You can read 19 more articles this month
A HIROSHIMA bomb survivor made an impassioned plea for world leaders to “see the light” and ban nuclear weapons at this year’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony yesterday.
Setsuko Thurlow, a leading activist with 2017 prizewinner the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), made her request as the award was handed over in Oslo, Norway.
She was 13 when the US launched the world’s first nuclear attack by bombing the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945, killing tens of thousands of civilians.
Ms Thurlow said the blast left her buried under the rubble of a school, but she could see light and crawled to safety.
She said: “I repeat those words that I heard called to me in the ruins of Hiroshima: ‘Don’t give up. Keep pushing. See the light? Crawl toward it.’ Our light now is the ban treaty.”
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN followed a United Nations vote in July to ban nuclear weapons.
There were 122 votes in favour and two against. Britain and the US did not attend and have previously released a joint statement that they do not intend "to sign, ratify or ever become party to it."
In London on Saturday activists marked the Nobel award by staging a “die in” outside the Ministry of Defence.
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) vice-chair Bruce Kent said Britain could easily be the first nuclear power to abolish its nuclear weapons because its Trident nuclear system is totally dependent on the supply of missiles from the US to carry its warheads.
“We are well placed to be the first nuclear power to come off the fence,” he said.
Mr Kent said the £300 billion cost of building and running the system “could be spent on housing or hospitals, or social services, or overseas aid — that money does not get challenged.”
He condemned US President Donald Trump for his sabre-rattling over North Korea and said Trump was “volatile.”
“It is a very dangerous time because a man like Trump really is not sufficiently informed to know what he is dealing with,” he said.
“He is still living in a kind of cowboy world, where the one with the bigger gun somehow wins. Well, nobody wins with a nuclear war — there is no winning."
Mr Kent said it is a possibility that the US president could get “into a [tantrum] and press the button.”
“The answer to the North Korea problem is to get rid of American nuclear weapons from that area and de-target North Korea — not to encourage them to copy us," he said.
He hoped that there are enough people “with independent minds” to stop Trump.
Gatherings across Britain watched the Oslo presentation yesterday.
In Leeds peacemakers filled the city’s Unitarian church to watch the ceremony on a large screen.
Former Labour MEP for Leeds Michael McGowan told the Morning Star how the anti-nuclear movement had grown, including the international Mayors for Peace group, led by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and uniting more than 8,000 mayors worldwide.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.