IPPNW medical student Alex Rosen
This project basically consists of the website and leaves the actual work up to local groups. It has three specific aims:
Education of the public in the target cities and trying to get the media to help by reporting about this street action
Increased awareness of IPPNW students of the issue of Nuclear Abolition, which many student groups are currently not involved with
Providing local student groups with a well-thought out and effective, media-attractive project they can easily perform themselves, thereby strengthening cohesion and attractiveness of that student group and even helping it recruit new members
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Cold War, the imminent danger of a nuclear attack has faded from public awareness in most countries of the North. While the threat has just recently increased in Aisa, with North Korea, India and Pakistan joining the Nuclear Club, many people in North America, Europe or Russia see the idea of their home city being hit by a nuclear attack as something very improbable, distant, even impossible.
However, with thousands of nuclear weapons still on hair-trigger alert, security systems slowly getting older and more prone to fatal errors or hacker attacks, Russian nuclear weapons being a possible target for grand-scale theft by terrorists, nuclear subs still plowing the oceans and terrorist groups threatening to acquire and use nuclear weapons, the head of the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog organization, Muhammad el Baradei, has recently stated, that the threat of a nuclear attack has never been greater than today.
The need for and the possibility of nuclear disarmament has equally never been greater. Many organizations are currently struggling to regain public awareness of the dangers of nuclear attacks. In its early years IPPNW has very successfully organized so-called “bombing-runs”, explaining in great detail the medical effects of a nuclear attack to the inhabitants of major cities.
This tool has proven to be very effective in getting people to realize the necessity of nuclear disarmament. Now, the IPPNW student movement is attempting to revive this successful idea through a project called Target X, adding the name of the individual city for each street action (for example “Target New York” or “Target St. Petersburg”)
Local student groups get permission from their city hall to have an information stand in the city center. There, they place or draw a large red “X” on the ground, surround it by police line and set up some informative cardboards and a few tables with information brochures. These informative materials can be downloaded from this website. As passer bys become interested in the red “X”, they approach the group of medical students, dressed in their white coats, who would explain to them that this could be the target site of nuclear weapons pointed at this city.
Target X Nuclear Awareness Campaign