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Children highlight of Hiroshima Day march

Mona Irwin — September 1983

Toronto’s Hiroshima Day peace demonstration, held on August 6 at Queen’s Park, drew approximately 5,000 people. According to Matthew Clark, chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the Toronto Disarmament Network (TDN), this was a much better turnout than organizers of the event had expected.

The demonstration, which commemorated the U.S. nuclear attack on Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, attracted a cross-section of Torontonians: parents and students; bearded and clean-shaven; punk and new wave; young, middle-aged and elderly. In addition to the two main themes, “Hiroshima — Never Again” and “Refuse the Cruise,” the demonstration focussed on the vulnerability of children in today’s nuclear world,

Speakers included Professor Jinsaki, Professor of Literature at Hiroshima University; Matthew Clark of the TDN; Neil Young, NDP MP from the Beaches; Hilda Murray, from the International Children’s Day Committee; Paul McCran, Liberal MP from Thunder Bay; and Jay Mason of the American Indian Movement.

Plans for the future, according to Clark, include a major demonstration on October 22, International Disarmament Day. This demonstration will have three themes: No manufacturing cruise components in Toronto; no testing of the cruise in Canada; and no deployment of cruise or Pershing II missiles in Europe.

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