Today We Celebrate!

By David Hart

Nuclear weapons have always been immoral. Today they are officially illegal worldwide. 

Through decades of committed nonviolent creative action and consistent focused civil society leadership we have achieved a milestone that we were told again and again was impossible. 

We at Nonviolence International know that when people act together in service of our shared values, we can make what once seemed impossible become inevitable. 

Today, we celebrate the work of our friends and allies in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and the official entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 

There is much work yet to be done because the nuclear powers have consistently ignored the power of global united activism. We must continue our work to get all nations especially those that currently possess or are actively pursuing nuclear weapons to eliminate their stockpiles.

Today, for the first time in history doing anything else is clearly illegal. That is because a powerful committed movement came together to make sure our voices are heard. 

When I was a young activist, I was told - by people I loved and respected - that it was reasonable to oppose specific nuclear weapons systems or even advocate for a freeze on the production, testing, and deployment of all nukes. But, to suggest that we should abolish all nuclear weapons or challenge the Cold War itself was naive and foolish. 

History has proven again and again that those who claim to be realists are often wrong on major issues. The realistis disimmised efforts to end apartheid in South Africa as symbolic and sure to fail, they told us the Cold War would always be here and so we should learn to live with it, and they told us we could never hope to declare all nuclear weapons illegal. But, today, even as we steady ourselves for the work ahead, we take time to pause and celebrate the vision and leadership of all those who made this day possible. Congratulations to ICAN and everyone who took action to bring this new and powerful reality into being. For a list of over 170 events celebrating with us, please see: https://www.icanw.org/events

NVI worked at several levels on this essential treaty and related efforts. Recently, we hosted a petition to apologize to the people of Japan for the nuclear bombings. We have just received powerful notes from the Mayor of Hiroshima’s office and the organization representing survivors of the bombings. Please don’t miss them below. This effort was brought to us by our fiscally sponsored partner The Isaiah Project. These committed, brave, nonviolent activists make real their commitment to peace through NV direct action. To read more about their important contribution to the larger movement, please visit: https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/many_faces_-_isaiah_project

NVI has been active founding and supporting the Humanitarian Disarmament movement. Several of our partners focus in this vital framework that puts people at the front of major global issues. Recently our affiliate in Canada produced this powerful report that highlights the importance of the TPNW. https://www.nonviolenceinternational.net/humanitarian_disarmament

Our work is never done. But, today we celebrate! We celebrate the power of the people. We celebrate the power of persistence. We celebrate the vision of a world without the threat of nuclear weapons and those who have taken nonviolent action to make that vision real. 


From The Mayor's Office in Hiroshima, January 2021

Thank you for sending the updated Apology Petition on the 75th Anniversary of the First Atomic Bombings to our division’s email.

We are truly encouraged to know that many people in the US are committed to peace and stand with our city and hibakusha.

The City of Hiroshima will continue to dedicate ourselves for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of lasting world peace.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation for your continued support in this regard. 

Wishing you good health and happiness in the New Year. 

Sincerely,

KOMATSU Sachiko

Chief Peace Promotion Division

Citizens Affairs Bureau, the City of Hiroshima


From Nihon Hidankyo-Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, January 2021

We received your petition.  We appreciate your continuing efforts for realizing a world without nuclear weapons.

Hibakusha are now working to urge the Japanese government to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Thank you very much.

Best regards, 

Sueichi Kido, Secretary General of Hidankyo

Nihon Hidankyo

(Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations)