“These students want the right to vote for nuclear disarmament and against nuclear war.”
February 27, 2015
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the push was on at numerous walks for peace, to persuade the countries with nuclear arms to dispose of them and to generally disarm.
I do not know why this has gone totally off the radar screen in recent years. Maybe the nuclear accident in Chernoybl, Ukraine, which is still affecting the health of many, many people there was a wake up call to a certain extent.
Governments in a variety of countries still own nuclear arms. It seems doubtful that any of these countries’ leaders would push the button to blow up the world because any leaders, who would seriously consider doing this, are egotistical enough to want to go down in the history books for being the one to have the macho guts to do so. But, guess what: there would be no one to write the history books if one of the leaders pushed to button.
Climate change seems to have taken over as something we social activists want to stop before the world destructs in this way.
When you read the following opinion piece that I wrote in 1982, you might want to substitute climate change for references to nuclear arms and see if the article still makes sense. Here it is:
October 19, 1982
Opinion by Tanya Lester
Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the news about a Regina group of high school activists who have been pushing for a student referendum on nuclear disarmament. These students want the right to vote for nuclear disarmament and against nuclear war.
The Regina students are not alone in wanting to voice their opinions about nuclear war. Across Canada, and all around the world, people from every walk of life are protesting against the superpowers — namely the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. — who are continually increasing their number of nuclear weapons.
The people who are protesting include most church groups, women’s groups, war veterans, politicians, doctors, environmentalists, and the list goes on and on. Even people who have never spoken out in public about anything else have learned to speak loudly on this issue.
So why are all these people protesting and what does this have to do with the people who live in the Gravelbourg area?
The answer to this question is fairly simple and I started thinking about it because council and school board elections are coming up. Before I explain the connection between protesting against nuclear war and the town elections, I would like to tell you something you may or may not have realized.
In the event of a nuclear war, the people of Gravelbourg would not escape the destruction. In the unlikely event that you survived from being instantly burned to death by radiation or from being killed by the collapsing rubble of crashing buildings, experts say you would wish that you were dead.
If you lived, you would probably have severe radiation burns. If a miracle happened and you lived long enough to have children, they would probably be born deformed and / or grow up to die of cancer.
Living in the country in the Gravelbourg area, you might have a better chance to escape the actual bombing but once you ventured out, you would witness a world devoid of birds, or any other form of plant and animal life. There would be no clean food and water so you would die of starvation or thirst. But you probably wouldn’t live that long because your contaminated surroundings would be the breeding ground for all kinds of fatal diseases.
Horrible, isn’t it? Now you know why millions of people are protesting against nuclear war. They are protesting the total destruction of our planet.
And this is where the local town and school board elections come in. In many cities and towns across Canada and around the world, people are holding referendums on nuclear disarmament in conjunction with their city’s or town’s election. They are telling politicians and the people who have the power to push the button which would activate a nuclear war, that they do not want a nuclear war.
Maybe next time this area has town elections, residents could also vote on the nuclear disarmament question. But it would take a vote on council to permit such a referendum to take place. If you want one, let your council members know. You can also let your MLA and MP know that you do not want to become a victim of nuclear war. Mention it to them next time you see them or write them a letter. You can write your MP postage free.
My plea for questions got one response. Well, sort of , anyway.
Mr. Gus Csada came into the office with some questions and he had the answers, too.
In the area of ‘groaner’ jokes, Mr. Csada had these to contribute: Why do dogs run so fast in the Sahara desert? Because the trees are so far apart.
What do you call a pony with a sore throat? A little horse (hoarse).