BIG APRIL!

FROM: Aaron Tovish, Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign Director

The Mayors for Peace, the international network of over 6600 cities representing over one billion people, will be particularly active this month. We invite you to join forces with us and your local City Hall. See further below for Internet links.

  1. 12 April: The “journey to the heart of the world” begins; get on board and follow along with the child-survivors through Hiroshima/Nagasaki Days in August
  2. 19 April: Bike for Peace with Mayors and cycling champions, leaving DC for NYC, arriving 24 April
  3. 22 April: The three-day “A Century of WMDs: Enough!” Conference begins in Ypres, Belgium
  4. 23-25 April: Come to the Peace and Planet Conference in NYC; attend our workshops
  5. 26-27 April: Take part in Global Wave 2015; “Goodbye, Nukes!”/“Bon Voyage, child-survivors!”
  6. 27-30 April: Mayors for Peace delegation to the NPT Review Conference; attend our side events

To top it off, the Mayors for Hiroshima and Nagasaki (our Founding Cities) will open the NGO session of the NPT Review Conference on 1 May.

Please note that you can be anywhere in the world and take part in items (1) and (5).

  1. “I was her age.” is the name of our joint project with Peace Boat’s Hibakusha Project. They provide the transportation; we provide the destinations! The eight child-survivors will be given a special reception in a dozen Mayors for Peace member cities as they circumnavigate the world. The best starting point for getting involved in this project is its Facebook page. Be among the first 1000 to ‘like’ the child-survivors, and evolve from a follower to a leader as they gather momentum on their long way home.
  2. Mayors for Peace Vice President, Thore Vestby, has teamed up with veteran activist Tore Naerland and together they have attracted politicians and professional cyclists to spread the abolitionist word by cycling all around the world. From Washington to New York, they will be warning people about the nuclear weapon threat and what can be done about it. If you live along this stretch of the Northeast Corridor, please welcome them as they pass through or stop to rest in your city. Contact: THORE.VESTBY@frogn.kommune.no.
  3. Chlorine gas (yes, the same gas that’s being used in Syria today) was used for the first in the Ypres Salient 100 years ago. A century of living dangerously with Weapons of Mass Destruction is more than enough – especially the horror of them all, nuclear weapons. When cities become the targets of conventional warfare, it is only a matter of time before they become the targets of WMD. Come to this conference and help us develop a strategy to project cities from the scourge of war. You might want to check if your city is going to be represented; if so, you can refer to this letter of invitation from the Mayor of Ypres (Chairman of the 2020 Vision Campaign) that was sent to all Mayors for Peace Mayors.
  4. Mayors for Peace is a sponsor of the Peace and Planet Conference; our North American Coordinator, Jackie Cabasso, is one of its prime movers. Check the program for events involving Mayors and Hibakuska (atomic bombing survivors). Sign the Peace and Planet Petition. The Conference will be followed by a rally, march, and peace festival, on 26 April. Hear from Hiroshima Mayor Matsui at the rally and visit the Mayors for Peace and Peace Boat booths at the Festival.
  5. Starting at the Peace and Planet rally a “Global Wave” will circle the planet time-zone by time-zone until it gets back to New York the following day. People participating will be saying “Goodbye, Nukes!” Our child-survivor team will be joining the Wave from Kochi, India, their first “I was her age.” stop. So while waving goodbye to nukes, let’s also wave “Bon Voyage!” to the child-survivors. You might want to have a representative from City Hall involved in your action; if so, you can refer to this letter about the Wave from the Mayor of Ypres (Chairman of the 2020 Vision Campaign) which was sent to all Mayors for Peace Mayors.
  6. Mayors for Peace has had a delegation at every NPT Review Conference and all of their Preparatory Committee meetings since the 2020 Vision Campaign was launched in 2003. This delegation will be led by Mayor Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue. Given that this is the 70th anniversary year of the atomic bombing of their cities, they have been tapped to open the NGO Presentation to the Review Conference on 1 May. Before that, three different side-events are planned which are open to all people registered with the NPT.

After April? We collapse!

No, actually, in May, the following cities are playing host to the child-survivors: Catania, Italy; Lisbon, Portugal; Gonfreville L’Orcher, France; Brugge, Ypres, and Brussels, Belgium; Gdansk, Poland; and St, Petersburg, Russia. Hamburg, Germany, and Reykjavik, Iceland are also hosting before the Peace Boat heads home via the Pacific. Follow it all on Facebook.

We will also go right to work trying to realize the goals identified in the Declaration “A Century of WMD: Enough!” This will involve lobbying at the NPT Review Conference in May; at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament over the summer; and at the UN General Assembly in the fall – as well as lobbying in many capitals. Follow it all on our website.
Finally, it’s not too soon to start planning how to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The “I was her age.” Project will produce a 15- to 20-minute video of the “journey to the heart of the world” that you can use as a centerpiece of your event.
Mayors for Peace and the 2020 Vision Campaign are most effective when civil society and City Hall work together. Thank you for being our partners!

QUESTIONS? Contact: tovish@2020visioncampaign.org

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