Lanterns for Peace 8/9

New, Expanded Lanterns for Peace Event, August 9 “Rhythms for a Nuclear Free World” Peace Action’s 17th annual Lanterns for Peace event on Saturday, August 9, will be part of an expanded program, “Rhythms for a Nuclear Free World,” featuring a variety of world music. The concert begins at 4 p.m. at Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton in downtown Milwaukee. It will feature De La Buena’s salsa and world music, Taqsim with its unique middle eastern jazz, and Lucky Diop with his Kassumai African Band and Dancers. The speaker for the 7:30 p.m. program will be Bonnie Urfer, co-director of NUKEWATCH, the internationally known group that tracks the latest developments in nuclear weapons, power and waste. Bonnie has taken part in dozens of non-violent direct actions against nuclear weapons. Performers include troubadour David H. Drake and local poets Antler and Jeff Poniewaz. The traditional floating of handmade Japanese lanterns on the Milwaukee River in commemoration of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will take place at dusk, followed by more music with De La Buena. The event commemorates the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 and challenges the Bush administration’s nuclear weapons policy. The Bush nuclear agenda includes a first use policy of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear nations, the withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the development of small “usable” nukes for the battlefield and new nuclear “bunker busters.” According to George Martin, Peace Action’s program director, “This aggressive approach to new nuclear development threatens to destroy the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Smaller nations have little incentive to stay nuclear-free when the US continues to develop new nuclear weapons and pulls out of international treaties.” Recent developments in North Korea show the danger of proliferating nuclear power technologies around the world which can be used for nuclear weapons development. Martin says, “If the US does not take the lead in the abolition of nuclear weapons, it has no credibility in attempting to stop the spread of nuclear weapons on the planet. ” Despite the serious subject matter, this is a family-friendly event. Activities include Japanese lantern making, face painting, folding origami peace cranes and story telling. International foods, beer and soda will be sold. It is recommended that people bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Peace artists are still invited to display their work at our event on the river walk just to the right of the pavilion at Pere Marquette Park between 3:30 and 7:30 pm on Saturday. Bring your own display/set-up/table/chair etc. (whatever you need. Call George Martin at 745-5740 to confirm.