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Action Alert - Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day
Peace Movement AotearoaPO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173, email@example.com
Issued 1 March 1999
Today is Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day. Today is the 45th anniversary of the US 'Bravo' nuclear bomb detonation close to the surface of Bikini Atoll. The explosion gouged out a crater 240 feet deep and 6000 feet across, it melted huge quantities of coral, sucked them up and distributed them far and wide across the Pacific. The island of Rongelap (100 miles away) was buried in powdery particles of radioactive fallout to a depth of one and a half inches, and Utirik (300 miles away) was swathed in radioactive mist. Also in the path of the fallout was a Japanese fishing boat, Lucky Dragon No 5, and all 23 crew rapidly developed radiation sickness.
The US navy sent ships to evacuate the people of Rongelap and Utirik three days after the explosion. These (and other) Pacific people were used as human guinea pigs in an obscene racist experiment - a particularly sharp snapshot of colonialism and the horrors wrought by the arrogant mindset which goes with it.
Today is Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day. It is a day to hope for independence for all Pacific peoples for that is the only way we will stop further nuclear poisoning of our lands, sea and air.
It is a day to think about the many faces of colonisation (physical, cultural, spiritual, economic, nuclear ... ) past and present, the blockages to independence and sovereignty here in Aotearoa and the other colonised countries of the Pacific, and the ability of Pacific peoples to stop further nuclearisation of our region.
It is a day to acknowledge and remember those who have suffered and died in the struggle for independence around the Pacific, and as a result of the nuclear weapons states' use of the Pacific for nuclear experimentation, uranium mining, nuclear weapons testing and nuclear waste dumping.
Kia manawanui, kia u, kia kaha to all who are working for a nuclear free and independent Pacific.
Peace Movement Aotearoa.