Letter to Los Alamos County Council, Los Alamos, New Mexico

July 28, 2005

Greetings from Washington, D.C., where we will be joining you in vividly remembering the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a series of events. We have attached a flier which describes three events sponsored by a coalition of groups. Other activities will be taking place on August 3rd, 8th and 9th.

It is heartening to learn that so many people from communities around the country are planning 60th anniversary commemorative events.

Normally we host Hibakusha from Japan in Washington, D.C. during the first week of August, but because the numbers of Hibakusha who can travel are diminishing, and the 60th anniversary is keeping many of the Hibakusha at home, we won't have any with us here in D.C. for the first time since 1981. It's good to know that you will be hosting Hibakusha in Los Alamos, and we hope you will give them our special greetings.

We also greet the American Hibakusha who have joined you: the people from Nevada and Utah who suffered the atomic tests as downwinders; the atomic veterans who marched toward exploding bombs as human guinea pigs; the people who live on the edges of nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons facilities who have suffered the consequences of radioactive releases, inadequate storage of nuclear wastes; and more recently, the victims of depleted uranium poisoning.

In a sense, we are all Hibakusha. Scientists date shipwrecks off the coast of North Carolina by the radioactive layer of silt which settled during the '40's, '50's, and early '60's from nuclear tests. Some of the highest concentrations of radioactive fallout from nuclear tests were across the midwest and northeast of the United States. The Hibakusha of the Pacific nations, of Siberia and Ukraine, Asia, Europe, and wherever politicians decide nuclear power is the answer to economic woes, all deserve our recognition now, 60 years into the insanity.

When will it all stop?

We hope you will think about the bill that is currently (for the seventh time) introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives by the Delegate from Washington, D.C. (thanks to a successful voter initiative in 1993): the "Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act" - HR-1348 this session.

It would be helpful if you were to pass a resolution supporting this legislation. You may read more about it at http://prop1.org/prop1/

Again, our thanks for all you do to eliminate the nuclear threat.

Ellen Thomas
Executive Director
Proposition One Committee
PO Box 27217, Washington, DC 20038
202-682-4282 - et@nucnews.net - prop1@prop1.org

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee of the
Washington DC Area Gray Panthers

Board Member,
Washington Peace Center <wpc@igc.org> (founded 1963)

Greg Mello wrote:

Dear colleagues --

Probably many or most of you are very busy preparing for commemorative events in your communities and countries relating to the 60th anniversary of the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If you have time, however, to send a short email note of solidarity it would be very helpful to us here. We will read or post them in Los Alamos on the 6th. There will be news media present.

A special kind of message that would be especially helpful would be short messages from elected officials with whom you may be working, directed and addressed to the "Los Alamos County Council, Los Alamos, New Mexico." We will deliver these to the Los Alamos County Council in a ceremony. They may not show up, but we are bringing the sunflowers (thousands of them) and letters to the center of town anyway. We shall see.

Please send these messages, if you have time to write, to me at this email address.

Thank you for all you are doing in your communities for nuclear disarmament.
Greg, Trish, Claire, and gang


For immediate release 7/27/05

Nuclear Disarmament Groups to Commemorate 60th Anniversary of Hiroshima, Nagasaki at Los Alamos, Bomb’s Source

More than 140 organizations and 250 NM businesses call for complete nuclear disarmament as required by nuclear nonproliferation treaty

The day’s events include: A-bomb survivors (hibakusha) to testify, carry letters from Hiroshima and Nagasaki requesting full disarmament; NM civic leaders and businesses to ask Los Alamos community leaders to assist nuclear disarmament efforts: workshops on post-nuclear economics for New Mexico and on nuclear history; thousands of sunflowers and commemorative floating candles to grace event.

Contact: Greg Mello or Claire Long, 505-265-1200

Albuquerque and Los Alamos, NM – On August 6, sixty years after the first nuclear attacks, citizens and nongovernmental organizations seeking nuclear disarmament are planning to meet in Los Alamos, where those first weapons were built. More than 140 organizations have endorsed the event, called “Hiroshima 60 Years: It Started Here, Let’s Stop It Here;” many of these groups will be attendance. Updates on event details and endorsing organizations can be found at http://www.lasg.org <http://www.lasg.org/>; new details are developing daily.

Organizers among the allied organizations hope the event will be the largest disarmament gathering in Los Alamos history.
The day will begin at 8 am with a traditional sackcloth-and-ashes witness organized by Pax Christi New Mexico (http://www.paxchristinewmexico.org <http://www.paxchristinewmexico.org/>; meet at Ashley Pond Park). Buddhist groups from Northern New Mexico and California will be joining them.
At 10 am, the joint events of the day will begin. (A detailed schedule for the entire day and series of days is available from the Study Group.)

At noon, those assembled will walk to the Los Alamos Post Office, where visiting hibakusha will present letters from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Los Alamos Community leaders, requesting their assistance in worldwide disarmament efforts. Santa Fe city councilors and local business representatives will also be present and make short presentations. Thousands of sunflowers will also be made available to the Los Alamos community.
In the afternoon, two workshops will be held (each twice, first at 3:00 pm and then again at 4:30 pm). The workshop on nuclear history will be held in the Los Alamos Community Building (adjacent to the Pond) and will be led by David Krieger and Alice Slater. The workshop on a “post-nuclear” economy for New Mexico will be held in the Los Alamos Senior Citizen Center and will be led by economists William Weida and Michael Oden.
At sunset, three thousand reusable floating candle lanterns will be set adrift in Ashley Pond. These lanterns – one for each 100 victims of the bombings – have been produced for this event by the Dragonfly Sanctuary of Madrid, NM.
Confirmed musicians for this event include Jim Page (Seattle), Robert Hoyt (Indiana), and Peter Neils (Albuquerque).
The day's tone will be nonviolent in word and deed. The groups’ aims are education, awareness, beauty and the display of nonviolent solidarity and power.
Events in Los Alamos on August 6 are tied to similar ones in Japan, California, Nevada, Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, Arizona, and elsewhere around the world.

Confirmed speakers now include:

* Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark (CANCELLED TODAY due to
changed court dates involving the Palestine Liberation Organization);
* David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
(http://www.napf.org <http://www.napf.org/>);
* Alice Slater, President of the Global Resource Action Center for
the Environment (GRACE; http://www.gracelinks.org
* Ms. Masako Hashida, Nagasaki survivor and board member of Kumamoto
Prefectural Hidankyo;
* Mr. Koji Ueda, Hiroshima survivor and Assistant General Secretary
of the Tokyo Federation of A-Bomb Sufferers' Association;
* Ms. Janice Mirikitani, poet laureate of San Francisco;
* Father John Dear, Jesuit activist, teacher, and author;
* Dr. William Weida, regional economist (Pentagon, Air Force
Academy, Colorado College, GRACE, Los Alamos Study Group);
* Dr. Michael Oden, regional economist (Rutgers, University of Texas);
* William Witherup, poet and playwright;
* Santa Fe city councilors Miguel Chavez, David Coss, and possibly
* Ten or more other speakers.
Study Group Director Greg Mello: “No matter what one’s issue may be – health care, poverty, education, or whatever – no serious progress can be made while we as a society embrace weapons of mass destruction. As we enter 21st century, we badly need to build a political life together based on the dignity of the human person rather than one based on fear, hate, greed, and war.”

Mello continued: “The U.S. is now an empire in decline, but the trauma of that decline, and its meaning for ordinary people in the U.S., depends upon our commitment to active nonviolence. We, especially those of us in New Mexico, must embrace nuclear disarmament or we will remain trapped in a spiral of violence of which we ourselves are a primary cause.”

*** ENDS ***


Greg Mello
Los Alamos Study Group
2901 Summit Place NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-265-1200 voice
505-265-1207 fax
505-577-8563 cell (signal very weak in the office; messages
on cell phone may not be received promptly)