ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, has declared June 25, 2011 Nuclear Abolition Day. While leaders of the Big Nuclear Five (the UK, US, Russia, France and China) negotiate in Paris on that day, ICAN is asking activists to organize worldwide demonstrations for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
As this map of Nuclear Abolition Day events shows, registered protests are heavily concentrated in Europe:
There are just two events planned in the United States (in Santa Barbara and Philadelphia), just three protests organized in Asia, and one planned for Melbourne, Australia. In contrast, Europe is the site of no fewer than 66 anti-nuclear protests, and most of those are in the UK. That protest you can see off Madagascar is misplaced — it’s announcing an event in Ireland, not Mauritius.
Wow. What accounts for the massive organization of protest events in the UK? It’s the premiere of an advocacy film called Countdown to Zero that is already available on DVD. The film will be shown in a lot of theaters, and each is being counted by ICAN as a protest.
For the more traditional social movement protest events in Europe associated with Nuclear Abolition Day, look to Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin, Paris and Geneva, where large crowds are expected to gather next month. Even excluding film screenings from the list, anti-nuclear protests appear to be substantially concentrated in Europe. If you’re not in Europe and you want to take a stand against nuclear weapons on June 25, take a look at ICAN’s list of suggested actions for the day and see what inspires you most.