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August 8 & 9, 2009: Gathering at Gramat (Lot, SW France)
Published 6 August 2009
For the 64th anniversary of the tragedies of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, ACDN and the collective « Disarm to Live in Peace » call you to a regional and national gathering in favour of a world at peace, freed from the risks of mass destruction and of nuclear and radioactive threats of all kinds.
The event includes talks, discussions, group concerts, film screenings (see below) The choice of Gramat (Lot) as venue has been made for several reasons :
Cahors is where the « Citizens of the World » movement was born in June 1950, as a reaction against the atomic threat. Subsequently 67% of local authorities in the Lot supported it and the Département itself signed up. The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki followed, as did numerous other towns and personalities of the whole world.
Saint Laurent les Tours, near Gramat, is where Jean Lurçat made his series of tapestries "Le Chant du Monde", which alludes to the atomic threat. One of its panels is « Hiroshima Man ». Now on permanent display in Angers, this series was exhibited in Japan, where a book about it was published.
Gramat also hosts the Uranium Firing Range for the Gramat Experimental Centre, where the French and British military tested DU weapons of the kinds which, since 1991, have been causing human and ecological catastrophe on the global scale.
For the same reasons, it is planned that, as part of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence beginning in New Zealand on October 3 - and due to reach France on 8 November - both the Nuclear Disarmament Flame (to be relit in Saintes) and the Hiroshima Flame will pass through the Lot region en route for Spain and later America.
In 2009, after the election of Obama, the abolition of nuclear weapons is no longer a dream, it is an objective written in the the policitical agendas of the five official nuclear-weapons states : USA, Russia, UK and China. France is missing, France must join.
The Gathering at Gramat, along with other initiatives, can contribute to this.
* Collectif « Désarmer pour vivre en paix » [Disarm to Live in Peace] :
ACDN, Amis de la Terre, Bien Profond, Collectif Stop Déchets Quercy-Rouergue, Confédération paysanne Lot, Défi Vietnam, Gramat Information Citoyenne, Monde Sans Guerres, Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire national, SDN Lot, Va de l’Avant, VITES.
> Contact ACDN, Interviews, Covoiturage : 06 73 50 76 61 /
PROGRAMME OF THE GATHERING
SAT 8 AUGUST
from 14h30 : gather at Leclerc Square, Gramat
Distribution of manifesto, information stall, signing of petitions, wear white if you can.
at 17h : Street march, and speakers under the Halle de Gramat, with Jean-Marie Matagne (ACDN), Eric Bastin (World without War) ... et others
from 19h : open-air concert 2km from Gramat, on the Route de Cahors : Vanessa et ses JŽr™mes (chansons débiles), Les pieds (rock en chantier), Assaswing (electro-jazz-punk-reggae-dub manouche), Piratekor (live arteck), Meschampot et ses potes (live electrotribe) (PAF : 3 Euros)
at 16h : pre-release projection of the film "Désarmer pour vivre" [Disarm to Live], followed by a lecture-discussion with Jean-Marie Matagne and Eric Bastin
at 19h, meet at the Halle de Gramat : apéritif and potluck meal
at 20h30 : projection of the films "The Bomb", (Peter Watkins, 46 mn) and "Brennilis, la centrale qui ne voulait pas s’éteindre" [the power-plant that refused to switch off] , (Brigitte Chevet, 56 mn)
Clocktower Hall, Gramat, free of charge
Disarm and Live, on a planet without nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants
On August 6 & 9, 1945, the atomic bombs that destroyed Hirsohima and Nagasaki caused 300 000 deaths (many instant, many later). Those bombings were primarily scientific experiments, since the US government then possessed the relevant knowledge that Japan wished to surrender.
After 1945, atom bombs multiplied during the Cold War - reaching 70000 in the early 1980s - but did not prevent "ordinary massacres". And the 26000 nuclear weapons existing today
Theoretically, atom bombs are not built to be used: "Deterrence by nuclear means is in my view the Nation’s life-insurance policy, the guarantee that another state would have to think hard before taking on France, for fear on immediate punishment" (letter from Nicolas Sarkozy to ACDN, dated 26 March). But they are on permanent alert and can explode at any moment. This has nearly occurred several times.
Most of the world’s people are more sensible than their leaders: 76% of the citizens of 21 countries surveyed in 2008 (86% in France) wish to be rid of these inhumane and suicidal weapons. Nuclear bombs are fundamentally dangerous (France could kill a billion people with her 348 declared warheads); extraordinarily expensive (1500 billion francs before 1998 - current figures are secret - over 52 billion dollars for the US in 2008 alone); militarily ineffective (unusable except to avenge destruction begun by the enemy); and morally indefensible, since they rely on the threat of mass slaughter, i.e. a crime against humanity.
Nuclear power generation is historically linked to nuclear weapons. The facilities that enrich and treat fuel for power-plants also produce bomb explosives (enriched uranium, plutonium). The industry is also incompatible with democracy (hegemony, absence of debate, confusion of roles, a diversion of interests, a non-respect for the norms of waste management) - it is costly, dangerous, and produces unmanageable waste. It constitutes a danger for us and for future generations.
Some of the enormous quantities of depleted uranium (DU) generated by the industry finds a military use in DU weapons (four states including France have made them and twenty possess them; over 1000 DU weapons firings were done at the Centre in Gramat (Lot) - tests of bullets, arrow-shells, bombs and anti-bunker missiles. These genocidal weapons, massively used in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and lately in Gaza, contaminate living creatures causing cancers, leukemias, genetic mutations etc.
Presdient Sarkozy’s policy aiming to export nuclear technology only opens new windows to proliferation, whereas Barack Obama ("I will make the objective of eliminating nuclear weapons around the world a central element of US nucelar policy")* and Vladimir Putin (" I think we would do better to close that Pandora’s box")* say they are ready to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. (*remarks made on 10 and 11 Sept, 2008).
It makes no sense for a nation like France, which has abolished the death penalty for individuals, to maintain a collective death penalty for millions of foreign civilians and to entrust its execution to one person, the Head of State, who will be simultaneously judge and executioner and who will, without legal process, pronounce and execute the sentence in under ten minutes. That is pure barbarism and tyranny.
Today more than ever, it is urgent to rid the planet of nuclear technology, both military and civilian. And this has now become possible..
Argument based on the longer text "Disarm and Live, on a planet without nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants"
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