Diane McQullen, spokesperson for the Buffalo War Resisters League said the group has various events, lectures and demonstrations planned for Saturday and Tuesday. The group will conduct two pickets, one on Hiroshima day, combining into one large picket downtown in the afternoon. The picket will start at 10:30 a.m. in Delaware Park and march to Bidwell Avenue to stand with another resistance group, Women in Black, and then move the picket downtown at 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m, McQuellen said. Following the picket an open house will be held in the Georgian Room at Statler Towers, celebrating the first anniversary of the War Resisters League. Refreshments and a collage of the group’s events in the past year will be on display, as well as a memoriam to the victims of the atomic bombs. A film about the current global and national situation on nuclear proliferation will also be shown, making a point about the importance of educating on the subject.

McQuellen said the War Resisters have invited the mayoral candidates to speak out on their feelings about nuclear proliferation, as the mayors of Japan have asked for the world to support non proliferation.

“The common council unanimously passed a resolution supporting non proliferation,” McQuellen said. At the time of the interview, McQuellen said our current mayor of Buffalo, Anthony Masiello, had not yet responded to attend the discussion of how cities should be getting involved in the non proliferation campaign.

Another film on the actual costs of the Iraq War will also be shown, addressing taxpayers to where their money is exactly going and what for.

“There are huge costs to Erie County (because of the Iraq War), which is in deep financial trouble,” McQuellen said. “Over $750 million has been taken from our county alone to support the war.”

The Buffalo War Resisters League focuses on picketing against the war in Iraq but found in its history that the group is part of the oldest antiwar group in the country, started in 1923, McQuellen said. The latest version of the League saw a need for action in the community.

“A few of us got together when we felt there wasn’t enough action in Buffalo,” McQuellen said. “There are atrocious attacks on the people in Iraq, and we want to visibly oppose them on a regular basis.”

The group also finds importance in picketing at recruiting bases, and school boards using Junior ROTC money, by asking them not to use the huge funds at the expense of releasing the students’ personal information for recruitment.

“There should be an oppositional (ideology) available to kids, and yet the schools have not let us in during military recruitment days,” she said. “We need more education, and the media is totally useless in this regard. There is no talk of what is really happening in Iraq—the privatization of American companies stealing Iraqi jobs, controlling the oil, it’s a nightmare. Iraq is not a threat, and people need to read between the lines. None of this is adding up.” By Nicole Schuman

The anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan are something the majority of Americans would rather forget than celebrate. But as the sixtieth anniversary of the strikes draws near on Aug. 6 and 9, area groups are looking to commemorate and enlighten rather than remember the pain and tragedy our government placed on tens of thousands of innocent Japanese.