NEW YORK—Sixty years after U.S. atomic bombs destroyed two Japanese cities, incinerating hundreds of thousands of civilians, mayors from around the world — led by the mayors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima — as well as survivors of the 1945 atomic destruction will join a massive rally in New York City’s Central Park to demand the worldwide abolition of nuclear weapons.

The rally will take place on May 1, a day before the United Nations begins a review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT, signed by all but three nations, is aimed at curbing, and eventually eliminating, nuclear weapons.

Organizers of the march say it is necessary to protect the NPT and to demand that governments follow it, because the world is becoming more dangerous. The main reason, they say, is that the US — which has the largest nuclear stockpile in the world — has not been working within the spirit of the treaty.

“Here we are 35 years later,” says Alice Slater, a coordinator with Abolition Now, which along with Mayors for Peace and United for Peace and Justice is a main sponsor of the rally. “The U.S. is not only not giving up on nuclear weapons, we’re building new ones, mini-nukes that are ‘more usable.’ This is the stuff that is coming out of Bush’s mouth.”

While mayors representing more than 100 cities worldwide will be coming, Slater says, organizers have met resistance from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “We met with his assistant last week to say that we think he should come to the UN and meet the mayors and greet them, but they’re giving us the runaround.”

Slater urges New Yorkers to put pressure on Bloomberg to attend the rally. People in other U.S. cities should challenge their mayors to attend and support the ones already planning to attend, she says.

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