TELL THE PRIME MINISTER to SIGN the UK to the U.N. TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
and CANCEL TRIDENT and ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS!
Vigils on 3 and 10 August
On 6 August 1945 the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Over 140,000 people were killed instantly. Three days later, on 9 August, a second, plutonium-based nuclear bomb was used on Nagasaki, incinerating 75,000 people. Over the next few weeks tens of thousands more died from terrible burns, blast injuries and radiation sickness. Those who survived the first year, known as “Hibakusha”, faced debilitating illness and early death from cancers. Many became infertile or else suffered the heartbreak of multiple miscarriages or babies born with radiation-caused mental and physical disabilities.
It took 77 years, but nuclear weapons have been banned through the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Recognising explicitly that any use of nuclear weaponry would have catastrophic consequences for humanity, this important UN Treaty bans the use, development, testing, deployment, possession and transfer of nuclear weapons, and requires the total elimination of all nuclear arsenals.
The UK government has consistently voted against the Treaty at UN gatherings and has refused to sign the Treaty. It supports the replacement of Trident, the UKs own nuclear weapons system, and has squandered billions of pounds on new warheads and nuclear-powered submarines to extend the UK’s nuclear arsenal – equivalent to 19,000 Hiroshimas. For what purpose?
If anyone fired the US-built Trident missiles on one UK nuclear submarine they would unleash 40 warheads on cities full of people like us. The mushroom clouds would entomb the earth in years of radiation, freezing temperatures and darkness, known as nuclear winter. Crops would fail in Britain and across the world, causing famine and desperation. Billions could die. Nuclear war cannot be won.
Today Women in Black remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We say “never again”!
We welcome The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and call on our Prime Minister to cancel Trident and join the majority of other UN governments in signing this important security and disarmament treaty without further delay.
Women in Black hold vigils every Wednesday between 6-7 pm at the Edith Cavell Statue, opposite the door of the National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2. Our vigils are silent, women-only and if possible we wear black. See our website at www.london.womeninblack.org Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/womeninblack.london Twitter: @WIB_London
Donations for leaflets gratefully received.
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Dear Prime Minister,
August 6 and 9 are the 77th anniversaries of nuclear bombs being used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United Nations has negotiated and adopted a multilateral nuclear prohibition treaty, leading to their abolition. I am asking you to:
- Sign the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and implement this and all of Britain’s international disarmament obligations, including the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty.
- Halt UK nuclear patrols, dismantle existing weapons and cancel all leases for US Trident missiles.
- Immediately halt further expenditure on new warheads and submarines designed to carry these prohibited weapons of mass destruction.
- Use the billions this will save for our real security needs, including health, education, poverty reduction, verifying disarmament agreements, and tackling climate change and environmental destruction.