NATIONWIDE EVENTS TO MARK FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF NUCLEAR BAN TREATY — JANUARY 22, 2022

 VIGIL IN SUPPORT OF TREATY TO BAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS, CORNER OF MAIN AND ILLINOIS AVENUE, CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS,  SATURDAY, JANUARY 22, 2022, NOON TO 1 PM      https://www.facebook.com/events/280755307453079/

What was once a dream is now in the process of becoming a reality. On January 22, 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force and the international community declared nuclear weapons to be outlawed.

Southern Illinois will be marking the one year anniversary with a Vigil at the corner of Main and Illinois Ave. in Carbondale on Saturday, January 22 from Noon to 1pm. Sponsored by the Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois, this event is part of a nationwide effort to bring this treaty into public consciousness.

The TPNW, passed by 122 nations in June of 2017, addresses the humanitarian and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons. “There are only two possible endings to the story of nuclear weapons,” said Beatrice Fihn, director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, 2017 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. “Either we end nuclear weapons, or they will us. There is no other possible ending.”

“We must assert, with far more urgency, that nuclear weapons cannot coexist with humankind,” said Takato Michishita, survivor of Nagasaki. Yoshiro Yamawaki, who was 11 years old when the Fat Man bomb destroyed his home in Nagasaki, said, “Weapons of this capacity must be abolished from the Earth.”

“For too long, the discussion about nuclear weapons has been about policy, and about military force,” said local activist Rich Whitney.  “This conversation masks the reality of nuclear weapons: if even a small fraction of them are used, the planet we live on will no longer sustain life. Hundreds of millions will die instantly; the rest will starve during the long nuclear winter that follows.

“So we are gathering at the Town Square Pavilion to call on our country to hear and respond to the highest aspirations of the people of the world. We call on the United States to join this Treaty in spirit and fact.  We must pivot from renewing and updating our nuclear stockpile to eliminating it!”