Today, the 9th August 2017, marks the anniversary of a horrific event that occurred in 1945 to the city of Nagasaki, Japan. The US detonated a five ton atomic bomb named “Fat Boy” over the city of Nagasaki, killing what was estimated between 90,000-146,000 people, yet the after effects of the bombing would have affected many more.
Lives were lost, homes were destroyed, an entire city decimated by the touch of a button. Yet even to this day, the threat of nuclear bombs being used is at its highest since this horrific event. With tensions rising between North Korea and the US, it is becoming more and more likely that the threat of a nuclear war will no longer be a threat, but a reality. Currently, we have governments who will happily spend billions upon billions of pounds to create weapons of mass destruction without giving it a second thought, yet they will think twice and refuse to spend more on public services, whether it be education or health; or even helping those in need. People who live on the streets, families who starve each day due to rising cost of living, children who go to school hungry because their parents cannot afford to feed them. This is the reality of what is going on in our world today.
The UK recently renewed Trident, which is the programme where the government creates nuclear weapons for our “safety” and parliament agreed to a £205billion deal (estimated) for this programme to be renewed. The government agreed to spending this figure on weapons that we are not legally allowed to use due to international law, yet they refuse to get rid of the NHS deficit, or they will continue to slash benefits and funding to various organisations and services because they “cannot afford it”. It really makes you think about where our priorities lie not just as a nation, but as a planet.
It is not only the UK who spend vast amounts of money on nuclear weapons whilst reducing funding everywhere else, many other countries such as the US, China, India and North Korea to name a few have and develop nuclear weapons regularly. If even one of these weapons were to be fired, it would have vast consequences for the entire world. Millions of lives would be lost, the after effects would be 100x worse than the ones of Nagasaki and Hiroshima yet for what? For ego, for pride, for honour? Each country who develop nuclear weapons do so to become the most powerful nation on Earth, yet they fail to see that every citizen suffers because of it.
Take our country, the UK, for example, homelessness is on the increase year on year; we have some of the highest levels of child poverty within Europe; suicide rates and adolescents with mental health issues are on the increase, yet still the government will make cuts left, right and centre to all vital services, whilst increasing funding for weaponry. If anyone can explain the logic behind this, we are all ears, but there is no logical explanation for this. The citizens of the nation should come first; their health, their stability, their needs must come before anything else.
We, as citizens, must pressure our governments into getting rid of nuclear weapons once and for all. Unilateral disarmament to many may seem like a dream that will never come true, but if we all protest, and petition, and fight against these decisions, then sooner or later, the government will have no choice but to listen to their people and get rid of these weapons. The sooner this happens, the sooner we can have a peaceful, accepting society focused on the needs of the many not the few. Break The Chains would like to pay its respects to those who have lost their lives not only due to nuclear weapons but war in general and we hope that one day in the near future, we can live in a world without war and violence.