Friday, August 12, 2005

Hiroshima remembered and anti-nuclear pledges renewed

by Rob Laurie

LAST SATURDAY lunchtime saw well over 200 people assemble in London’s Tavistock Square to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Americans dropping the atomic bomb of Hiroshima. The event was overlooked by the still boarded up windows of the British Medical Association Headquarters which were damaged in the 7th July bombing.

The Workers’ Music Association Choir conducted by Aubrey Bowman opened proceedings, which included speeches from the Mayor of Camden, representatives from the Battersea Peace Pagoda, Stop the War Coalition, and CND before flowers were laid at the commemorative cherry tree planted in 1967.

A number of speakers including former CND leader Bruce Kent made the important point that when the bomb was dropped the Americans knew that the Japanese were on the point of surrendering and that many senior American military leaders, including future Republican President Eisenhower were opposed to such devastating action.

The gathering did not merely seek to commemorate the 140,000 killed in the attack on Hiroshima and the 80,000 killed three days later at Nagasaki but stressed the importance of the continuing the struggle against the new generation of nuclear weapons which are being built or planned.

These horrific new weapons are not intended as a so called “ultimate deterrent” but being smaller are intended as routine battlefield weapons.

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn concluded the meeting by calling upon those present to redouble their efforts to build “a world of peace, a world of justice”.

This was better than more weapons of mass destruction and anti terror laws which destroy civil liberties.

While many veteran activists were present, including former Labour leader Michael Foot and veteran Communist Jack Gaster, it was very encouraging to see a large number of young people present.

• In an NCP solidarity message to the 43rd International Anti-war Assembly in Japan, NCP General Secretary Andy Brooks referred to the “tragic and needless atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States when Japanese imperialism was on its knees and already begging for an armistice” adding that “the fight for peace is inexorably linked to the struggle for justice. The campaign for peace must inevitably challenge world imperialism which is the greatest threat to peace. The challenge to imperialism must present an alternative to the capitalist system of oppression and exploitation that is the root cause of all conflicts in the world today”.

New banner for Camden Trades Council

CAMDEN Trades Council, the body representing trade unions in the north London borough of Camden unveiled their new colourful banner at a recent public meeting.
The banner illustrates the statue outside the Trades Union Congress building which is in Camden and incorporates the names of the former boroughs making up the present borough.The banner was expertly made by Ed Hall of south east London who has created a number of banners for the labour movement. His work is of extremely high quality and is done for modest cost. Organisations wanting a new banner can contact him by telephone at