Saturday 9 August 2014: 69 years since the US obliterated up to 100,000 innocent lives in Nagasaki and a day since the slaughter Israel has been visiting on the innocents in Gaza resumed.
Four of us met at 10.30 and set up an anti-nuclear stall to remember Nagasaki. From 1.30pm we began to chalk outlines, names and ages of a few of the children killed over the past month by Israel in Gaza, and at 2pm we were joined by 40-50 others to protest the ongoing attacks. The gathering culminated in an occupation of Barclays Bank in protest at its links with the arms trade and investments in Israeli companies.
Veterans for Peace in attendance
Wales for Palestine
Human rights for all
End Israeli Apartheid
Heading into Barclays
Take me to your leader
More photos from today's Nagasaki stall and Gaza solidarity actions are here:
As anti-nuclear Wool Against Weapons protesters were unfurling their 7 mile long knitted scarf between Aldermaston and Burghfield nuclear weapons factories, here in Wrexham we set up a stall to mark the 69th anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Nagasaki that resulted in the deaths of up to 100,000 civilians. Using the blinds on an empty shop front, we put up our banners and attached placards as securely as we could manage in the stiff breeze: one for Hiroshima (anniversary 6 August), one for Nagasaki, an article by the late, great WWI veteran Harry Patch and a notice to tell people about the scarf. Material on the table included Jim McCluskey's fine pamphlet 'The Nuclear Threat' along with other anti-nuclear publications and flyers and a No Trident Renewal petition.
In the afternoon of another national day of action, we joined others in Queens Square in solidarity with the people of Gaza. There have been more big protests in cities around the world including London. With half an hour to spare beforehand, we got busy on the pavement drawing bodies with our chalks and adding the names and ages of just a few of the child victims of Israel's indiscriminate killing, in stark and sombre contrast with the hopscotch and other games that had been chalked on the ground nearby during a recent Play Day.
People began to appear with placards and Palestinian, Welsh and Peace flags. At 2pm we came together to protest the suffering of the people of Gaza and the crimes of Israel against them. Speakers outlined the history of Palestine and the oppression of the Palestinian people since the Nakba (catastrophe), urged people to join the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign which was successful against the Apartheid South African regime and talked about the diplomatic cables leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning and how these have exposed Israel's lies and its war crimes against Palestine.
A group of about 25 then occupied Wrexham's Barclays bank in protest at its links with the arms trade and Israel which bring financial profit for the bank for every death in Gaza. Other supporters remained outside. During the peaceful occupation, the bank locked its doors but did let a few people in one by one; some of these turned out not to be customers but rather supporters of the protest who came in simply to make donations, then left again. After three in a row, Barclays staff appeared to be trying to check that people had Barclaycards before letting them in. £112 was collected in total during the afternoon and will be donated to The Welfare Association's Palestine Emergency Campaign, along with a further £28 collected at a campaigns stall at last weekend's Something Else A Bit North festival. This brings the total collected at recent town centre actions to around £590. As the occupation continued, more information was shared about BDS, names of the dead were read out and customers were given leaflets explaining the protest. The police were called and turned up after 20 minutes but made no attempt to end the protest, which was voluntarily brought to a close after about half an hour.
Thanks to everyone who took part.