75 years ago today, the United States used the first nuclear weapon in war on the city of Hiroshima, killing over 130,000 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly. Three days later, another bomb was dropped, and a similar fate met the citizens of Nagasaki. By the end of 1945, over 215,000 people died as a result of the attacks and thousands more would perish over the years to come from illnesses caused by radiation exposure.
As we reflect on the shared nuclear legacy of the 75th Anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, PSR-LA honors the lives lost, as well as the hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) who are still here and still fighting to make sure that nuclear weapons are never used again. Their lifelong dedication to this cause is a great source of inspiration for us at PSR-LA, who have been fortunate enough to stand alongside them in our fight for nuclear abolition.
Yet in order to achieve the vision of nuclear abolition and justice, we know that so much work still has to be done. The current administration is vastly increasing funding for nuclear weapons, inflaming tensions with other nuclear-armed states, walking away from the only remaining arms control agreements with Russia, and actively considering resuming nuclear testing, which would disproportionately impact communities of color, if history is any guide. These actions escalate an already-distressing arms race, making our communities less safe, while siphoning off critical resources from our communities that are struggling to meet even basic needs amid the ongoing crises.
As the interconnectedness of our struggles for justice continue to be laid bare by the failings of the current administration, from health to climate change to the economy, PSR-LA is working to highlight these connections and strengthen our collective movement for health, safety, and justice for all. Threatening our adversaries with nuclear annihilation in order to exact compliance comes from the same oppressive and violent white supremacy that allows law enforcement agents to harass and kill Black lives. As a city, and as a country, we must end this.
PSR-LA is committed to a world free from oppression in all forms, from the threat of nuclear war to the racial, environmental, and economic injustices that face so many of our communities. In these trying times, we are calling for a reimagining of public safety that shifts funds away from oppressive institutions and toward real human and community needs.
We also know that real change happens from the bottom up – when diverse coalitions of health professionals, students, veterans, environmental, faith, peace and justice groups stand together with nuclear frontline communities and concerned individuals to demand policymakers take action. That’s why we are leading the Back from the Brink campaign, which is bringing communities together throughout the country and winning support for policy solutions to reduce and eliminate the threat of nuclear war.
Here are some ways you can participate in Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversary events and help us grow the movement for a nuclear weapons free world:
Today at 10:30 a.m., Back from the Brink will participate in national webcast called #StillHere: 75 Years of Shared Nuclear Legacy. Click here to watch the webcast and click here to view the event schedule, which includes many of our allies including several PSR chapters.
We are also thrilled to announce that Back from the Brink has a new website created by PSR-LA, and a new logo and promotional video created by our allies at the Union of Concerned Scientists! Click here to check out Back from the Brink’s new website and video. If you haven’t yet endorsed the campaign, you can do so here.
Finally, stand with atomic bomb survivors by signing the Hibakusha Appeal calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Together, we can create a safer, healthier, and more just world.
All of us at PSR-LA
To contribute to our efforts to abolish nuclear weapons and achieve justice for victims of our shared nuclear legacy, please consider donating here.