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‘From Hiroshima to Human Rights’

Labor, peace, religious and civil rights organizations unite for conference

DETROIT — On Aug. 6t at 11 a.m., a Metro Detroit coalition of labor, peace, religious and civil rights organizations held a press conference in front of the McNamara Federal Building in downtown Detroit. The conference was a citizen’s call to action for federal budgetary action in the U.S. government to implement spending programs for human needs and infrastructure and the cessation of federal spending on new nuclear weapons production facilities.

August 6th, is the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. Since that time, the U.S. Government has spent up to a trillion dollars on its nuclear weapons stockpile and production complex, leaving our nation with a stockpile of thousands of weapons of mass destruction.

Organizations included in the citizen’s call are: Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice, Peace Action of Michigan, Rainbow Push Detroit Coalition, Wayne State University’s Center For Peace and Conflict Studies, Citizens For Peace, and the Detroit Area Peace And Justice Network, Michigan Emergency Committee Against War, 11th Hour of Peace, Pax Christi.

Reverend David Bullock, Rainbow Push Detroit states, “While we continue to spend money on military weapons our cities are crumbling. Arms are not the answer. We are entitled to live in a world that is ruled by peace, we demand a representative government committed to securing that peace through urban reinvestment. We must build up our citizen’s ability not our military capacity. We must study war no more”.

While desperately needed federal funds for education, job creation, infrastructure, unemployment assistance, and health care are of the highest necessity, the current situation in Metro Detroit brings into focus President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous warning about the dangers of the military / industrial complex in real life terms here and now. This call to action supports President Barack Obama’s stance and consideration that moves towards the reduction of nuclear weapons/arms production thus reducing the spending on its production.

“It is imperative that we seize the opportunity to substantially reduce the world’s nuclear stockpile. Not only will it relieve tensions, keep weapons from leaking into the hands of terror groups, and save the environment, but it will free up to $50 billion a year for domestic reconstruction and jobs in this country and this city,” said Dr. Fred Pearson, Director for The Center For Peace and Conflict Studies program at Wayne State University.

This point in time is one of both crisis and opportunity. We are truly at a crossroads in our national history; facing critical and fundamental choices about what sort of a nation we will become and what sort of a society we will leave for our children and grandchildren. These needs are critical. Our time is short. We are demanding action NOW.

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