INTRODUCTION: On the 36th anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima (6 August), some 3,000 people marched towards Paris to protest against the threat of a nuclear war.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: On the 36th anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima (6 August), some 3,000 people marched towards Paris to protest against the threat of a nuclear war. The marchers for peace, led by six Norwegian women, had been marching from Copenhagen during the previous six weeks.
SYNOPSIS: It was in 1945 that the first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. It's estimated that it killed almost two-hundred-thousand people -- many in the initial blast and others who suffered radiation poisoning. More than a third of a million survivors still bear the scars of this attack, and no-one knows how many more will ultimately succumb to its effects.
This is what that historic bomb caused. And, a generation on, to commemorate one of Japans most traumatic days, Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki flew to Hiroshima to lead a national memorial service for the dead.
On the other side of the world, people who fear today's leader may not have learned of such horrors marched toward Paris to call for nuclear disarmament in Europe. The March For Peace was organised by a group of Scandinavian women who set out from Copenhagen to walk across north-west Germany, Holland, Belgium and France. They started the twenty-first of June. Along the way, they were joined by thousands of other protesters from all over Europe, people belonging to various anti-nuclear movements -- such as END, the European Nuclear Disarmament Campaign.
Among them were seven Japanese Buddhist monks, who had set off from Japan on August the sixth last year, vowing to keep marching until nuclear weapons are abandoned.
The marchers have carried on despite hot weather. Some of the groups which joined them along the way broke off to hold demonstrations in their own countries. But there have never been less than a hundred marchers, and a times, their ranks have swollen as high a five-thousand.
Their last stop before was Le Bourget. They rested the night, before moving on to meet thousands more protesters in the French capital for a three-day anti-nuclear war festival.