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For immediate release: Thursday, August 4, 2011
Madison Mayor, Pro-Labor Singers Join Lanterns for Peace
Event Questions Nuclear Weapons, Reactors: Hiroshima to Fukushima
MADISON - On Saturday, August 6, the anniversary of the first U.S. nuclear bombing of Japan, local peace and public health advocates will gather to call for a nuclear-free world. This year's "Lanterns for Peace" at James Madison Park features Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, a Solidarity Sing-Along and families making and floating peace lanterns on Lake Mendota. The event begins at 6:30 pm.
Lanterns for Peace commemorations are organized around the world each August, to remember the devastating impact of the nuclear bombs dropped during World War II. The Madison event this year, the 66th anniversary of the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will also reflect on the continuing devastation faced by Fukushima, Japan, following the meltdown of nuclear reactors there.
At 7:40 pm, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin will speak about the resolutions recently passed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which oppose war spending and support nuclear disarmament. The "war money home" resolution - the first anti-war resolution passed by the Mayors' group since the Vietnam War - calls for increased investment in U.S. infrastructure, jobs programs and other community needs. The disarmament resolution calls for an end to President Obama's plan to spend more than $185 billion on nuclear weapons and to build three new nuclear warhead production facilities.
At Lanterns for Peace, people of all ages remember those who have died in war, and share visions of a peaceful world. It is a family-friendly event, with live music, crafts and refreshments. The event begins at 6:30 pm and ends at dusk, when participants float their illuminated lanterns on Lake Mendota.
At 7:10 pm, Chris Reeder will lead a Solidarity Sing-Along of labor, civil rights and new protest songs. This year’s event also features a drawing for Dr. Tad Daley’s book, Apocalypse Never: Forging the Path to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World, a display from the Hiroshima Peace Foundation, and a collection of 7000 origami cranes donated to PSR Wisconsin in 2009.
Lanterns for Peace is sponsored annually by Physicians for Social Responsibility Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice, Madison Area Peace Coalition, and United Nations Association of Dane County.