28th April 2005: for immediate release

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Mayor of London have launched a poetry writing competition. They are inviting Londoners, aged between 14 and 16, to write a poem for peace to commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August 1945. The winning poem will be published in ‘The Londoner’, which goes to every London household, and the winning writer will be invited to attend a commemorative event at City Hall. The panel of judges will include The Mayor of London, peace activist Bruce Kent, poet Adrian Mitchell, and CND Chair Kate Hudson.

2005 is the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombs killed over 250,000 people and generations were poisoned by the radioactive aftermath. The effects are still being felt today.

Ken Livingstone, The Mayor of London said,

“I am extremely pleased to be organising this competition with CND and I am delighted that young people in London will have the opportunity to commemorate Hiroshima in such a creative and positive way. This competition is not just about remembrance it is about looking to the future. The single biggest issue facing the world today is the need for international justice and peace. Given the current climate of war and global instability it is important that the young people of London know that nuclear war is never justified and that they can explore peaceful solutions to the world’s problems.”

Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said,

“Young people in London have played an active role in the peace movement in recent years. A peaceful future free from nuclear weapons needs the support of the next generation and I am very encouraged by the commitment to peace of young Londoners. I am very much looking forward to reading the competition entries.

It is important that we mark the 60th anniversary by helping to bring about a real understanding of the horror of the nuclear bomb and the continued danger to the world of the nuclear weapons held by all of the nuclear weapon states, including the UK. It is also vital that we challenge both the perception that it was necessary to drop the bomb on Japan and the idea that it would ever be necessary or justified to use it anywhere, ever again.”

The competition, launched in The Londoner this week, is part of CND’s Count Down to Hiroshima Campaign to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki and say never again. CND has also launched a Peace Education Pack, with the support of the Mayor of London, which has gone to all secondary schools in London.


Notes to Editor:

1. For further information and interviews please contact Ruth Tanner CND’s Press & Communications Officer on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859

2. Competition Entries, entitled ‘Peace’, should be no more than 250 words, and should be sent, together with their name and address, to The Mayor of London, Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60th Anniversary, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA., to arrive no later than Monday 16th May.

3. Link to CND’s Peace education Pack .

4. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.