of their citizens to lift international politics.
August 6, 2007
Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba
The City of Hiroshima

Is your mayor member of 'Mayors for Peace'?
. Yes 33%
. No 0%
. Donno 66%
. No, but I'll ask to do so 0%

Votes: 3
Results | Other Polls
I dunno, but I will ask.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Aug 6th, 2007 at 03:43:54 PM EST
member cities list

Mayors for Peace Gratefully Welcomes the Following New Members
47 new cities have joined Mayors for Peace . Thus, the Conference involves 1,698
cities in 122 countries and regions around the world. As of July 30, 2007
No Country City Mayor
1 South Korea Daegu Mr. Kim Bum-il
2 Iraq Basrah Mr. Ismaeel Gazi Aoda
3 Iraq Chamchamal Mr. Nawzad Jalal Muhamad
4 Iraq Qadrkaram Mr. Falah M. Sdeek
5 Iraq Qarahanjeer Mr. Kamaran Hameed Ahmad
6 Iraq Sangaw Mr. Samad Omer
7 Iraq Takia Kakamand Mr. Raoof Mustafa H.
8 Iraq Takya Jabary Mr. Sarwar S. Hassan
9 Australia Yarra Ms. Jenny Farrar
10 Cameroon Buea Mr. Mlbella Muki Charles
11 Belgium Ganshoren Ms. Michèle Carthé
12 Bulgaria Veliko Turnovo Mr. Rumen Rashev MD
13 Croatia Nova Gradska Mr. Josip Miksic
14 Croatia Rovinj Mr. Giovanni Sponza
15 Denmark Haderslev Mr. H. P. Geil
16 Germany Bietigheim-Bissingen Mr. Jürgen Kessing
17 Germany Bruck in der Oberpfalz Mr. Joachim Hanisch
18 Germany Elmshorn Dr. Brigitte Fronzek
19 Germany Köngen Mr. Hans Weil
20 Germany Mönchengladbach Mr. Norbert Bude
21 Germany Wiesloch Mr. Franz Schaidhammer
22 Italy Pinerolo Mr. Paolo Cavato
23 Italy Quistello Mr. Alessandro Pastacci
24 Italy Vado Ligure Mr. Carlo Giacobbe
25 Netherlands Noordenveld Mr. J.H. van der Laan
26 Portugal Évora Mr. José Ernesto D' Oliveira
27 Portugal Fafe Mr. José Manuel Martins Ribeiro
28 Portugal Ferreira do Alentejo Mr. Anival Reis Costa
29 Portugal Lagos Dr. Julio José Monteiro Barroso
30 Portugal Moita Mr. João Manuel de Jesus Lobo
31 Portugal Monforte Mr. Rui Manuel Maia da Silva
32 Portugal Ourique Mr. Pedro do Carmo
33 Portugal Ovar Mr. Manuel Alves de Oliveira
34 Spain Berga Mr. Juli Gendrau i Fauguell
35 U.K. Hebden Royd Dr. Nader Fekri J. P.
36 Canada Antigonish Ms. Kathline Chisholm
37 Canada Charlottetown Mr. Clifford Lee
38 Canada Lake Cowichan Mr. W. J.(Jack) Peake
39 Canada Sault Ste. Marie Mr. John Rowswell
40 Canada Saskatoon Mr. Donald Atchison
41 Canada Trail Mr. Dieter Bogs
42 Canada Yarmouth (D) Mr. Bryan C. Smith
43 U.S.A. Corvallis (OR) Mr. Charles C. Tomlison
44 U.S.A. Montpelier (VT) Ms. Mary S. Hooper
45 U.S.A. Taos (NM) Mr. Bobby F. Duran
46 U.S.A. Taos Ski Valley (NM) Mr. Neal King
47 U.S.A. Westlake (OH) Mr. Dennis M. Clough

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Mon Aug 6th, 2007 at 05:41:04 PM EST
of ProgressiveHistorians, a community site dedicated to the intersection of history and politics, I would be honored if you would cross-post this excellent diary there.

The Crolian Progressive: as great an adventure as ever I heard of...
by Nonpartisan on Mon Aug 6th, 2007 at 06:51:10 PM EST
Thanks for the invitation.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)
by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Mon Aug 6th, 2007 at 07:12:16 PM EST
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