Center for Political Ecology - Marshall Islands campaign
Marshall Islands Environment, Health and Human Rights ... is an urgent action initiative to bring Marshall Island citizens to the September 2012 UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.
Here is the story...
In 1945, the US dropped two atomic bombs in Japan, and a year later another two in the Marshall Islands. Shortly after, the Marshall Islands were designated a UN strategic trusteeship administered by the United States which promised to protect the inhabitants against the loss of their lands, resources and their health. These promise were not been kept. Instead the US developed this island nation as a nuclear weapons proving ground, detonating 66 nuclear bombs, atomizing islands, and blanketing the entire nation with radioactive fallout. Some islands are so radioactive that they are off limits for at least 25,000 years. Simply put, radioactive contamination in the Marshall Islands was, and is, immense.
The health and human rights consequences of this nuclear colonialism are profound...
...and are the subject of a current investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Council. In March 2012 the UN Special Rapporteur for Toxics and Human Rights, Mr. Calin Georgescu, visited the islands to hear first hand how Marshallese lives have been affected by displacement and the health consequences of nuclear militarism. The Special Rapporteur also met with experts and government representatives in Washington DC, including myself and other anthropologists, lawyers, doctors, and scientists. He is now preparing a report on the Marshall Islands mission that will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council 21st session in September 2012.
Will a report help???
If delivered to an uninformed and unconcerned audience, probably not. However, a report put forth to an audience of interested and concerned nations who understand that we are all downwind will help. If Marshallese citizens are able to attend and share their experiences they will be putting a real human face to the issues discussed in the report... they will remind the world that now, more than ever, we need innovative solutions to the ulcerating conditions that define nuclear disaster.
This is where you come in...
Help us bring Marshallese citizens to Geneva to attend and to voice their experiences. Help them share with the world what it means to experience an ever-expanding array of health problems resulting from acute and chronic exposures to a radioactive and toxic environment… over the decades and across the generations.
To help bring Marshallese citizens and their advocates to Geneva this September... Spread the word! Donate!
Travel from island homes in the Marshalls to Geneva will take many days in transit and cost some $4000 per person. But people also have to eat and sleep: layovers, Geneva housing and food adds another $3000 to the bill. This is a lot of money! Especially when you consider that the annual per capita income in the Marshall Islands is $3640. Your support will truly help...
How will we use these funds?
Donations will be received by the Center for Political Ecology, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Santa Cruz, California, where I work as an anthropologist on environment, health, and human rights issues. Funds will be used to buy airline tickets, food, a place to sleep and to cover other incidental costs of making the Marshallese case to the international community (reproducing pamphlets, posters, and other materials to distribute at Human Rights Council meeting).
Want to know more?
Check out one of the hudreds of youtube videos on nuclear testing and the Marshall Islands, or watch the PBS film Collateral Damage, the fourth episode in their series Unnatural Causes... is inequality making us sick? http://www.pbs.org/unnaturalcauses/hour_04.htm
Read my CounterPunch columns, most recent one is Human Rights, Environment and Nuclear Disaster... http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/01/nuclear-savages/
Thanks for reading... and please spread the word!
Barbara Rose Johnston