A Review of Ongoing Campaigns...
Nevada Test Site
Despite the cessation of traditional nuclear weapons testing in Nevada, "sub-critical" dynamic testing of "special nuclear materials" has continued and the Nevada Test Site is maintained to resume the old-style buried-big-bang tests on relatively short notice. Likewise, protest and nonviolent direct actions that once drew up to eight thousand people to the remote desert site northwest of Las Vegas now draw dozens and hundreds of participants.
The embers of resistance are kept bright by the Nevada Desert Experience (NDE), a faith-based group founded by Franciscans nearly a quarter century ago, and the ten-year-old Shundahai Network, successor to the more secular civil resistance organizing at the Test Site. NDE still sponsors at least two events each year - in August, commemorating Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and weekend events during Lent, concluding with a Holy Week Peace Walk and nonviolent direct action. Western Shoshone spiritual man Corbin Harney directs the network of activists who host peace camps at the Test Site around Mother's Day in May and Indigenous People's (Columbus) Day in October.
Over 200 people attended the 2003 Mother's Day peace camp, where 36 people were arrested during the weekend of training and organizing a national long-range plan to stop radioactive shipments. In 2004, a smaller group attended, and five were cited for trespass and released at the gate. In 2003, Shundahai Network moved their October gathering to the Skull Creek Goshute Reservation west of Salt Lake City, where the tiny tribe has been divided by the nuclear industry seeking a temporary storage site for irradiated ("spent") nuclear reactor fuel rods.
Ten people took part in the August Desert Witness 2003. The group, including first-time young adults and several long-time NDE veterans, examined principles of nonviolence and practical application to their own lives, as well as how to support those who risk imprisonment and more for their nonviolent witness. Sunday, August 10, their early morning prayer circle at the test site boundary included two Nye County sheriff's deputies. After the service, all ten participants crossed the line.
NDE also celebrated the New Year with a December 31 interfaith peace walk through the heart of Las Vegas during the day, and a traditional Buddhist ringing in of the new year at the Test Site gate. At midnight, a bell was rung 108 times before about 20 people crossed the line and were arrested, cited, and soon released.
About a dozen walkers set out on the 2004 Holy Week Peace Walk. They were joined for the final day by a United Methodist peace group. About 60 people participated in the Nuclear Stations of the Cross at the Test Site on Good Friday, and 27 crossed the line and were cited for trespass.
For more information, contact the Nevada Desert Experience, POB 46645, Las Vegas, NV 89114, (702)646-4814, email: email@example.com web: www.NevadaDesertExperience.org and the Shundahai Network, POB 1115, Salt Lake City, UT 84110, (801)533-0128, email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.shundahai.org