Fukushima survivor Michiko Kato, pictured with Tsukuru Fors, speaks at a Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemoration in 2017. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

“United for No Nukes: Send a Message to Washington,” a Hiroshima-Nagasaki online memorial and peace rally, will take place on Saturday, Aug. 8, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Pacific Time.

Use this link on the day of the event and wait until you are admitted by the host: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89400632821 Meeting ID: 894 0063 2821

The event is co-produced by Tsukuru Fors and Lydia Ileliya Ester Ponce and co-sponsored by Pacific Asian Nuclear-Free Peace Alliance and PANA (Progressive Asian Network for Action).

“75 years ago today, the A-bomb was detonated over the sky of Hiroshima, a vibrant city of 350,000, killing 90,000 to 166,000 by the year’s end,” said Fors. “Three days later, another bomb was dropped in Nagasaki, killing 74,000 …

“All those affected by the A-bombs had wished and believed that we would have gotten rid of nuclear weapons by now. Instead, today we have 13,410 nuclear warheads worldwide and counting, and we are closer than ever to the possibility of another nuclear war. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists tells us that we are at ‘100 seconds to midnight,’ with midnight being the annihilation of the human race.

“The year 2020 and COVID-19 have forced us to face the reality that the effects of nuclear are long-lasting. The pandemic has been hitting especially hard the population whose health has been compromised by its nuclear past. The Navajo nations and Trinity Downwinders have been the victims of uranium mining and nuclear testing, respectively.

“Meanwhile, the Trump Administration plans to spend $50 billion on its nuclear weapons programs in 2021. It wants to deregulate and revitalize the uranium mining industry and entertains the thought of conducting the first nuclear testing since 1992. We are steadily marching towards the unthinkable, the day we use another nuclear weapon on another nation …

“One minute of silence will be observed [on Aug. 8] at 7:02 p.m., which will be 11:02 a.m. on Aug. 9 in Japan, the exact time that the A-bomb exploded over the city of Nagasaki.

“It is also a tribute to a dear friend/fellow activist/Fukushima evacuee, Michiko Kato, who passed away in January. She was the driving force behind our events. Losing her, I almost did not make it this year, but I’ve decided that I must act, for her sake …

“It is the time for us to send a strong message, the voice of the 99%, to Washington: NO to the nuclear weapons program and nuclear ambitions of the U.S. and other nations. NO to the revitalization of uranium mining industry, and NO to the production of weapons-grade uranium. NO to nuclear testing.

“And YES to social programs to protect and enrich the ordinary people’s lives, free healthcare for all, affordable housing, education, and job creation with decent wages and measures to protect workers’ rights.

“This is a call to action. We would like this event to be the launchpad for further actions. Please save the date and join us.”

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