Connecticut activists take up Hiroshima mayor’s call: “Unite against all threats”
Hiroshima Day commemoration at New Haven Green, Aug. 6, 2020. | Art Perlo / People's World

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—”Civil society must reject self-centered nationalism and unite against all threats,” warned Mayor Kazumi Matsui of Hiroshima, Japan on the 75th commemoration of the horrific devastation of its people when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city and three days later on the city of Nagasaki.

The mayor’s statement was read as part of a gathering on the New Haven Green at 8 a.m. on August 6, the time that the bomb was dropped in 1945. Organized by the Greater New Haven Peace Council, participants wore masks and spaced themselves eight feet apart to be safe from the coronavirus.

“If we can’t breathe because of our masks, think of George Floyd and so many others who could not breathe and died at the hands of police,” said Peace Council chair Henry Lowendorf calling for solidarity.

Days before, the New Haven Board of Alders approved a non-binding resolution to appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, initiated by the City of New Haven Peace Commission: “Shall Congress prepare for health and climate crises by transferring funds from the military budget to cities, for human needs, jobs, and an environmentally sustainable economy?”

This resolution will be discussed throughout the city leading up to Election Day in the context of the immediate need for massive public investment in health care, ending racial disparities, and responding to climate change.

Youth, civil rights, climate change, community, and union organizations have endorsed the ballot referendum. It is seen as part of the effort to realize a massive voter turnout to reject Trump and Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate and local office.

The Trump administration has withdrawn the United States from a number of arms control treaties which, along with climate change, has resulted in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock being placed at 100 seconds to midnight.

Participants at the Hiroshima Day vigil were called upon to organize a massive “Yes” vote for the referendum and to transform the country to meet the needs of all people and the planet and end 400 years of racism and white supremacy.

Read the full text of Mayor Kazumi Matsui’s statement.


CONTRIBUTOR

Joelle Fishman
Joelle Fishman

Joelle Fishman chairs the Connecticut Communist Party USA. She is a Commissioner on the City of New Haven Peace Commission, serves on the executive board of the Alliance of Retired Americans in Connecticut and is an active member of many economic rights and social justice organizations. As chair of the CPUSA Political Action Commission, she has played an active role in the broad labor and people's alliance and continues to mobilize for health care, worker rights and peace.    

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