Thursday, April 23, 2015

NYC: Potluck dinner with Peace Walkers for a Nuclear-Free Future on April 24 • Global Hibakusha Workshop @Peace & Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just, & Sustainable World - April 24-26. 2015


Jun‐san Yasuda and other Peace Walkers are completing their 500-mile walk from nuclear laboratories and uranium mines to reactors across the country uniting activists who are affected on all phases of the nuclear chain.

Join them with their urgent prayer to the United Nations where the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Review Conference is scheduled.

Let’s meet Peace Pilgrims and think about how we can create Peace from here.

Date and Time: Friday, April 24  - 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Place: Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 1576 Palisade Ave. Fort Lee, NJ 07024

For more info, please see visit the FB page of ABLE, a human rights, environmental, and peace advocacy organization:
Guri Mehta's post, "One Earth, One Sky, entirely at peace" is a great description of Jun-san and the 2015 walk:

Jun-san Yasuda

Jun-san Yasuda is a member of the Nipponzan Myohoji, an order whose mission is to walk and pray for peace.  Guri Mehta's One Earth, One Sky, entirely at peace)  post at her Wabi-Sabi blog is a great description of the Engaged Buddhist nun and the 2015 Peace Walk:

 Jun-san Yasuda, the fearless leader of this initiative is a 66-year-old Japanese Buddhist nun. She is about 4-foot-11 inches, 100 pounds, and nothing short of a force of nature. She has walked cross-country three times.

 As we pass the Aztec dancers, who were dancing on the street for another event, she ran over and joined them in the dance. Her energy rivals that of a teenager...the elder from the Aztec group came forward with white sage incense, and blessed every-single-one-of-the-walkers before we moved on. There’s something stirring about an elder from one tribe, embracing another from a completely different tradition, who lives half-way around the world from them.

Jun-san’s teacher Nichidatsu Fujii, teacher of her Buddhist order, met Gandhi in India in 1931. Fujii was greatly inspired by the meeting and decided to devote his life to promoting non-violence. In 1947, he began constructing Peace Pagodas as shrines to World peace. They were built as a symbol of peace in Japanese cities including Hiroshima and Nagasaki where the atomic bombs took the lives of over 150,000 people. By 2000, eighty Peace Pagodas had been built around the world in Europe, Asia, and the United States. They are a symbol of non-violence dating as far back as 2000 years ago, when Emperor Ashoka of India began erecting these throughout the country.

70 years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and 5 years after the Fukushima disaster, Jun-san believes that we must never let such disasters happen again. Carrying this urgent prayer, she and 23 others will walk from San Francisco to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York City.

Many Native Americans have been present throughout these walks. And I was initially unclear on the connection, but soon realized that many nuclear power plants have historically been built on indigenous lands not just in US, but also in Canada, Australia, South and Central America, Africa, and many others. The areas are rich in uranium, which is the fuel of these power plants...Instead of focusing on other types of energy or actually reducing our own consumption, we’re heading into something that is destroying the planet.

In these times, peaceful walks like these become a symbol of people’s voice. When nuns and monks who consciously try to live peaceful lives, leave the comfort of their monasteries and hit the streets, it’s a calling to take a close look at where we might be off...

Going back to my friends understandable concern: will this walk make an impact? A group of people peacefully walking and spreading their message, made a bigger impact on me than anything I could have ever read in the news. People that are not necessarily “against” but “for.” They’re standing for peace. They’re standing for better quality of life for all of earth’s inhabitants. They’re standing for making global decisions from a space of love and not greed. They’re standing for taking responsibility for how we treat the planet. How can I not stand with those people who are doing so much on behalf of all of us? Their very existence is making as impact.
The potluck for the Peace Walkers is one of the many supporting events for the Peace and Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just, and Sustainable World events being held in NYC (and around the world) from April 25 to 26 .

Global Hibakusha will lead a workshop at the NY event at Cooper Union Great Hall on April 25. Participants include Japan Council Against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo): Japanese Hibakusha; Shim Jin Tae (Korean A-bomb survivor); Peter Watts (aboriginal nuclear test victim, Australia); Abacca Anjain-Maddison (Marshall Islands); Manny Pino (Acoma-Laguna Coalition for a Safe Environment). Their testimonies reveal and illuminate the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.  The 2,083 nuclear test  bombings worldwide have devastated indigenous peoples and their ancestral homelands in the American Southwest, the Asia-Pacific; the Tarim Basin in China; Kazakhstan; and India.  This personal level of consequences  is finally recognized and discussed in the mainstream debate on nuclear weapons.

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