This past weekend, activists from Japan to France, Germany to the Republic of the Marshall Islands to Guam gathered in NYC, in solidarity with people around the globe to demand a nuclear-free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world. (See photos from the weekend here!)
On Sunday, we were 7,500 people strong at the Union Square Rally, encouraged and moved to strengthen our work by such leaders as Reiner Braun, Leslie Cagan, Reverend Dr. Daughtry, and Daniel Ellsberg. There was standing room only for the beautiful and inspiring Interfaith Convocation at the UN Church Center, and Karipbek Kuyukov and Rimma Velikanova led the NYC Global Wave, joined in a creative and moving demonstration, waving goodbye to nukes in NYC and around the world. (Tweet your photos to @PeaceAndPlanet @GlobalWave2015; we use #NoNukes #NPTRevCon #70Years #ConnectingTheStruggles!)
Our march to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across from the United Nations, was spirited, with strong represenation from the Mobilization’s over 350 endorsing organizations and led by Hibakusha, who courageously, and a number in wheelchairs, held in for the two mile walk.
The Drummers for Peace of Japan welcomed the marchers to the Festival, where Mayor Matsui Kazumi (Hiroshima), Takakusaki Hiroshi (Gensuikyo), and Jackie Cabasso, Joseph Gerson, and Kevin Martin (Peace & Planet) delivered nearly eight million petition signatures to Taous Feroukhi (Chair of the NPT Review Conference) and Angela Kane (UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs). Ambassador Feroukhi referenced this strong expression of the will of the people during her opening remarks on Monday at the NPT Review Conference, showing us that as we raise our efforts and voices, they will carry into the halls of power.
Thanks to the talents of nearly a dozen performers, we had a wonderful lineup of music and entertainment throughout the afternoon, bringing celebration and art to the work that we do together.
Througout the Conference, our speakers, workshops, and conversations centered around the great challenges to peace and the planet, and concrete ways to strengthen and connect our movements and struggles for a better, more just and peaceful world. Click here to watch all three of the Plenaries, as well as Workshops by Daniel Ellsberg and Global Hibakusha.
The Peace & Planet Mobilization has renewed our strength to demand a nculear-free, peace, just, and sustainable world. Let us carry with us the testimonies of the Hibakushas, and the wisdom of those who experience firsthand the brutality of power that is blind to the sacredness of humanity and this planet. Let us feel encouraged by and build on relationships and connections as we forge them, and by the energy and creativity of a new generation rising for a better world.
In solidarity and peace, and on behalf of the International Planning Group for the Peace & Planet Mobilization,
Disarmament Associate, American Friends Service Committee