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Four-day fast to mark Hiroshima anniversary

Thirteen protesters stand around a petition shaped like a dove. They are holding flags with peace symbols on them.

Image: Rowland Dye.

Prominent peace campaigners from France and Germany are to lead a four-day fast to remember victims of the atomic bombing of Japan in 1945. 

Etienne Godinot, a lawyer and vice-president of the French Research Institute on the Non-violent Resolution of Conflicts (IRNC) and Dr Matthias Engelke, a Lutheran pastor from Germany have pledged to deny themselves food for four days and invite UK peace campaigners to join them. 

The action comes as part of Bristol’s annual Peace Gathering which runs from Sunday, August 6, to Wednesday, August 9, organised by Bristol CND and XR Peace

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Also on the itinerary for the event are die-ins at 8.15am on the Sunday and 11.02am to mark the moment atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. There will be meditations, talks and workshops presented by local campaign groups on all aspects of peace, justice and sustainability including Greenham Common, anniversaries of the coups in Iran and Chile, the Bristol Bus Boycott, and more.

Hannah Tweddell, chair of Bristol CND, said: ‘The recently released Oppenheimer film demonstrates how nuclear weapons started, but how will they end? On the 78th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki we call for the abolition of all nuclear weapons for a safer and more peaceful future. We ask Bristol City Council to become a nuclear ban community in support of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.’

Bristol peace groups have long campaigned for Bristol City Council to sign up to the CND’s Nuclear Ban Communities initiative, which rallies towns and cities in support of a United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons. The intention is to pressure the UK government to support the UN treaty. Bristol Green Party back the petition. 

Dr Rowland Dye, from XR Peace, said: ‘As a former nuclear scientist I know too well that we must never forget those who suffered the unleashing of this new and terrible military weaponry. This four-day peace gathering provides the opportunity to discuss the causes of war and injustice as well as providing a forum for those who would prefer a better world based on peace, justice, and sustainability.’

Feature image shows Bristol Peace Gathering 2022.

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