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Grigoris Lambrakis: An ideal doctor, peace activist, and martyr

May 27, 2020

by Maria Arvaniti Sotiropoulou

Memorial to Grigoris Lambrakis in Greece.

On 27 May every year, the Greek Affiliate of IPPNW and the Peace movement in Greece commemorate the anniversary of the assassination of Grigoris Lambrakis in Thessaloniki in 1963.

The life and death of Lambrakis inspired the author Vassilis Vassilikos to write the political novel “Z.” The title stands for the first letter of the Greek word “Zi” which means “[He] Lives!”In 1969, the Greek-French film director Costa-Gavras made the film Z, which found international acclaim. “Z” appeared in graffiti all over Athens and became an international symbol for peace and democracy. Unfortunately, the younger generation of peace activists today know little of the life and death of Lambrakis which could serve as an example to us all. Read more…

COVID-19 and nuclear weapons

May 16, 2020

This coronavirus can teach us a lot if we are willing to learn.

It shows where the real threats to our security lie, for which massive military arsenals and the most powerful WMD are not only useless, but get in the way.

It shows our interconnected vulnerabilities and capacities, that globalized problems respect no borders, are shared and demand cooperative solutions.

Read the full article at Croakey Health Media.


Online Youth Assembly for peace, environment, and justice

May 7, 2020
On May 2nd, IPPNW, Peace Action New York State, SGI, PEAC Institute, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Beyond the Bomb, and many others hosted an online Youth Assembly. Originally scheduled to take place in-person before the NPT Review Conference, this event set out to bring youth from around the world together to discuss the biggest threats to our future and what we can do to advocate for a more safe and just world for all.

Read more…

“Don’t make new socks for me”: 75 years after the end of World War II

May 2, 2020

By Dr. Lars Pohlmeier

View of destroyed buildings on a city street in Germany at the end of World War II; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

This year we commemorate 75 years since the end of World War II. I was born 24 years after the end of it, in the city of Bremen in Germany. When I was young I thought: “The war? What a long time ago.” Now, at the age of 51, I realize how little time had passed. Of course I have no personal memories or experiences of wartime, but my life was influenced by those who had suffered. It is important to keep the memories and the debate alive, so that history will not repeat itself. This is why I wrote this text.

“Don’t make new socks for me.” This sentence comes from a letter my grandfather wrote to my grandmother in the winter of 1944 to 1945. My grandfather was a Wehrmacht soldier at the eastern front “defending” Nazi Germany somewhere near what today is part of Poland. Read more…

Nuclear weapons, the climate crisis, social justice, and the COVID-19 pandemic

April 27, 2020
An online international conference sponsored by the Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung NYC on April 25 provided a unique opportunity for the world’s nuclear disarmament campaigns, allied movements and organizations, and diplomats committed to banning and eliminating nuclear weapons to amplify nuclear abolition demands and to show how the nuclear dangers interconnect with the threats posed by climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the injustices of our world.
Among the speakers at “Abolish nuclear weapons; resist and reverse the climate crisis; for social and economic justice,” which was co-sponsored by IPPNW, was regional vice president for Latin America Carlos Umaña, who discussed ICAN and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (at the 20:15 mark in the conference video).
United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu addressed the Hibakusha Signature Appeal Campaign.

Will the Coronavirus pandemic help curb war and militarism?

April 14, 2020

Decades ago, when I began teaching international history, I used to ask students if they thought it was possible for nations to end their fighting of wars against one another.  Their responses varied.  But the more pessimistic conclusions were sometimes tempered by the contention that, if the world’s nations faced a common foe, such as an invasion from another planet, this would finally pull them together.

I was reminded of this on March 23, when the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, called for “an immediate global ceasefire.” The time had come, he said, to “end the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world.”  A UN summary noted that the Secretary-General had “urged warring parties across the world to lay down their weapons in support of the bigger battle against COVID-19: the common enemy that is now threatening all of humankind.” Read more…

The coronavirus pandemic, like other global catastrophes, reveals the limitations of nationalism

April 7, 2020

We live with a profound paradox.  Our lives are powerfully affected by worldwide economic, communications, transportation, food supply, and entertainment systems.  Yet we continue an outdated faith in the nation-state, with all the divisiveness, competition, and helplessness that faith produces when dealing with planetary problems. Read more…

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