The Resist US Led War movement stands firmly with the Marshallese People on the Nuclear Victims Remembrance Days. The US military occupation of the Marshall Islands, the nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War and continual use of the Marshall Islands for missile testing, reveal the deep and widespread harm caused by the legacy of US nuclear weapons development. These are clear examples of the violation of the rights of the Marshallese people and a violation of their sovereignty for the benefit of US imperialism’s drive for military superiority.
US imperialism has the distinction of being the first and so far the only power that has used the atomic bomb on the civilian populations of entire cities, such as those of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
On March 1, 1954, the United States tested its most powerful hydrogen bomb, "Shrimp", in its Castle Bravo operation. This 15-megaton explosion devastated many communities throughout the Pacific. Sixty-seven years later, individuals still continue to fall ill as a result of the tests, and the long-term impacts of the tests are still being revealed.
These extensive US nuclear tests have also damaged the people’s health and environments in many other Pacific islands and atolls, while medical tests in its clandestine laboratories have likewise damaged the health of numerous voluntary and involuntary human test subjects.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and its mishandling by the United States’ neoliberal health care system, has created a public health crisis the magnitude of which no one in living memory has experienced. While the pandemic has already killed over half a million people in the U.S., interrupted trade, stalled the economy, caused massive hour cuts and layoffs, forced families apart, and isolated elders, COVID-19 carries special health risk for many members of radiation- and chemically-exposed communities. This is because individuals and communities impacted by the development, testing, and production of nuclear weapons often have so many underlying factors which magnify their risks; these include air and water pollution, poverty, poor nutrition, and institutionalized racism.These factors can result in weakened immune systems in veterans and civilians exposed to radiation through above-ground nuclear testing; civilians and workers exposed at or downwind of nuclear weapons production sites; uranium miners and their families; and people living near abandoned mines and waste sites. Compounding the problem, these exposed populations are disproportionately from indigenous communities, communities of color, low-income, or rural communities, and often face significant barriers to receiving adequate health care.
The Resist US-Led War Movement joins the call for justice for nuclear-affected communities. We call for justice for Marshallese workers, uranium miners, and clean-up veterans who have yet to be fully compensated for the health consequences they have been exposed to. We join in calls for sovereignty and environmental restoration for indigenous nations whose land and water have been contaminated by nuclear waste, uranium mining and plutonium production.
We invite partners to join the Resist US Led War Movement to fight back against the US war machine and wars of aggression and rise up for genuine and lasting peace. ###
For more information on WA-Marshall Islands Remembrance Week activities see here: https://www.cann-wa.us/nvrd