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Saintes: 20 years of action for the abolition of nuclear weapons

Published 3 August 2019

Media Release
Saturday 3 August 2019

Saintes in Western France, a city belonging to the international networks « Abolition 2000 » and « Mayors for Peace », has since 1999 declared its desire to see nuclear arms abolished. They are monstrous weapons of extermination, of crimes against humanity, and they threaten our very survival.
From August 6 to 9 2019, at the Monument to the Fallen, Place du Palais de Justice in Saintes, the Nuclear Diarmament Flame, which was first lit in 2001, will burn as it does every year to remember the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshimand Nagasaki (6 and 9 August 1945), and to call for the abolition of nuclear and radioactive weapons.

During this period, citizens are invited to gather in front of the Nuclear Disarmament Flame and place a candle, a flower (preferably white), or a bouquet of flowers from the fields, from their gardens, or from a florist.

All are invited to participate in the ceremony of lighting the Flame, at 11am on August 6, in the presence of city councillors, other elected representatives, Japanese pacifists and War Veterans. A speech will be read addressed to France’s Parliament.

At 10.45 am on August 9, at the same place, a short ceremony will commemorate the victims of Nagasaki at the hour of the bombing, and the Flame will be extinguished until next year. Each and every person is invited to attend.

Furthermore, citizens can act for the abolition of nuclear and radioactive weapons by inviting their MPs and senators (and those of other electorates) to sign ACDN’s Bill aimed at organising a shared-initiative referendum on this question:

« Are you in favour of France participating in abolishing nuclear and radioactive weapons and engaging with all the states concerned in negotiations aimed at establishing, ratifying and implementing a treaty to ban and completely eliminate nuclear and radioactive weapons, under mutual and international control that is strict and effective. »

Accortding to IFOP, 85% of French citizens would answer YES. It is time for the people to be consulted about France’s nuclear weapons programme, which has already cost over 300 billion euros, and currently costs 14,5 million euros per day, but which merely encourages other states to keep and modernise their own arsenals of nuclear arms, if they have some... or to obtain some, if they do not already. France, for too long a proliferating nation, needs to return to upholding her true values, her international commitments and her republican motto: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.