September 21st, Peace Action Day in Cymru: see here.
On April 24th (Easter Sunday) 38 people gathered at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) as thousands have done each spring over the past 30 years. Eight were arrested and a dozen will return tomorrow to the NNSS (at the Mercury exit of US Highway 95) with the same hope for peace, environmental safety, and nuclear abolition. Both prayer-actions celebrate the Springtime hopes for an end to the terrors of the Nuclear Age. The April 26th event is held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine. Tomorrow’s demonstration will be held from 7am to 8am, and is one of hundreds all over the globe. These vigils and protests highlight the painful and expensive radioactive troubles from Chernobyl (Ukraine) and Fukushima (Japan).
The group holding interfaith prayers tomorrow morning, April 26th, at the NNSS wishes to communicate the urgent need to end the expansion of nuclear power technology and to protect the Nevada Desert and other bioregions from nuclear disasters. The recent Fukushima, Japan nuclear melt-down has sent radioactive fallout around the planet. The Chernobyl nuclear power explosion contaminated food and people across Europe. Ten thousand demonstrators in the town of Gronau, Germany today and fifty thousand others in Amsterdam last week are all supporting the same cause of ridding the earth of the radiological problems of nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
One of the Franciscan activists in Nevada this week hoping to stop the spread of nuclearism, Paul Lachance, said, “at this season of Easter we give thanks to the rising power of Love which overcomes the forces of evil and death in ourselves, in our world and in the nuclear madness.”
Minnesota veterans stood in solidarity with veterans from Saratoga Springs and Albany New York as they protested the war at the Saratoga Springs race track’s 142nd opening day. Veterans for Peace members stood in pouring rain with banners and placards that asked the question “How’s the War Economy Working for You?” The Saratoga Race Course reopened Friday after nearly going bankrupt in 2008. As racing fans paused to buy tip sheets at the race course gates, veterans chanted “War is a bad bet! and were handed brochures that asked folks “How is the War Economy Working for You?” Some race goers stated they had thought the war economy would bring prosperity, but were disappointed with the war’s multi-billion dollar drain on the economy.
According to demonstration organizer John Amidon, of Tom Paine Veterans for Peace Chapter 10 in Albany New York, upstate New York is hard-hit by the war economy. “One doesn’t need to go to Detroit to see collapsed cities. Regionally Schenectady, Amsterdam, and Gloversville, NY are cities in steep decline if not already collapsed. The war economy is simply not working for the people of New York State.”
Among the protesters were Minnesotans Coleen Rowley, one of Time Magazine 2002 Persons of the Year and a former FBI staff attorney, Jack Rossbach of International campaign to Ban Land Mines and Cluster Munitions, and Kim Doss-Smith of Women Against Military Madness, plus a few members of Twin Cities Chapter 27 of Veterans for Peace. They are members of a delegation of 19 Minnesota peace activists that are in Albany New York attending a national conference and strategy planning session of the national peace movement.
Easter Peace marches celebrated their fiftieth anniversary this year. It brought tens of thousands of people on the streets. The antiwar protests in Germany however have a slight touch of officialness about them, something like many May Day demonstrations. In Frankfurt/Main at the Römerplatz the anarchists were visibly represented – a picture with an unofficial edge.