On Tuesday 9th August, a delegation from a 4 day long peace camp in Castle Park attended City Hall with a giant peace dove and a petition calling on Bristol City Council to sign up to the nuclear ban communities initiative in support of the UN Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. The petition was met by a delegation of Green Party Councillors who accepted it and added their support.
The Peace Gathering took place to mark the 77th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The event saw die-ins, a special communion service a series of talks and workshops, a visit to the WECA offices calling on Dan Norris to join Mayors for Peace as well as a Greenham tent art installation.
Cities in the UK and around the world have backed the campaign, with signatories including Washington, Paris, Manchester, Oxford, and Bristol’s twin city Hanover. Bristol’s Labour administration have so far refused to sign up to it despite the city being a member of Nuclear Free Local Authorities.
Green Councillor for Redland Martin Fodor said:
“It’s long been Green Party policy to end the folly of building nuclear weapons. Green Councillors welcome this petition to City Hall and support the campaign for Bristol to call on government to back the UN treaty calling for a ban.
“Modern nuclear weapons are many times stronger than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – there is no rational or humane grounds in which these weapons can be used. Now more than ever the billions spent on Trident could be better spent to address the rampant poverty and growing hunger and fuel debt sweeping the UK.
“In 2020 Bristol’s twin city Hanover brought a display to the City Hall Foyer showing how many Mayors around the world have lent their support to the UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. Bristol is a declared ‘nuclear free local authority’ – it’s time we added our name to the campaign as well.”
Dr Rowland Dye from the group XR Peace Bristol said:
“The atomic bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in enormous loss of life and terrible suffering of the civilian population. In remembrance of these events this Peace Gathering will look at why we must campaign for peaceful alternatives and to urgently deal with the mounting danger of climate-change”.
Hannah Tweddell who is chair of Bristol CND said:
“77 years have passed since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with 340,000 people killed. We are calling on Bristol City Council and Mayor Marvin Rees to support the historic UN Treaty to ban nuclear weapons by passing a motion in support of Nuclear Ban Communities joining cities including Manchester, Paris and Washington.”