Louise Franklin-Ramirez Speaking Before the 1993 World Conference Against A & H Bombs

I am deeply honored to address you on the most serious and pressing challenge facing Humankind  today — the total  abolishment  of nuclear weapons — – that the sad tragedy  which  befell Hiroshima and Nagasaki  will never be repeated. Greetings to my sisters and brothers throughout Japan and world-wide attending this Thirty Eighth Annual World Conference Against A  &  H Bombs.  And special greetings and gratitude to the  HIBAKUSHA  who, as they travel the world, work tirelessly to remind us of the horrors of nuclear war. I am proud to represent Women  Strike for Peace, The  Gray  Panthers, and The Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Area  in a heartfelt appeal for the elimination of nuclear weapons and their components, and for a global reordering of priorities for the benefit of oppressed peoples and the children

Women Strike for Peace  initiated protests to end nuclear testing in the early 1960s which resulted in the  Limited Test Ban Treaty,  and we have since been working for a  Comprehensive Test Ban  and the total elimination of all nuclear weapons. The  Gray Panthers  are leaders in the struggle for social justice. Our slogan is  “Age and Youth In Action,”  and we stress the linkage between  militarism and social injustice.  The Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee  is a grass roots coalition of Washington, D.C. area Peace, Justice, and religious groups. We organize the largest annual  Hiroshima/Nagasaki Remembrance  in the U.S.A.. Children and adults  of the Washington area have folded 1,000 paper cranes to carry our message of Love and Goodwill to Sadako’s Statue  in Peace Park, Hiroshima 

On behalf of  Women Strike for Peace,  Gray  Panthers  and the  Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee,  I extend warmest greetings of Peace and Solidarity to this entire magnificent conference

Our work here together for nuclear disarmament is crucial to the well-being of our  Sacred Mother Earth.  Here in the  Pacific Basin,  we call for demilitarization and denuclearization, and especially for the elimination of  U.S.A.  military bases. The deplorable situation of  U.S.A.  nuclear weapons ships docking  here  in  Japan, directly contravening the  “Japanese Peace Constitution, ” must be strenuously opposed. The  U.S.A.  occupation  of Korea  must end and we support an independent, non-nuclear,  and reunified Korea.  We demand  a Nuclear Fee Pacific. The current destabilized global political situation is extremely alarming. Although the Soviet Union  no longer exists,  Russia  possesses tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and the emerging reactionary forces there cannot be considered allies in the disarmament movement. Meanwhile, the  U.S.A.  has developed a destabilizing super accurate “First Strike” nuclear force which includes  Trident II, MX, Cruise Missiles, and Inter-Continental Bombers.  And, the ominous threat of nuclear proliferation persists. We must work to redouble our efforts to abolish all nuclear weapons before they irreversibly poison the entire ecosystem! 

We understand that the primary purpose of nuclear weapons is not “deterrence,” but rather to impose economic and political control over the poor nations of the world. Among the primary victims are the indigenous people and people of color who mine the uranium, store the wastes, and suffer the nuclear tests. The result is increasing polarization, with the desperately poor majority of the world’s people demanding long overdue social justice. Money to fund the “Military/ Corporate Complex” is taken from the mouths of the children, poor mothers, and the elders. Hunger, Homelessness, lack of health-care, and a deteriorating environment are symbols, the world over, of the insane pursuit of military and nuclear supremacy. It is time to stop sacrificing our children’s future on the altar of corporate and military greed. 

In just two short years we will pause to remember the fiftieth anniversary of the atomic bombings. We can and must use the occasion to link the disarmament movement globally, and to broaden our struggle to include all democratic forces opposed to economic, political, and social oppression. We look to the  HIBAKUSHA  and other radiation victims for leadership and guidance in formulating our themes and programs for the 1995 Remembrance Actions.

As 1995 nears, we oppose all efforts to divide the nuclear disarmament movement. We must instead begin to unite to challenge the real enemy who is continually destroying and despoiling our children’s legacy. Even in Hiroshima, divisions must still be overcome. Isn’t it finally time to insist that the  Korean A-Bomb Victims Memorial  be brought inside Peace Park where really it belongs?

The U.S. government has announced plans in 1995 to publically display the “Enola Gay,” the B-29 bomber used to destroy the city of Hiroshima. This callous action represents another attempt to justify the atomic bombings and the pursuit of nuclear supremacy. Organizing is now underway to block these plans through public education and civil disobedience.  The Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee  pledges to do everything within its power to prevent this outrage and we ask for your full support.

Sisters and Brothers, in our efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons we must maintain a sense of urgency about the crucial struggle ahead. A  “Comprehensive Test Ban ”  seems to be finally within our reach as the nuclear powers continue to maintain a nuclear test moratorium. We must use the 1995  Fiftieth Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings  to mobilize broad public opinion. Let us all link hands world-wide; men and women, white and people of color, young and old, workers and academics, and form an  “Anti-Nuclear Human Chain Reaction. ”  By joining together, we shall abolish nuclear weapons and regain control of the human and natural resources stolen from our communities to fuel the “Nuclear Madness.”

Nuclear weapons are at once the major obstacle to a sane and just human society, and the principal threat to life itself. With our hearts, minds and hands, working together, we keep alive the spirit  of Hiroshima and Nagasaki  and thus help keep our world alive. We solemnly pledge to recommit ourselves to work unceasingly to establish a just peace, to reverse the nuclear and conventional arms buildup, and to completely dismantle and destroy all nuclear weapons, that the children of the world shall be free from the threat of nuclear omnicide to share and enjoy a beneficent and bountiful future.

Abolish Nuclear Weapons