Spanish campaigners promote nuclear weapons ban at Earth festival

April 30, 2015

On April 25-26, ICAN campaigners from FundiPau hosted a series of events in Barcelona during the annual Earth Festival. The event highlighted the environmental  and humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, and the need to work towards a ban as a necessity to protect the planet.

During the festival, FundiPau had an stand, providing attendees with materials on the threats and impact of nuclear weapons. In addition to providing general information, campaigners brought the nuclear weapon threat closer to home by examining the impact of a nuclear weapons detonation in Barcelona. “We wanted to show people that this is a real issue and put it forward for public debate”, said Lourdes Vergés of FundiPau. “People don’t think of nuclear weapons as something that really affects them, and we wanted to highlight that it does, and it’s an important issue.”

The event also featured discussions and forums about the role of campaigners and what people can do to get involved and support the campaign. Campaigners were able to bring the discussion on nuclear weapons to a broader audience, as the feature event this year was on banning nuclear weapons. Supporters surrounded a big banner, with visuals promoting a nuclear weapons ban.

The recent event is one of many focused on increasing public awareness of the danger of nuclear weapons, and mobilizing the public to act on it. Part of that work is dispelling misinformation that has led to inaction on nuclear disarmament. Vergés noted the importance of dispelling the myth that deterrence keeps us safe as a defense for tolerating nuclear weapons. The NATO alliance is another factor many other states are using to avoid supporting disarmament initiatives like the pledge to fill the legal gap. “It is important we dispel this myth; states have taken independent stances from their NATO allies on other weapons, and this needs to happen for nuclear weapons as well”, said Vergés.

Vergés also noted that while the campaign is an international one, national campaigners need to do their part and mobilise their own domestic society to get the government to listen. “We want to approach the Spanish government and demonstrate that nationally and internationally, people are moved by this call and want to see a change”, said Vergés. “We have a duty to press on in achieving this goal.”

  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s act up! Ban nuclear weapons completely and unconditionally.”

    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon Former UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate