Reading Room

For immediate release: August 3, 2007

Hiroshima Commemoration at Livermore Nuke Lab

"No Nukes! No Wars! No Profiteers!"

for more information, contact:
Jedidjah de Vries, Tri-Valley CAREs: 925-443-7148; cell 805-698-3577
Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation: 510-839-5877; cell 510-306-0119

Livermore, CA - Monday August 6th, the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, peace, environmental, and social justice activists will gather "In the Shadow of the Bomb" at the West Gate of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to commemorate the victims of nuclear weapons and war, and to call for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, starting with our own. Livermore Lab is currently designing a new hydrogen bomb, euphemistically called a 'Reliable Replacement Warhead.'

A memorial ceremony will begin promptly at 7:30 a.m. Through poetry, music and spoken word, participants will recall the horrific first use of a nuclear weapon in war and the ongoing effects of nuclear weapons use, production and testing. Featured musicians are Bay area singer/songwriters robert temple and Kaylah Marin. The commemoration will culminate with an air raid siren and a moment of silence and reflection at 8:15 a.m., the exact time of day the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. An 'open mike' rally and nonviolent direct action will follow. It is anticipated that some people will risk arrest at the gate.

As keynote speaker Chizu Iiyama reminds us: "On August 6th 1945, the United States government dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and several days later dropped another on Nagasaki, a frightening escalation of the power of weapons. Have we forgotten the cost in human lives and misery? The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki estimate that there have been 231,920 victims, some dying even today." Ms. Iiyama adds: "Now we are at war in Iraq, based on lies that it possessed 'weapons of mass destruction,' including nuclear weapons - again at a terrible cost to the lives of our soldiers and the people of Iraq. This day, August 6th, is a time to reflect on the madness of war, of killing thousands of people, destroying and burning their homes and communities." She concludes: "When we visited my mother in law's home in Hiroshima after World War II, she kept asking, 'Why the bomb? Why?' We need to work to stop not only nuclear proliferation, but the act of war."

Ms. Iiyama, former chair of the Department of Early Childhood Education at Contra Costa College, co-authored Teacher's Guide: Making Peace: The Legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She currently serves as a Board member and writer for Nikkei Heritage, a publication of the National Japanese American Historical Society, and is active with the Asian Pacific Islander Resist! Watada Support Committee.

Livermore Lab, managed by the University of California and a consortium of corporations, including Bechtel, is one of two labs that have designed every nuclear weapon in the U.S. stockpile. Jedidjah de Vries, an organizer with the Livermore-based Tri-Valley CAREs, explains: "The Livermore Lab is developing a new 'replacement' warhead, designed to be launched from submarines, designated as the 'Reliable Replacement Warhead-1.' The RRW-1 is the first new H-bomb in the Bush Administration 'Complex 2030' plan to redesign and rebuild every nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal."

Jackie Cabasso, executive director of the Oakland-based Western States Legal Foundation, adds: "Sixty-two years after the U.S. dropped the first atomic bombs on two densely populated cities, killing more than 200,000 civilians, the threatened first use of nuclear weapons remains the 'cornerstone' of U.S. national security policy. Today, the U.S. retains some 10,000 nuclear weapons, is designing new ones, and is pouring billions of dollars into its nuclear weapons complex, while warning Iran that 'all options are on the table.' Who is threatening whom?"

The Livermore Lab action is among more than 80 Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemorations, rallies, film screenings, and vigils being held in at least 25 states around the country, at nuclear facilities and corporate war profiteers, under the umbrella slogan 'No Nukes! No Wars! No Profiteers!' These events are being coordinated by United for Peace and Justice, the largest anti-war coalition in the country. See for a growing list of actions.

Sponsors: Tri-Valley CAREs; Western States Legal Foundation; Livermore Conversion Project; American Friends Service Committee; First Congregational Church of Oakland; Ecumenical Peace Institute; Physicians for Social Responsibility-SF Bay Area; Berkeley Friends Church; Communist Party USA, N. Calif. District; Declaration of Peace San Mateo County; Fr. Bill O'Donnell Social Justice Committee; Friends of the People's Weekly World; Global Action to Prevent War; Grandmothers for Peace International; Northern CA 9/11 Truth Alliance; Orange County Friends; Santa Cruz Weapons Inspection Team, Fresno Center for Nonviolence, Monterey Peace and Justice Center, Grandmothers for Peace, Hayward Chapter, Marin Peace and Justice Coalition, Social Justice Center of Marin, Bay Area United for Peace and Justice.

Driving directions: Take I-580, exit south at Vasco Road. The West Gate is approximately 0.3 mile south of the intersection with Patterson Pass Road.

More information:

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