Editor’s note: Sources for the following combine content from http://www.beyondnuclear.org/canada/2016/8/18/montreal-declaration-for-a-nuclear-fission-free-world-caps-w.html and https://fsm2016.org/en/appel-de-tokyo-pour-un-reseau-mondial-vers-un-monde-sans-nucleaire/.
Historial Data on the Montreal Declaration
World Social Forum held in Quebec, Canada, August 2016
The Montreal Declaration for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World was endorsed by the World Social Forum (Forum Social Mondial in French) gathered in Quebec from August 8 to 14th. This declaration, as well as five solid days of strategy meetings, networking, and anti-nuclear workshops, was inspired by the Tokyo Appeal—text below—and the First Thematic World Social Forum for a Nuclear-Free World, held in Tokyo and Fukushima in March 2016.
Chico Whitaker, a co-founder of the World Social Forum in Brazil 15 years ago, and a leader of the Brazilian anti-nuclear movement, contacted Dr. Gordon Edwards of Canadian Coalition for a Nuclear Responsibility some months ago, calling for the Second Thematic World Social Forum for a Nuclear-Free World to take place in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The entire week of events commenced with a Nagasaki atomic bombing commemoration ceremony, held at UQAM (University of Quebec at Montreal) on August 8. (Montreal is a sister city with Hiroshima, Japan, and the mayor of Montreal annually observes a Hiroshima atomic bombing commemoration.) The Nagasaki commemoration was conducted by Stuart Mayo Jr., alongside his father, Stuart Mayo Sr. The Mayos are members of the local Mohawk First Nation. Stuart Mayo Jr. spoke powerfully about the global significance of the Nagasaki atomic bombing, pointing out that it represented a kind of minitiarization of the Nazis’ Holocaust gas chambers and ovens. What took the Nazis years to do (the slaughter of millions of Jews, Roma, and other peoples), could now be done with the flip of a switch, or the push of a button (nuclear weapons).
The first two days in Montreal (August 8 and 9, held at UQAM) were devoted to networking and strategizing, regarding both nuclear weapons and nuclear power issues, and all aspects of the uranium fuel chain, from mining to radioactive waste dumping, and all steps in between. Groups such as Artistes pour la Paix [I, II] and Physicians for Global Survival took part. Additional attendees included French and Japanese anti-nuclear organizers. This included an attorney who represents numerous children in Fukushima being forced to attend school in a radioactively contaminated zone, despite the risks to their health and well being. It also included a French theater director, who has organized performances of 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature laureate Svetlana Alexievich’s play adaptation of the book Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster, in both France, as well as Alexievich’s native Belarus, the country hardest hit by Chernobyl’s radioactive fallout.
The official kick off of the World Social Forum, and culmination of the two days of anti-nuclear organizing and strategizing, took the form of a rally at Montreal’s Parc LaFontaine, and then an Opening March (including a colorful anti-nuke contingent) through the streets of the city, capped by a musical concert with speakers at a large outdoor plaza.
Dr. Edwards asked Michael Keegan of Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes to coordinate three solid days of workshops (August 10, 11, 12, held at McGill College, located on Mohawk land, for which the First Nation has never been compensated)—a dozen in all. Representatives from groups such as Beyond Nuclear, Citizens Awareness Network, Dene No Nukes, Fairewinds Energy Education, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Sept îles sans uranium (SISUR) stepped up to make it happen. The Mayos (mentioned above) added powerful testimony during one of the workshop sessions.
Nuclear forum participants – Image: © Robert Del Tredici/Atomic Photographers Guild
The Nuclear World Social Forum schedule of anti-nuke workshops and list of presenters provides a historical record on the goal of pursuing the creation of an international network at the service of intercommunication, mutual support, and launching joint actions for a world free of the nuclear threat, whether it is civil or military.