Activists celebrate UN nuclear weapons ban

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Local peace activists rejoiced today as a United Nations ban on nuclear weapons went into effect.

The noon rally in front of the federal building in downtown Binghamton was organized by Broome County Peace Action and Broome County Veterans for Peace.

The treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons was passed by the international body in July of 2017 with 122 nations supporting it.

However, the United States and the other 8 countries believed to have nukes did not ratify it and don’t appear ready to give up their bombs.

Peace Action and Veterans for Peace board member Jack Gilroy says the treaty does put added pressure on nuclear states to give them up.

“We have the ability to incinerate millions of people around the world. It’s insane. And it’s quite possible that a leader who is insane could do that. And that’s something we have to change,” says Gilroy.

The activists called on U-S Senator Chuck Schumer, who has an office in the federal building, to work to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Gilroy says similar celebrations were planned in 160 different countries.

At noon, the group rang small bells and then later marched around the building, playing instruments in a New Orleans-style procession.

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