The event was chaired by Radhika Raju (CFMEU) and Miko Nakamura (311 campaign for nuclear free)
Speakers included Colonel Valery Yarynych, a retired Russian Colonel, MP Jamie Parker – NSW Greens uranium spokesperson, Rita Mallia – NSW President, Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union, Denis Doherty – Anti Bases Campaign and Auntie Millie Ingrim – Aboriginal Elder.
Colonel Valery Yarynych
Colonel Valery Yarynych explained that he was involved in the Cuban missile crises in 1962. For him the two events (Hiroshima and Cuba) had merged into one. He was a twenty-five year old officer of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces at the time of the crisis.
He was at the command post of the Rocket Division in the Urals mountains. His task was to facilitate the reliable transfer of orders form Moscow to nuclear missiles SS7, targeted at America.
He informed the rally that the most difficult moment of the crisis came on Black Friday, 27 October, when an American spy plane was shot down over Cuba and the order came from Moscow to use the wartime communications data. It was a crucial moment from a technical point of view.
He explained that if they had started to fill the rocket fuel, then there would have been only two possible outcomes: Either to launch missiles to targets or after the crisis to throw the “super expensive toys” to the dump.
Today only a couple of minutes are required to launch nuclear missiles, but in those days it was many hours, which helped avoid a tragedy in 1962 believes.
MP Jamie Parker, NSW Greens uranium spokesperson
Speaking at the rally, Greens MP, Jamie Parker expressed concern that nuclear power was being promoted as environmentally friendly, saying, “It’s important that we’re here today, because we need to build on the campaign - not just against nuclear weapons, but the campaign against the nuclear cycle. Internationally we see the Non-Proliferation Treaty being increasingly compromised. We see the push, by many countries around the world for nuclear power, under the guise of low carbon emissions; and this is something that we here in New South Wales are feeling most particularly.
More images of the event can be seen here