I write as an American who has lived mostly in Hiroshima since 1984 to beg you to attend the Humanity for Peace gathering at the UN on August 6 this year from 13:00 to 16:00. I’m writing because I suspect many of you will look at the list of sponsors and speakers and decide you have something better to do because you don’t want to be associated with some of these kooks. I suspect you think some of them are quite crazy or puppets for Putin or too pacifistic or not pacifistic enough or funded by the CIA or the State Department or the Kremlin or Beijing or Ploughshares or ICAN. Some may even have competed with you for a grant or a lover or maybe insulted you at a public forum. So I am begging you. Just for August 6, 2023, from 1 to 4pm, don’t let it matter. Don’t let anything matter other than standing against nuclear annihilation.
I would be with you if I could, but I’m writing from Hiroshima where there are 300 peace groups and hundreds of thousands of people who care deeply about peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons but where peace people never do anything together because they have “differences.” Some people like certain people while others don’t and, instead, like other people because certain people are too radical, possibly even communist, or not radical enough, possibly even shills for the nuclear industry because they believe nuclear power is OK, or maybe all things nuclear are bad but American bases are a necessary evil, or American bases must go, but Article 9 must stay, or Japan should be a normal country or the Japanese are all peace-demented or A-bomb survivor trees are the best way to promote peace or A-bomb survivor trees don’t grow fast enough given the imminent danger we are in.
I have no idea what you have planned for August 6, but please make sure that it includes standing in front of the UN from 1 to 4pm. Humanity for Peace needs a million people there. Humanity needs to frighten the police and the UN and all the rich people in New York. Humanity needs them thinking that millions of humans are scared of what is happening and will vote against anyone who says even one kind word about using nuclear weapons in Ukraine or Taiwan or anywhere else. Nuclear war is humanity’s red line. Don’t even think about it, you $$$$$$$$!!!!
It will do no good to have a few thousand people standing in front of the UN while a few thousand more are vigiling at Ground Zero and a few hundred more are listening to great speeches in Riverside Church. Humanity is being tested. Will we learn to cooperate enough to keep our planet habitable or will the last Russian and the last American die shooting at each other? If we don’t start cooperating soon, we will be extinct by 2050, according to Nature, the magazine. If we end up going extinct this century, it will be because peace people can no longer cooperate enough to get a million people into one place even to stop nuclear war and even in New York.
Chairman, Peace Culture Village
Former chairman, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation
Former U.S. rep, Mayors for Peace