October 24-26, 1997
REAPING WHAT WE SOW-Organizing for Nuclear Free Century of Peace
I was at Boston College for a conference initiated by the American Friends Service Committee entitled "The New England Organizing Conference for Nuclear Weapons Abolition". What I have found from various speakers is that it is not just nuclear weapons, but nuclear energy and nuclear waste that must be addressed. You see, there is no difference in reactors that build nuclear weapons than those that generate energy. The same plutonium is produced in the processes, the same nuclear waste that we dont know what to do with is left for us to deal with for ten of thousands of years. After the reactor creates the plutonium, then it can be made into weapons-grade material, but first the reactor makes the plutonium. Consequently, our goal is to end the age of the splitting of the atom since there are no atoms for peace yet.
In a Nuclear Information and Resource Service, pamphlet on MOX that stands for Mixed-Oxide Fuel, it explains how the government now wants to use this new fuel, a mixture of uranium and plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons, to fuel nuclear power plants. One of the problems with this plan is that commercial nuclear reactors were not designed to use MOX. Reactors are aging prematurely. Cracks have been found in vital reactor components. The NIRS pamphlet reads, "Because of its high "neutron flux" levels, the reactor pressure vessel can become embrittled and fail during accident conditions. A nuclear accident involving MOX fuel could cause a meltdown even more serious than Three Mile Island or Chernobyl, because the levels of radiation inside a reactor using MOX are higher than in a normal atomic reactor."
The new "military-industrial-utility" complex says that MOX will reuse plutonium from nuclear warheads decreasing the amount of plutonium on the planet. But the truth is that the burning of MOX will not substantially reduce the amount of plutonium on the planet since commercial nuclear reactors produce plutonium wastes in its process. Each year, commercial reactors produce some 500 pounds of plutonium. (Keep in mind that to make a Nagasaki size bomb takes 20 pounds). Using MOX, the Westinghouse Corporation stated would reduce the amount of plutonium coming out of the reactor only one percent.
NIRS thinks that what should be done with plutonium from dismantled warheads are to mix them with a substance that makes them unusable and will not leak into the environment. Mixing plutonium with glass is one possible technology that could disable plutonium for military and terrorist use. But the Federal government is making terrorist attacks easier by cutting out the Nuclear Regulatory Commissions (NRC) program for testing the security of commercial nuclear-power plants to repel armed terrorists. The tests which was called Operational Safeguards Response Evaluations found that nearly half of the 104 nuclear-power reactors had serious security lapses. An agency team was able to simulate an armed attack that simulated sabotaging enough equipment to cause a core melt down. Whoops, there goes New York City!
NukeNet news flash:
The influence of getting information on the Internet and people working behind the scenes to put pressure on the NRC to reverse the bad decision to end the nuclear plant security risks test was witnessed when the NRCre-instated the Operational Safeguards Response Evaluations program.
In Susan Koen and Nina Swaim excellent HANDBOOK FOR WOMEN ON THE NUCLEAR MENTALITY they explain that since the nuclear industry is so tied with nuclear weapons development, the industry is able "to conceal its operations under the cloak of national security, as well as to intimidate the public into believing nuclear plants and nuclear arms development are in the nations best interest." The authoressess go on to say that the "Atoms for Peace" campaign was created after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to relieve any guilt of that most brute act of warfare, coercing the public into believing that nuclear bombs were dropped "to save the people", and thus, we needed to develop nuclear power.
The nuclear age is based on immorality and lies. As David Krieger, President of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation writes, "We should no longer have to live in a world in which some nations base their security on threatening the security of the entire planet. If we can move beyond burning heretics at the stake, cannibalism and slavery, certainly we can move beyond the insanity of the nuclear age."
It seems clear to me that to stop the insanity and bring about a peaceful world order we need to abolish ALL nuclear weapons and to put the money and energy into building ecocities and ecovillages of a sustainable society. Written in the Dagomys Declaration of the Pugwash Council issued September 3rd 1988, "To survive, we must recognize that environmental degradation weakens the security of all. The challenge is to find ways to promote sustainable development of all regions in the world while reducing both military and ecological threats." Of course, this has to be done in an orderly way since we are talking about disarming weapons and decommissioning nuclear power plants that hold deadly poison. Thus, it seems wise to conclude that anarchy as an alternative form of governance structure is no longer viable in the Nuclear Age.
One of the most moving speeches at the Boston College Conference was delivered by a Native American woman, Anna Rondon. It was entitled "Confronting the Impacts of Uranium Mining & Milling on the Navajo Peace." She spoke about how Native Americans had been forced to mine the poison and now they were suffering from mining a poison that had caused all kinds of illnesses. Even though in the treaty of 1868, the Federal Government stated that it would protect the health of the Navajo people, the government and the mining companies fail to do so, knowing full well the affects of uranium exposure to miners and their community.
At first, with the start of the Cold War, before the affects of exposure to uranium was known to the Navajo, discovering uranium on the Navajo reservation seemed like a blessing to the community. No longer would Navajo men have to seek work away from the reservation on railroads in the western states to support their families. It wasnt until radiation sicknesses started to affect the community and people started dying that they found out how dangerous mining uranium really was.
In 1990, Navajo Uranium Workers Program was established to help put into effect the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act: Public Law 101-426 (RECA) to compensate uranium miners during the Cold War era of 1947-1971. In an interview with Navajo uranium worker, Donald Yellowhorse in Memories Come To Us In the Rain and the Wind: Oral Histories and Photographs of Navajo Uranium Miners & Their Families explains how the entire Cove, Arizona town in the Navajo reservation was affected:
How it is, Im not sure, but what I think is that all the residents of Cove Community have been affected in one or more ways, that is what I think. From the [pointing], waste and ore that were hauled out, some of these washed down with water. Also here [pointing], they hauled some in front of where the trading post is. It used to be piled over across; there was a pile. Then they hauled it over the roads, uranium fell off the trucks, so this makes uranium everywhere. Some houses are also build with these same rocks. Water too, this wash, irrigation ditchthe same water. Dig wells, you drank the same water, there was no water system then.
In the interviews it reveals how the Kerr McGee mining company [the same company that was involved in the murder of anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood] thought of the Navajo workers as slaves. While the Anglo workers such as the surveyors and the mechanics stayed out of the uranium pits or only went in on short visits, the Navajo were in the pits with no air ventilation. Joe Ray Harvey says, "There was just lots of smoke and a powder smell after the blasting. Thats how it was. The ventilation tubes did not go into the areas where we worked; they tended to end about a hundred feet short, or farther, so there was a lack of ventilation and a lack of safety." Since the Kerr McGee managers would fire anyone who spoke up against poor working conditions, and since the mine was the only employment in town, workers were intimidated and would not speak out.
The government, on the other hand, has been slow compensating the victims of uranium poisoning, delaying the process with bureaucratic red tape and requirements for compensation. To be compensated, a former worker has to be diagnosed with lung cancer, even though radiation sickness creates other diseases. The government has created what they call "200 working level months for non-smokers" to apply for the money. 500 working level months for smokers. They say that if you are a smoker, then the cancer was a result of ones own doing and shouldnt be compensated. But very few Navajo miners were addicted to tobacco. Navajo widows of the miners and their children stated in the interviews, "Today they say that no amount of compensation of money is going to replace the loss of their husbands, or their fathers."
After Annas tear-wrenching speak to the Abolitionist, she called for the Boston medical community to set up clinics to help people who were suffering from radiation sicknesses since the American government does not provide adequate health care for workers and their families who now suffer from radiation sickness. She said that the mining of uranium in the American West was rising. Now, there were 19 uranium mining companies which mine 77 million tons of uranium a year. If we want to have a nuclear free world, then we have to stop it at its source by stopping uranium mining and the 505 years of genocide of the Native Americans. As tears rolled down my face, she said that the Holy Ones of the tribes knew that uranium was to be left in the ground.
Dr. Bernard Lown, a founder of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW, said that the legacy of nuclear weapons is "a kind of secret, low-intensity radioactive warfare waded against unsuspecting populations." But it seemed like to me that the unsuspecting populations are all of us, everyone and thing that breathes on the planet. The plutonium economy is affecting all our futures, threatening to cause species extinction.
When I got back from the Boston College conference my friend, Mike, came by to visit me. He said that since he couldnt find a job and didnt have the money to enter college, he wanted to escape being a junkie like some of the people he was hanging out with, so he had signed up to join the military. He had failed the drug test once, but this time he said he was sure to pass and be accepted into the Marines to be stationed in Korea.
I could have died! Was this the only alternative for a young man with a good spirit? Where were the opportunities to really serve humanity? But I knew from the Abolitionist Conference on creating a Womens Budget workshop that the way the national budget was arranged it was difficult for people to find financial support to work for peace, love and justice. The women who ran the workshop explained how we need to unlearn classical economics. The privatization of the government has meant that public institutions have been raided and their money put into the stock market so that the few can get rich off their investments.
A Womens Budget is created for the "empowerment of women and girls, with the goal of economic justice for all." It was crystal clear when the leaders of the workshop pointed out that it was not the poor receipts of welfare who were causing our economic "crisis". But it was the military who since the 40s have spend over $4 trillion on nuclear arms and has also been subsidized to the tune of $4 trillion dollars by the U.S. government. $4 trillion is also the approximated size of the national debt in the United States!
How sad it is that weapons manufacture like Lockheed Martin receive $23 billion annually, 10 times the entire UN Budget! Also, it is horrifying to me that the United States has become one of the worlds leading arms trade dealers. In fact, over the last ten years, United States arms trade in the world market has risen from 16% to 63%. Clintons Administration has shot up arms trade even more than President Bush or Reagan. In Rev. Douglas Wilsons Editorial "Clintons Real Failures and the Crisis in Washington" in The Center Post, he writes, "This is the kind of increase in market share that makes stock investors go wild, but these weapons get used on people. Some argue that if we dont sell arms, the French or the Chinese will. But, this ignores the possibility that the United States could provide moral leadership in the world. Instead, we are fueling and profiting from the conventional arms race."
In President Clintons official foreign policy he condemns oppressive totalitarian governments who violate human rights and commit war crimes all the while supplying the totalitarian governments like his own and worse with arms!
On the one hand, Mr. President wants to sound like a heroic peacemaker to the public. But, to his military friends, he helps them make profits on selling weapons. How insidious and just plain EVIL the arms trade is! Its Orwellian doublethink!
One WAND (Womens Action for New Directions) fact sheet reads, "Then theres the sales force: More than 6,000 federal government employees in three departments are assigned to help sell arms abroad, at a salary cost of $450 million a year. And the air showsbizarre "infomercials" for U.S. weaponscost the taxpayers another cool $26.5 million a year."
Since the end of the Cold War, there have been 50 nations involved in some kind of regional or ethnic conflict in which the United States has supplied 45 of these conflicts (one side or the other) with weapons to the tune of $42 billion. Among the U.S.s biggest customers are Turkey, Somalia, Liberia, Kenya, Zaire, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Haiti, Guatemala, Colombia, and Mexico. At one time, the United States sold only outdated weapons to "foreign countries". But now, U.S. weapons manufactures sell to weapon-buying nations all over the world the latest weapons of destruction such as top-flight aircraft, missiles, and bombers.
I witnessed the results of these weapons when I was in Turkey after the Habitat 2 conference in Istanbul. There were hundreds of homeless Kurdish children on the streets begging for money. Human Rights Watch estimated that the war has caused 19,000 deaths and has driven 2 million people from their homes. 2,200 Kurdish villages have been destroyed. How could I feel good about the United States trade deals with Turkey after witnessing that and other human rights abuses going on in Turkey?
Now, you figure out the logic of balancing the budget by cutting subsidies for women, people of color and children when the obvious cuts should be made to subsidies going for the government for research and development of weapons by the arms manufactures. These arms are then sold commercially without reimbursing the government for their development costs. WAND reports that the arms manufactures used to reimburse the government by imposing "recoupment" fees. However, President Clinton canceled these fees in 1995. WAND reports, "In 1995, U.S. companies sold about $12 billion worth of weapons to foreign buyers. But the foreign buyers didnt kick in the full cost; U.S. taxpayers paid for $7.1 billion in subsidies." Is there any "national security" left after the U.S. has sold weapons to nations that could then be shot at us, the innocent people of the world? I think NOT!!! I mean, how many people continue to be murdered or slaughtered in houses and streets in American cities and schools? Since 1980, 300,000 people and 1300 city police officers have been killed. The militarization of the world by the U.S. has not created a safe world in which to live!
In the Womens budget bulletin published by the Womens International League for Peace and Freedom "The focus on the deficit and the sexist and racist attacks on poor women and children are smokescreens for the real dynamic in national budget politics: using the federal budget to continue a giant transfer of wealth from low-income, middle class and working people to the wealthy and corporations that went into high gear in the early 80s." Throughout the bulletin it reads, "Which Would You Choose?" Perhaps the reader has heard this before, but I will repeat it:
Fund the F-22 fighter program for FY96 ($2.1 billion) or pay the annual health care expenses for 1.3 million American woman? Which one would you choose? The B-2 bomber program ($44 billion) or fund the childcare block grant for 44 years? Which one would you choose? Fund Seawolf attack submarines for FY96 ($1.7 billion) or provide low-income home energy assistance for 5.6 million households?"
By joining the military I knew Mike was making a terrible mistake. I gave him a copy of an article entitled, "Pentagon Poison: The Great Radioactive Ammo Cover-Up" by Bill Mesler which was published in the Nation May 26, 1997. The article explains how during the Gulf War in 1991 thousands of soldiers were exposed to radioactive ammunition made of uranium-238 or what they call depleted uranium (D.U.). The G.I.s were not warned about the health risks by the Pentagon even though the Pentagon knew as early as 1990 of the dangers. Mesler writes,
"as far back as 1990, the Pentagon was aware of concerns over the health effects and environmental impact of D.U., concerns that could make the weapon "politically unacceptable" and force the military to stop using what planners expected to be a revolutionary new weapon. One report completed by the Armys AMCCOM (radiological task group noted that "long term effects of low doses of [D.U.] have been implicated in cancer there is no dose so low that the probability of effect is zero."
Even though as early as the 70s U.S. forces had been introducing D.U. into their arsenals, it wasnt used until the Gulf War where it proved to be "the most devastating tank-killing ammunition ever used on the battlefield, accounting for about one-third of all Iraqi tank kills." Of course, the Army said that the new weapon helped save American lives by saving them in combat without even being conscious how they had polluted the entire region with D.U. poisoning! Former first lady from Greece, Margaret Papandreou, called for an investigation into Iraqis claims that the 300 to 800 tons of D.U. left behind by U.S. forces after the war is causing increased cancer rates in the Basra region.
The Army has denied that "low-level" radiation metals affected as many as 250,000 soldiers who were contained by D.U. "while fighting battles, saving comrades in smoking tanks, putting out fires, maintaining equipment, cleaning up battlefields and touring contaminated areas." Army officials have stated that D.U. was no more dangerous than "a 1950s TV set." Veteran advocates say that the government is denying that 100,000 to 690,000 soldiers are reportedly suffering from numerous persistent illnesses such as "skin rashes and lesions, liver and kidney damage, lung and bone cancer, leukemia and immune system damage, known illness of radiation poisoning, what has been called the Gulf War Syndrome, for two reasons.
One reason is so that the government doesnt have to pay compensation money to Gulf War veterans who come down with cancer in following years due to D.U. exposure. Secondly, because U.S. arms dealers dont want to give D.U. a bad name so that the military will forced to not use the "revolutionary new weapon." Even though the United Nations subcommittee in 1996 condemned its use, D.U. is sold by U.S. arms dealers to 16 other countries on the international opened market.
One of the saddest stories about D.U. told in Melsers story was about Gulf War vet Michael Florez who was a private in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment whose unit was moved to the Armys Blackhorse base at Doha, outside Kuwait City. He says,
"We were not informed of any D.U. contamination. Next to our water coolers were five or six fifty-gallon drums that didnt have lids. Two water coolers where on top of the drums that had lids. Just by chance after I filled up my canteen, I noticed inside the barrel were all these cords. I did not find out they were D.U. around until 1996." Hours later, four offices ordered the soldiers to move the water coolers, sealed them up and put a radioactive sign on them.
In 1994, when Florez got back from the Gulf War, he and his wife had twins. One had a birth defect. Florez said, "On his left arm, about one and a half inches past the elbow joint, the arm stopped growing. There is no hand. It looks like an amputation." With good reason Florez believes the birth defect was caused by his exposure to uranium during the Gulf War since Science discovered that in female rats, D.U. is passed to a developing fetus.
My friend Mike wouldnt take the article to read because he said that his mind was made up. The only future he had was to join the armed forces.
Dearest Beloved, I dont know who or where you are, but I deeply love you. Im writing you this message because writing about such a sinister power, I need you in my psychic. I can love you in the abstract even though we are not together in the flesh.
The place where I am now is the Green Mountain Camp, a childrens camp in the mountains of Vermont. The cabins remind me of the summer camp in the North Carolina mountains where I spent weeks of my summer... so as I walk along the camp from this workshop to another, I think back on my girlhood and wonder what happened to my girlhood friends? Are any of them dead now from radiation poisoning? I wondered how many of my camp friends had stillborns or babys that died in infancy, or babys who were born without hands or with Downs syndrome? Have any of my girlhood camp mates died of cancer caused by radiation they received from contaminated rain from the test sites in New Mexico?
I had read that in a 1991 study by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War that they predict that atmospheric nuclear testing will eventually cause 2.4 million deaths from cancer. Sadly enough, I have an intuition that my unexplainable infertility was a result of nuclear testing that occurred in the 50s when I was a little girl. Since one of the places that radioactivity in the body likes to attack is in ones gonads and ovaries, in our DNA perhaps that is why I was never able to get pregnant.
During forty years, 2,046 nuclear explosive tests were conducted. Subcritical nuclear testing is on going in the Nevada desert even with 1996 United Nations adopting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which will become law when all 44 nations with nuclear reactors sign it. Its a little funny that the "Bombs Away" newsletter of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP) calls the sub-critical testing "testus interruptus." It became clear to everyone reading Dr. Helen Caldicotts book Missile Envy, that missiles represent penises. And we all know that what kind of oral sex Clinton practiced with Monica Lewinsky another form of "testus interruptus." On September 1st, the Nevada Test Site was victim of another subcritical test which the military codenamed "Bagpipe."
In March, the mayor of Nagasaki wrote a letter to President Clinton warning him that if the U.S. proceeded to conduct these test, a new nuclear arms race could develop. However, Clinton disregarded his warning. States such as South Africa, North Korea, Brazil and states that inherited weapons from the former Soviet Union who have voluntarily agreed to forgo nuclear weapons have declared that it is up to the five nuclear weapons states [U.S., Russia, China, Britain, and France] to live up to their end of the bargain of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by making "systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate aim of eliminating those weapons." But when the U.S. conducted the Bagpipe test, the 4th in a series of tests, soon afterwards, India and Pakistan became nuclear nations by conducting their own nuclear test explosions.
The Clinton Administration has bought into the Science-Based Stockpile Stewardship (SBSS) program costing tax payers $40 billion over the next ten years. Under the Department of Energy, this program will build nine new laboratories, each of which have capabilities to design new nuclear weapons. Kathryn Schultz writes, "Scientists plan to bombard tritium and deuterium with laser beams in this football-sized complex to learn more about the effects of radiation which could be used to help scientists design new nuclear weapons with greater reliability, survivability, and lethality."
Recently, IMB announced that it has developed the worlds fastest supercomputer dubbed "Pacific Blue" for the Department of Energy. Silicon Graphics also announced that it had designed "Blue Mountain" computer which will "give weapons scientists improved scientific tools to analyze the safety and reliability of the nuclear stockpile."
"Pacific Blue" is capable of performing enough complex calculations to "maintain reliability of the nations nuclear weapons without conducting actual bomb tests," report officials. According to a spokesperson at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, Jeff Garberson said that the supercomputer will not replace subcritical nuclear experiments at the Nevada Test Site. According to officials those tests which use small amounts of plutonium but stop short of exploding nuclear chain reactions produce data about detonation of materials. Supercomputers are then used as part of the stockpile stewardship program to simulate a nuclear bomb test. These high-speed calculations will enable "U.S. scientists to maintain the reliability of atomic weapons stockpiles without having to conduct nuclear test, which are prohibited an international test ban treaty."
Senior Research Analyst Kathryn R. Schulz says that these tests and supercomputers corrupt the spirit of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It is dishonest to think that the "US has not conducted a nuclear weapons test explosion since 1992" as the Clinton Administration claims. Subcritical tests allow scientists to develop more advanced warheads of mass destruction."
Clinton keeps on repeating the dastardly deeds of the dystopian 20th Century and he doesnt even seem to understand the depth and danger that his own hypocrisy is leading us into. Within the nuclear states, there are a collective stockpile of over 20,000 nuclear weapons--strategic and tactical--7,000 of which could be ready to fire within a fifteen minute notice.
Needless to say, President Clinton is a hypocrite when it comes to being faithful to his wife and he is a hypocrite when it comes to "foreign policy." Women, Clinton is bad, and I mean BAD! And how Hillary would want to stand by a man who wouldnt even sign the ban land mine treaty has got to mean only one thing: she is even more rotten than he is! How could she continue to stand by her man as he announced, `Today, I ordered our armed forces to strike at terrorist-related facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan, three days after he confessed to his lies about the Monica Lenwinsky affair? Cant she see the connection of his attempt to cover-up this lie by a display of military force elsewhere on the globe? There is only one explanation for Hillarys actions, she is a bigger unconscionable power luster than he is!
President Clinton tells the American public that we can now rest at peace because there are no more Russian nuclear missiles pointing in our direction. But what he failed to say was that Communist Red Chinese Army nuclear missiles are programmed to strike major U.S. cities and transportation centers and Russian missiles can be reprogrammed within seconds to launch an attack against the United States.
Also, Clinton failed to tell the public that U.S. companies shipped Indian supercomputer software to the Indian manufacturer of "Prithvi" and "Agni" missiles on the same day he announced sanctions against India for conducting the five nuclear tests. Isnt this kind of cover-up Clintons strategy pattern? Howard Hobbs, general editor of the Daily Republican Newspaper in his article, "Nuclear melt-down in South Asia: a cautionary nightmare facing U.S.", writes,
"On that date Viewlogic Systems Inc. of Marlborough, Mass. reportedly shipped computer software for designing printed circuit boards to the Indian missile manufacturer after Clintons Commerce Department approved the sale, despite the fact that the buyer was Bharat Dynamics LTd, a well-known missile maker in India." India announced that the reason why it went ahead with the decision to test their nuclear weapons is because the U.S. has continued conducting subcritical tests.
After the Indian/Pakistan nuclear tests, on June 11th, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the hands of their doomsday clock from 14 to 9 minutes to midnight. Clintons response to the tests was that the testing, "repeat the worst mistakes of the 20th Century when we know it is not necessary to peace, to security, to prosperity, to national greatness or to personal fulfillment." Nevertheless, months prior to the Indian/Pakistan tests President Clinton reaffirmed in a Presidential Decision Directive that a first-use nuclear weapons policy "will remain a cornerstone of U.S. policy indefinitely."
IBM has also sold such software to the Russians.
Perhaps why I have become so sensitive to the important issues of our times is because my fertility, my genetic material has been terminated by The Nuclear Age. It appears that now, I have no other choice but to think in terms of specieshood to find a way for our beloved species to survive since the plutonium regime stopped my genetic material from being passed to the next generation. For me, the future can no longer be seen on an individual level, but only on a species level. As a non-childbearing woman, my duty is to save humanity by helping to put a stop to the poisonous power as the way to preserving the human species world soul. Certainly, I, a woman raised with all the privileges of being a United States citizen by birth, my ultimate responsibility is to do everything in my power to rebel from the plutonium regime of the plutocracy and create a Neutopian consciousness for planetary peace.
Funny the way things turn out in life! When I was in my 20s I told myself that I would not have a child in a world on the brink of nuclear war. How in good conscience could I bring a baby into such a political and environmental mess? Then when I was in my 30s the fall of the USSR meant the end of the Cold War. Peace groups were coming up with military conversion plans and it looked as though the time was ripe for the global de-militarization. At that point in time, I thought that maybe I would be able to give life to an offspring. But this optimism didnt last long when I realized that the military said it was downsizing its nuclear arsenal only to increase it conventional armed forces.
When I got into my 30s, I conveniently forget about the former promise I made to myself that I would not have a child unless the nuclear arms race was stopped and I was living in a communal childcare environment where I would be able to continue my work. I think that most people do this when they plan to bring a child into the world. They go into some kind of social amnesia, saying that everything is all right, and that their child will be fine.
Then, after several years of attempting to conceive a child with my former husband, I was diagnosed with unexplainable infertility.
President Clinton also has supported the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, which now includes Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic into the military alliance. Since the new members can not be defended by conventional means, the Unites States is obliged to defend them with the use of nuclear weapons if necessary. If any member of the alliance is attacked, the United States is responsible for defending its NATO allies.
The United States forward-based nuclear bombs are deployed in seven Western European countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Turkey and Great Britain. Non-nuclear countries are making their hardware certified as nuclear weapons delivery vehicles and are participants in the secret Cooperation Program.
The question arises as to if NATO breaks the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that was extended by the United Nations in 1995. The treaty states that non-nuclear NATO countries can not "transfer nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices or assume the direct or indirect management of such weapons or nuclear explosive devices."
To get around the NPT the argument goes that all nuclear weapons belong to the U.S. and Great Britain; NATO has no weapons. Thus, nuclear weapons have not been transferred to non-nuclear countries since U.S. and Great Britain own the nuclear weapons. These nuclear nations are the ones with the finger on the button even though non-nuclear NATO countries are actively involved in NATO nuclear planning and development of more advanced weapons, deployment of such weapons and systems of control, command, and communication.
In Alla Yaroshinskayas essay, "Does NATOs "Eastern Express" Carry Nuclear Weapons?: North Atlantic Alliances Feigned Innocence," he writes, "In their rhetoric of nuclear deterrent as a political instrument of peace, the European NATO countries continue to pursue a perfectly concrete goal, namely: the deployment of nuclear weapons in their territories give access to the U.S. nuclear planning, and this, in turn, enables the U.S. to assert itself each time as the leader of NATO."
When Byelorussia came up with the idea of creating a nuclear-free Europe, NATO allies kept silent. The U.S., Great Britain and France are also fighting a United Nations resolution entitled, 'Towards A Nuclear - Weapon Free World: The need for a New Agenda' (L48) sponsored by Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ireland, Lesotho, Liberia, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Samoa, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland,
Some of the articles the resolution calls for is that the nuclear states act in "good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control" fulfilling their obligations of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In the interim, the resolution calls on Nuclear Weapons States to proceed to de-alert their nuclear weapons and the removal of nuclear warheads from delivery vehicles. It also calls for the U.S. and Russia to bring START-II into action and begin to negotiate on START-III plans for nuclear disarmament. The resolution calls for nuclear-capable states (India, Pakistan, and Israel) that have not acceded to the NPT to halt their pursuit of nuclear weapons. And, it calls for an immediate world-wide conference on nuclear disarmament.
The U.S. is not backing the New Agenda because it wants to keep its strong hold of "nuclear might makes right" in Europe. Their fear is that a nuclear-free zone in Europe could create a European superpower that could rival U.S world domination. The U.S., U.K. and France signed the Hague and Geneva Conventions and have affirmed the Nureberg Principles. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that the threat or the use of nuclear weapons is a violation of the Law of War as defined in these conventions and principles. Thus NATO nuclear nations are obligated to respect the code of conduct in terms of abiding by nuclear disarmament.
Why NATO expansion makes the world into a much more dangerous place by breaking international humanitarian law and could incite a new Cold War is because NATO is an exclusive military alliance. Russia, who has thousands of nuclear weapons in Europe, is left out of the alliance. The West didnt seem to see the needs of Russia after the end of the Cold War and set up some kind of 1990s Marshall Plan to help the Russian people to emerge from its economic and political crisis. But, instead, it has divided Europe into two camps: those in NATO and those outside of NATO, leaving Russia to seek other alliances towards the East like with China. It was recently reported that China now has ICMBs that can hit the U.S.
At the end of the Cold War, Russia dissolved the Warsaw Pact, made a pledge to no-first-strike use of nuclear weapons and other unilateral moves. But now with NATO expansion, talk of disarmament has been paralyzed. Of course, the NATO expansion will not help people with basic needs, but will make more money for arms trade dealers. The estimated cost for NATO expansion is $167 million dollars over the next 13 to 15 years.
In an interview with David Krieger, Jane Bloomfield writes,
The great tragedy at the end of the Cold War was that the Warsaw Pact dissolved and NATO didn't. There should have been a mutual dissolution and a rethinking of European security structures based on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. If we could look fifty years into the future we could see that this could be the worst geopolitical decision since the Treaty of Versailles, which led to World War II.
Clearly, the creation and the expansion of the NATO Alliance undermines the authority of the United Nations to become the "peacekeepers" of the world and keeping it from evolving into a global structure for creating world-wide peace, justice and sustainable communities.
Everyone at the New England Action Camp is in agreement that nuclear power and weapons are the worst news in the world. If fact, we all know that it is the news that could lead to the destruction of the plant and animal world. American people are addicted to the poison fire of nuclear extinction. Karl Grossman, the journalist who has researched the nuclear issue for twenty years, showed us documents that called the nuclear establishment, the priesthood. But, let me assure you that this group at this action camp are here to overthrow that priesthood in non-violent ways by appealing to the common sense of the people.
Karls big passion these days is concentrating on the Cassini Outer Space missions that are fueled by plutonium. For those of you who havent seen his video "Nukes in Space" please find a copy and see it. If you want to see a blueprint of Hell in Space launched from Earth that is the most dystopian video you will ever see! He was inspired to start doing investigative research into NASA after the Spaceshuttle Challenger blew up. You see, the next Space Shuttle mission that was scheduled for launch was carrying the poisonous fire. If it had been the mission that had exploded, well, I dont know if I would be alive now to write this story.
When I see such videos as "Nukes in Space" I realize that nature was indeed kind to me for not granting me the gift of conception since bringing an innocent baby into such an environmentally polluted and politically corrupt world could possibly be the ultimate act of insanity. "Nukes in Space" has got to be the most pernicious plan that human beings could possibility think of for the future of Outer Space. Even though the below treaties and principles about the peaceful use of space exists, the United States continues to plan for launching Outer Space weapons of mass destruction.
Article IV of the Outer Space Treaty (1966 - ratified by 91 countries):'States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner.
'The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military maneuvers on celestial bodies shall be forbidden. The use of military personnel for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes shall not be prohibited. The use of any equipment or facility necessary for peaceful exploration of the moon and other celestial bodies shall also not be prohibited.'
You see, dear folks, the Star Wars plan started by President Reagan didnt really die when he left office and the Cold War threat no longer was a reality during the Bush Presidency. Even though in Clintons campaign rhetoric he promised to end Star Wars, what he did when he was elected into office was to simply change the name of the Star Wars program to Ballistic Missile Defense and kept feeding it billions of dollars for research and development. Most of this money went into Theater Missile Defense systems. In fact, since the launching of Star Wars, $50 billion has been spent on space-weapons systems. No wonder Bill gets the name of Slick Willy with the slimy things he does to cover up his monumental lies!
There are two types of "ballistic missile defense" (BMD) systems which are designed to keep the U.S. safe from missile attacks: Theater Missile Defense (TMD) which are used to keep U.S. troops "safe" from short-to-medium-range incoming missiles like those used in the Gulf War against Iraqi Soviet-built Scud missiles. The U.S. Patriot air-defense system succeed in shooting down some of Saddam Husseins missiles, but not as many as previously thought. The other type is called the National Missile Defense (NMD) that is a system of detectors and interceptors designed to protect the U.S. from overseas missile attacks.
Last April, Congress passed the American Missile Protection Act, which reads, "It is the policy of the United States to deploy, as soon as technologically possible, an effective National Missile Defense system capable of defending the United States against a limited ballistic-missile attack."
This policy is an effort to stop the possibility of a small number of long-range missiles holding the U.S. hostage to an armed country like North Korea, Iran, Pakistan or a terrorist group. There is no one who still believes that a "peace shield" can be developed to defend us from a large-scale attack by a superpower like Russia. The American Missile Protection Act doesnt violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that allows both the U.S. and Russia to one site for 100 missiles.
The scene for the use for national ballistic missiles goes like this: a hostile nuclear nation develops the capability to launch an attack against its superpower tyrant, the United States. At the time of the attack, it loads up the nuclear warhead into a long-range missile and jettisons it out into Outer Space to hit its target of L.A. or New York City on the other end of the ocean. The National Missile Defense system would then detect the missile flying towards the U.S., would calculate its path in Outer Space, meet it and blow it up high enough in the atmosphere so that the radioactive fall-out would not cause any damage to the population.
According to Fred Kapan Boston Globes recent article 10/24/98 the most "promising" NMD are called, Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. It has failed all five of its tests on the Nevada test site, not hitting even the most straight forward target! John Pike, a weapons specialist at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington said, "It is absolutely without human precedent that such a large amount of money has just vanished into thin air." But even so, the Pentagon received one billion more dollars than it asked for in this years budget compromise for development of THAAD even though these missiles have yielded no "success." Nevertheless, the increase was a compromise to give Clinton one billion to hire more schoolteachers in exchange for the THAAD Pentagon money.
The Clinton administrations policy on development of THAAD is called 3 plus 3. The Pentagon has three more years to develop this missile system and if after three years their test yields "success", then they have an additional three years to deploy the system if it is "cost effective and there is a threat." Defense Secretary William Cohen, says this schedule is prudent because it takes the CIA three years to tell if another country is about to field an ICMB.
NASA and the militarys alliance towards nuclear power and weapons in space got tighter after NASAs budget was cut when missions to the moon were ended. Since the military wanted to continue to develop Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL) which got its start as part of the Star Wars program, it needed to switch its power source from burning chemical fuel which burns more than 2 million watts of energy for a 6-foot-wide laser beam to nuclear power since in Outer Space there is a "power limitation". On Outer Space battle platforms, there is not enough space for the large chemical energy system used for MIRACL which was originally designed for on ground operations. The militarys answer to this problem is to move nukes in space. "New World Vistas" stated that, "A natural technology to enable high power is nuclear power in space."
Gen. Joseph W. Ashy said when he was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Space Command, "We will engage terrestrial targets somedayships, airplanes, land targetsfrom space. We will engage targets in space, from space. Its politically sensitive, but its going to happen. Were going to fight from space, and were going to fight into space." The military claims that these laser systems can blast satellites into bits from satellites orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth.
Another plan for acquiring large amounts of energy in Outer Space is the "Sun Tower" model that consists of several satellites in a modular structure resembling a large sunflower pointed towards Earth. If this form of energy becomes financially viable, the project will be built within the next several decades by the commercial sector.
Regina Hagen explains the project in her article, "Military Interest in Space-Based Solar Power", The transmitter is the flower, the sun collectors are the leaves (each ~50m in diameter) along the stem or backbone which is 3-5 km long, and used to stabilize the structure as well as to conduct the energy to the transmitter. The transmitter is a dish ~200m wide, and would transmit a 5.8 GHz microwave beam to a large receiver on earthlandbased or seabasedfrom where the power can be fed into a grid."
The "Sun Tower" model makes solar energy from Outerspace into a centralized control of energy generation that would mean more control by Corporate America over "foreign" states. Such a plan doesnt turn towards the sun and the peaceful use of Outer Space for the benefit of all humankind but will only strengthen the current form of globalization by the plutocracy. The Department of Defense foresees the use of the "Sun Tower" in a dual-use mode as energizing space weapons by buying limitless energy on demand.
Since NASA wanted to follow the money, it compromised the Outer Space Treaty on the peaceful use of space, and went forward with militarization and nuclearization of Outer Space, rejecting using safe solar photovoltaic cells which are underdevelopmented to fuel the Cassini space probe to its destination in search for life on Saturn and its satellite Titan. Solar Photovoltaic cells will be used by the European Space Agencys space probe Rosetta that will orbit Jupiter and meet up with a comet. Instead, Cassini mission was designed to be a 72 pound plutonium-fueled probe being cast into Outer Space by a Titan 4 rocket.
Titan 4 rockets have been known to blow up on launching as happened on August 12th, 1993 in California. Of the 25 Titan 4 launches, two have resulted in catastrophic accidents. It is still unclear which poisons were released in the most recent accident. But, people were told my government authorities to stay away from the debris. With the launch of Cassini, the nuclearization of Outer Space began, on ironically enough, on Columbus Day 1997. This day marks the start of nuclear colonialization.
Unless NASA can be stopped and the probe is reprogrammed to be consumed by the sun, Cassini mission with its 72 pounds of plutonium is scheduled to come flying by the Earth at 42,300 miles per hour, 496 miles overhead so that a "slingshot maneuver" using the Earths gravity will slingshot it to Saturn. The official Cassini mission is to explore Saturn and its satellite Titan for signs of life. But, the unofficial mission is to launch the nuclearization of Outer Space. If the probes rocket misfires or other malfunctions occur, an "inadverent reentry" into the 75-mile high Earth atmosphere is likely. The probe would break up and plutonium would rain down to Earth infecting "five billion of the estimated 7 to 8 billion world population at that time could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure" it says in the "Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission." But if the Cassini flyby goes by without a malfunction there are other plutonium missions planned in the future.
So, Affectionate One, this summer camp is much different than the summer camps I went to in my youth when I spent my time being care free, riding horses, or passing time at the arts and crafts cabin. This camp is the North East Action camp for a nuclear free world. Experts from the anti-nuclear power movement are here giving workshops from nuclear weapons in Outer Space to what do is wrong with your local nuclear power reactor.
The week will end with an act of civil disobedience at the Vermont Yankee Atomic Power Plant. The revolutionary goal of this group is nothing less than to shut down all the reactors and then to clean up the most toxic mess the human race has ever known by building a new world of renewable energies. And there is a lot of shutting down to do! More than 3,900 square miles are given over to nuclear weapons research, testing and production complex in the United States. That landmass is more than total the area of Delaware, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia combined.
This action camp will be the model so that other action camps can follow suit to tactical their local power plants throughout the world. We MUST stop this world-wide insanity!
How I found out about the encampment was after I went to the rally on the Town Commons of Brattleboro. My friends and I drove to the encampment to check it out before I decided to pack my bags and stay for the week. But after seeing the camp, I had to come back, not only because I totally believe in the cause of the anti-nuclear power movement, but because a community of activists was forming. Like-minded people would be sharing the work loads to make the encampment function. The encampment was a way that I could break out of my social isolation for a week. I would be with intelligent people discussing the important issues of our times and for all life to come, reflecting back on the beginning of the nuclear age to try to understand our past situation so that we can act wisely for the future. Yes, a deep core reason why I went to the encampment was to find a sense of community.
From listening to the speakers, it is quite clear that nuclear scientists and politicians made a Faustian bargain with the Devil of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear waste. Yes, folks, follow the money and you will find out what the story of our demise is all about, the story about poison fire as Joanna Macy calls the waste of all wastes. It wastes everything because everything that touches radioactive waste becomes contaminating: bulldozers, top-soil, sub-soil, and human beings, even dead who have been buried in led coffins so that they dont continue to contaminate the living for eons! And I mean eons!
The half-life of radioactivity can only be counted in geological time frames because the half-life of plutonium is half a million years. In a Citizens Awareness Network (CAN) flier on nuclear waste it reads, "Radioactive nickel (disposed of in shallow unlined trenches in the desert and classed as "low-level nuclear wastes) remains radioactive for as long as three million years." Who can think in terms of three million years? The government certainly cant. They think in terms of containment canisters that will not hold the deadly poison for millions of years! What is worst is that they want to ship it all over the planet to nuclear wastes dumps on our highways, over the railroads, and in ships where the stuff will be out of sight, out of mind.
In the next 30 years, they plan on more than 15,000 shipments. A large train cask shipment carries the "radiological equivalent of 200 Hiroshima bombs". These casks have only been tested by computer tests, not by actual accident situations. The anti-nuclear movement calls the shipment of nuclear wastes around the world mobile-Chernobyl because at some point in the future it is more than likely that a shipment of radioactive cargo is going to get into an accident! After all, how many people die in car wrecks each year? It is not like our highways are safe! The Department of Energy estimates that there will be at least 15 highway accidents a year. Since most of the radioactive shipments routes run through major population centers, ¾ of the U.S. population are in danger. Do you really want a shipment of radioactive waste driving anywhere near your town?
The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in the former USSR is still causing food contamination. I read how this week a shipment of radioactive mushrooms picked for export in southern Bulgaria were found contaminated with radioactive cesium-237 from the Chernobyl explosion. These days you really need a Geiger-counter when you go grocery shopping because even organic vegetables could be poisoned from the poison fire in the rain, soil and even bird droppings.
In a recent article posted on the Internet, it said that officials at the Hanford nuclear reservation, which holds the largest volume of radioactive wastes from nuclear weapons from the 40 years it produced plutonium, that ants, fruit flies and gnats are thought to be responsible for thirteen spots of contaminated areas. The article reads, "Wet garbage in bins and garbage cans tested positive for radiation Tuesday. The worst spot found Tuesday was inside the roped-off area in wet garbage where flies and gnats had been. It measured 10 to 12 millirads per hour." Hey, folks, have you gotten the point yet that we live in a science fiction horror story where even insects, earthworms, and frogs are carriers of the poison fire?
So what do we do with the waste? CAN has adopted the idea of Joanna Macy that we should think of the waste in new terms, that we are the guardians of the waste. First off, we need to immediately stop producing any more waste. Secondly, we need to become the spiritual guardians of the waste, to worship it in a way that allows us to come to terms with the denial we live under during the Nuclear Age. CAN writes, "The wastes we already have should be kept on site in monitored, retrievable storage. Unlike geological burial (which by its nature is one of the least reversible options imaginable), this method would allow future generations to make their own decisions about what to do with our toxic legacy."
The CAN flier stresses how important it is for the knowledge about the poison fire to be passed down from generation to generation and not just to bury the deadly waste and forget about it. After 10,000 years human languages change or go extinct. There has to be passed-down knowledge about it or else our future species will be totally ignorant of the threat of thousands of tons of deadly waste we left behind seeping into the water table. Even now, even after the end of the Cold War, the United States continues to produce 6.5 tons of nuclear wastes a day!
Since waste containers will not last as long as the half-life of nuclear wastes, it just makes common sense to not bury the waste as the federal government proposes to do at Yucca mountain, a sacred Shoshone Nation site in Nevada. Oh, yes, some critics of the Yucca Mountain central storage facility are saying that it is a government conspiracy to put it there since the site is in-between the Ghost Dance and Solitaris Canyon earthquake faults. There are also seven dormant volcanoes in the area which scientists guarantee will not become active during the 10,000 year period.
The state of Nevada which doesnt even have a nuclear power plant (just a nuclear test site) doesnt have much political power in the Congress, so it is one of these "I dont want it in my back yard" type of political situations. If the Congress votes to have the facility at Yucca Mountain, the people of Nevada cant stop it through governmental channels. Robert Loux, director of Nevadas Agency for Nuclear Projects, states, "Yucca Mountain is not a safe site and cannot be made a safe site. It was not selected because it has some phenomenal properties, but because we had the smallest delegation to Congress and were not in a position of power." Loux explains that to ensure Yucca Mountain makes the grade, the Environmental Protection Agency has lowered its standards for radiation levels as a nuclear-waste repository three times since 1987.
The government has brainwashed Congress that Yucca Mountain is the best site to bury the waste for 10,000 years since the rain fall is low. Scientists thought that it would take 1,000 years for the four inches of annual rainfall in the region to make it down to the containment chambers. But what has been discovered is that it takes rainwater only 40 years to reach the chambers that must be kept stable and dry for 10,000 years.
So, dearest reader, cant you see the logic of keeping nuclear waste above-ground where it can be recontained and routinely monitored for leaks and repaired until we can find a place and the technology which is necessary for a long-term storage facility? Under the governments plan, the NRC allows for "acceptable" leakages in the containment facilities. But we all know that no level of exposure to radioactive material is "acceptable" and no leakage in the water table is safe! Yucca Mountain is not the only nuclear containment facility planned to be built. There is also Ward Valley, California near the Colorado River and Sierra Blanca, Texas.
During the encampment, I got a chance to talk with Texas businessman and rancher, Bill Addington. He gave me his card that reads underneath his name "Save Sierra Blanca". He and others from Sierra Blanca had come all the way from Texas to talk with Vermont legislators about the problem of shipping "low" level radioactive wastes to their small, poverty-stricken town on the border Mexico, 16 miles from the Rio Grande River where 70% of people live below the poverty line and 40% are Hispanic. Even though Governor Bush calls it "low" level waste it is really not since the deal includes "plutonium (hazardous for 1/2 million years), radioiodines (some hazardous for 320 million years), strontium-90 (abone-seeker which causes bone cancer and leukemia, hazardous for 560 years) and other intensely radioactive elements".
The site for the proposed nuclear waste dump is on Texas most active earthquake zone. I know it is hard to believe that Texas Governor Bush would allow this violation of the environment and public safety to go in. But he has as well as the three state legislators involve in the deal and the U.S. Congress approved the Texas/Maine/Vermont Radioactive Waste dump Compact bill.
I guess Governor Bush couldnt resist the $50 million offered to Texas by Vermont and Maine to take care of their waste from aging nuclear power plants and the $55 million released by the Federal government when Clinton signed the law to begin digging the pit for the dump. Also, nuclear waste from nuclear weapons plants and other commercial plants will be trucked into the Andrews County site. The current plan will allow the trucking of highly radioactive waste through Dallas-Ft. Worth and through San Antonio on its way to destination to the Sierra Blanca dump. Even though creating a dump near the Mexican border is in violation of the 1983 LaPaz Agreement between the United States and Mexico prohibiting environmental degradation within 100km or 60 miles of international borders, President Clinton went ahead and approved the creation of the facility. The Mexican Federal Congress and five Mexican states unanimously oppose the facility. But what the heck! Mexico is only a second-rate power that the United States can bully!
The Compact Law violates Clintons own 1994 Executive Order on Environmental Justice that prohibits federal agencies that support projects that are discriminatory. Federal agencies involved in this discrimination against Sierra Blanca are the US Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is very clear that the mainly white, rich New England states are guilty of the crime of "environmental racism" since trucking their waste to a minority town in Texas where people who didnt have the financial resources to fight the bill is an act of big time "environmental racism."
Congress passed a bill that would guarantee Maine and Vermont the right to use the dump for their aging nuclear reactors, and allows a governor-appointed commission the right to contract with any other state, country, or entity to also use the dump. The fact is that 95% of radiation that has been produced since the beginning of the Nuclear Age comes from irradiated fuel from civilian nuclear power plants. The other 5% also includes nuclear weapons production.
So, brave anti-nuke comrades, of course, the first step is to stop the production of more nuclear wastes! But the sick government and private industry is still seeking ways to make money of the hot stuff. They are starting to "recycle" hot materials. So next time you buy a new Ford automobile, it might be built with such radioactive material. Or next time you eat meat, it might have been irradiated by "recycled" radioactive material, from the Department of Defense.
Isnt it terrible that their solution to public health problems caused by contaminated beef is through food irradiation? Yes, thats right folks, to solve problems caused by "unsanitary, inhumane and environmentally destructive factory farming practices," food corporations and the nuclear industry have come up with plans to build processing facilities using radioactive cobalt 60 and cesium 137 to irradiate beef and poultry! New chemical substances called radiolytic products created through irradiation are known carcinogens like benzene. Well, that is another good reason to become a vegetarian and stop the violence that goes on in slaughterhouses!
Well, Love, after taking you on the journey of our nuke madness, we reach the good news of the resistance to the insanity on all levels of public action, from government officials who vote for anti-nuclear policies, to whistle blowers within the nuclear industry, to generals and admirals who turn into doves, to ecofeminists who see the connection between sexual lies and militarism, to grass roots letter writing and call-in campaigns to stop the nuclear corruption, to plowshare actions to turn missiles into plowshares, to nuclear "sites of crime" inspections by citizens, and various non-violent acts of civil disobedience by countless brave souls. Truly to act against the plutonium regime is a true act of spiritual conviction for the future of our dear species. Taking action against nukes makes one spirit come alive and reconnects us to the global community of justice, peace, and love.
A victory for the anti-nuclear movement came in just the other day when the Texas Natural Source Conservation Commission who had the power to issue a permit for the proposed radioactive waste dump voted 3-0 against the Sierra Blanca dump. Their stated reason was the proposed dump location was on an earthquake fault and an adequate study of the socio-economic impact on the surrounding community had not been done.
But Bill Addington of the Save Sierra Blanca and others felt the real reason the dump being defeated was that it become an international issue. Last October 12th, international bridges between Juarez and El Paso were blocked by Mexican students in protest of dump. Juarez City Council member Jose Luis Rodriguez started a 30-day hunger strike against the proposed dump. 800 school children created banners in support of Rodriguez. Endorsing such a controversial issue could have alienated U.S.-Hispanic voters from Gov. George Bush who is considering becoming a presidential candidate in the 2000 presidential election. However, on a more positive note, Richard Boren wrote in his article "The Dance for Life: Victory in Sierra Blanca, "The matachines represent spirituality, unity, courage, and a great love for Mother Earth. This is why we won. We practically had no money, but we had justice on our side."
In Gorleben, Germany for five days in May 1997, 15,000 protesters blocked nuclear waste shipments coming in from southern Germany in a series of sit-in blockades. Nuclear resistance against building a nuclear waste disposal center in that area had been going on for two decades. But, this caused one of the greatest protest, resulting in 173 injured, 500 arrested and the largest show of force against the people in Germany since World War II. 30,000 police were used to police the delivery of six castor nuclear waste containers weighing 500-plus tons by rail and road to the depot costing the German Republic $53 million.
One tactic the police used against the protesters was firing "water cannons" mixed with tear gas at them in the freezing cold nights. But this failed to deter the protesters when the press donated 50 meters of plastic sheet to protect the protesters. Police forbade journalists from documenting the police brutality and actions of the protester. However, at the New England Action Camp, documentary artist, Mads Estesen gave a wonderful and inspiring slide show of the photographs he took of the demonstration.
Even though the six castors made it to the disposal center despite the efforts of the protesters, the newly elected Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, and his coalition of Social Democrats and Green Environmentalists have sworn to carry out an anti-nuclear energy policy in Germany. They have now started the process of closing down their nineteen nuclear power plants.
Germany has also questioned the NATO alliances policy of first-strike use of nuclear weapons. The United States, Britian and France were shocked and angered by this questioning of first-strike policy by Germans because they believe that "nuclear weapons have played a key role in ending the Cold War, and they remain a key element in ensuring the coupling of the security of North America and Europe." Germanys argument against the idea that nuclear weapons are a deterrent is that since the Cold War has eneded and the threat from the Soviet Union has vanished, then a no-first-use pledge is necessary to lead the way to nuclear disarmament.
Another big victory for the anti-nuclear movement was when the proposed nuclear waste dump to be built at Ward Valley, a site near the Colorado River, was canceled. This victory occurred after anti-nuclear activists and members of the Five Lower Colorado Indian tribes occupied Ward Valley after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) tried to close Ward Valley from the public. The occupation began when Five Lower Colorado River Indian Tribes, Fort *Majave, Chemehuevi, Cocopah, Quechan, and Colorado River Indian Tribesconducted religious ceremonies in the middle of Water Road while non-Native Americans protesters protected them by forming a blockade line. 25-30 dump opponents created a resistance encampment named "Silyaye Aheace Village" which lasted for 113 days. During that time, representatives from the Colorado River Native Nations Alliance met with Department of the Interior officials demanding an end to the proposed dump site. On May 29th, the Department of Interior announced that they believed "the California Department of Health Services (DHS) lacks the authority to buy federal land in Ward Valley for use as a dump. The California Assemblys Democratic leadership said in an April 1998 letter to Interior Secretary Babbitt that the $500,000 that US Ecology (the proposed dump operator) gave the DHS to buy the land was an illegal gift." You can say that again, since all the land in the Americas is stolen land and thus an illegal gift!
At the New England encampment, I met Susi Snyder, 21, who can come all the way from Nevada to be with us. She moved from New York City to Nevada to be part in the Shundahai Network. Shundahai means "Peace and Harmony with All Creation". Their main goal is to stop the Nevada Test site. During the last subcritical nuclear weapons test, Susi and Reinard Knutsen climbed the Foley Federal Building in Las Vegas and locked themselves together to a metal pipe. Susi writes in an email:
Thanks, it was a good action. We stayed on top of the building for about three hours before they got us down, and then only after they closed off the street and brought in the fire department to remove us. We were brought to the Federal jail, and then released after an hour. Our court dates just arrived, November 3rd, and the charges are for "Non-Conformity with direction during a demonstration" and "Disturbance of the operations of a Federal building". So well see what happens.
Sadly, the test went off on September 26th, at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. Five people were arrested inside the site protesting this hypocritical test. It was the second of four planned for this year. There are plans to do many more due to the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program. The testing on Western Shoshone land must stop, and that link on the nuclear chain broken.
Today is November 3rd. As you can tell, dear reader, this essay about nukes is not based on linear time, so the essay jumps around past, future, present times, from local time to global time to cosmic time, from the temporal to the eternal. This morning I wrote Susi an email to tell her that my thoughts and prayers are with her as she goes up against the Nuclear Establishment for her courageous actions against the testing of nuclear weapons. Other anti-nuclear weapons activists are presently serving prison sentences for their non-violent actions against the utter insanity of the State.
Phil Berrigan, 73, and a group who called themselves "Prince of Peace Plowshares" from Baltimores Jonah House, were given a two year jail sentence after they pounded their hammers and poured their blood onto warheads at a U.S. Navy shipyard in Maine. Since the Plowshares actions against nuclear weapons stated in the early 80s, more than 55 such actions have occurred. In Charles A. Radins article "Warriors for Peace," he reports that the Prince of Peace Plowshares line of defense was that the God of the secular state has become nuclear weapons as "the protector, savior, and ultimate solution." Thus U.S. courts of such a God of Destruction are temples of blasphemous religion. However, Chief Judge Gene Carter, of the US District Court for Maine, who was residing over the case said that "Nuclearism is not recognized in law as an organized religion. This is not relevant." He forbade the activists from being able to make connections between their symbolic anti-war actions against government property and the victims of nuclear weapons and social injustice. Radin writes, "They are barred from presenting their belief that it was necessary to break the law against damaging government property in order to prevent a greater evil."
The activists answer to this is that the great advances in social justice and peace have come because individuals such as King, Gandhi, the 19th Century abolitionists and fugitive slaves, Jesus and the Old Testament prophets led social movements which defied the state in order to free the people from social oppression. Phil Berrigan writes, "Peace is not false tranquility that is the absence of war. It is this vital and vigorous thing that is on-going as you and I work out our problems of love and justice. Peace is always built on justice." In this contest between religious morality and political law, the cruelty and ignorance of the Nuclear Empire found the Prince of Peace Plowshares guilty of conspiracy and destruction of government property, sentencing them to a Federal prison.
News flash! A report just came over the NukeNet listserve! A Federal judge in Colorado has convicted 25 year old Oliver Sachio Coe and Daniel Sicken of conspiracy, sabotage and destruction of government property. They committed a Plowshare action at a nuclear missile silo when they clipped through a fence, smashed a silo with sledgehammers, and painted it with paint mixed with their own blood. He and his companion could get up to 30 years in prison and a 750,000 fine. They were offered a plea bargain with Federal prosecutors for a reduced sentence. However, the men wanted their day in court to be able to put nuclear weapons on trial. According to Adam Gellers article in the Bergen Record he writes, "the two activists told jurors they had no intent to interfere with national defense, arguing that the missile they attacked was intended for offensive "first-strike" use rather than to defend the nation." The jury rejected their defense since they were found guilty and sentenced to six years.
International Lawyer, Frances Boyle, has an essay on the Abolition 2000 Web site that all anti-nuclear resisters should read. It is entitled, "The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence." In his essay he outlines agreements anti-nuclear resisters should raise to create a good case against the governments nuclear weapons stockpiles by using international law. His basic conclusions are: "(1) that both the threat and use of nuclear weapons are criminal; and (2) that nuclear deterrence itself is criminal." Thus, all nuclear weapons are illegal under international law, offensive as well as defensive nuclear weapons! Boyle writes, "Nuclear deterrence is illegal and criminal because it is based upon a credible threat to do something that has been illegal and criminal since at least the time of the 1945 Nuremberg Charter: the mass extermination of civilian population centers." He continues:
During the course of their direct testimony, anti-nuclear resisters must explain their basic understanding and knowledge of the technical characteristics of the specific nuclear weapons system that they acted against. In addition, they should also try to explain in their own words that at the time they undertook their act of anti-nuclear resistance, this specific nuclear weapons system stood in gross violation of the United Nations Charter; the
Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles; the Genocide Convention and its Implementation Act; the Hague Regulations; the Geneva Conventions and Protocol I; the Hague Neutrality Conventions; U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10
(1956); the 1996 World Court Advisory Opinion; as well as basic principles of international humanitarian, the laws of war, and international environmental law. Their act of anti-nuclear resistance was intended and designed for the express purpose of terminating ongoing inchoate criminal activity under well recognized principles of international law that have been fully subscribed to by the United States government itself.
What we have got to establish as anti-nuclear resisters is that we are appealing to a higher moral order that is based on international humanitarian law, evolving away from national defense arguments! Coe and Sicken played into the whole national defense rhetoric by saying that they damaged a missile that was offensive rather than pointing out that all nuclear weapons are criminal and against international law!
Francis Boyles had his day in court defending the Gods of Metal Plowshares Five using international law. The Gods of Metal Plowshares were arrested after the group of two nuns, two priests and a grandmother took hammers a B-52 bomber that was on display at the Andrews Air Force Base open house. Their defense was that the B-52 is a strategic nuclear weapon "incapable of distinguishing between military and civilian targets," designed to unleash, "powerful and prolonged radiation" with horrific long-term effects. International humanitarian law states that the threat or use of such weapons is illegal and criminal in any circumstance and that U.S. laws are binding to these rules. International law is U.S law. Thus, the nuclear weapons and B-52s break the Non-proliferation Treaty, by developing such weapons.
The court then ruled that even though the B-52 was designed to enact mass destruction, it was not armed at the time of the opened house. Anabel Dwyer writes in her article about the case, "If the Court held that the B-52 in question was legal because it was disarmed at the Andrews Air Force Base show, further disarmament could not constitute harm or depradation but only add to its legality in a further disarmed state."
Another argument used in their defense was that under international and U.S law, the defendants had the "privilege, right or duty to interfere with or stop harm."
But all the Court could see was that the defendants intended "to desecrate US property" beyond a reasonable doubt. Concluding her article Dywer writes, "US law, used in this case to protect and condone the B-52, cannot and does not negate or supersede the rules and principles of humanitarian law any more than the law of the Third Reich could legitimize plans for and executions of mass murder."
I find it extremely sad that during the latest display of military force against Saddam Hussein and the Iraqic people the U.S. threatened to use of B-52 bombers to drop 3,000 pound bombs from 30,000 feet. Iraq is a starving country due to the eight years of economic sanctions that have killed more than 1.6 million people according the UN statistics. Unable to sell oil, the Iraqi economy is in ruins. After more than 9,000 UNSCOM inspections, it is clear that Iraq is a poor Third World country which doesnt have the military force to be a threat to its neighbors. According to Brian Becker of the International Action Center, in his Iraq analysis, he says that it is the United States who has "taken over" the region. Now there are thousands of U.S. soldiers, warships, bombers, fighter planes permanently positioned throughout the Persian/Arbian Gulf. Becker writes:
The truth about the U.S.-Iraq confrontation is simple. The US. political/economic/military establishment wants to overthrow the current Iraqi government and replace it with a Saudi or Kuwaiti-type regime. Saddams crime in the eyes of the U.S. imperialist establishment is that he is not the Emir of Kuwait, he is not King Faud of Saudi Arabia, he is not Sheik Zhayeed of the UAE.
He is not an absolute puppet. The Baathist regime in Iraq, which has its social roots in the profound anti-feudal and colonialist revolution of 1958, nationalized western oil companies that had entirely dominated and made super-profits from the countrys vast oil reserves.
In the Gods of Metal Five Plowshares case, the court ruled that B-52s did not count as a lethal weapon of mass destruction. So, I sincerely hope that anyone reading this essay comes away with the thought of who the real criminals are along with the Nuclear Establishment, such as Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, Chase Manhattan and the Citibank!
I am convinced with all my heart and soul that people who act on their conscious against war and for building a healthy, holy world community of peace and love are the heras and heroes of our time and for all time to come. Dywer is correct when she states that a court system that would convict the Gods of Metal Plowshare Five to prison means that all of us are in danger. She goes on to state that if such people can be imprisoned, then all law-abiding people should also be in prison. To quote Gandhi, "A government that is evil has no room for good men and women except in its prisons."
Our ultimate goal must be to foster a concept of global management of nuclear waste and disarmament of nuclear weapons. It seems as though we are waiting for the spark that sets off a world-wide disarmament which the police forces around the world can not stop. Such a mass movement is the only way I foresee us gaining the necessary power needed to build ecological cities, arcologies of love.
The encampment created a lot of highs and low moments for me. The high point was that I was with very highly awake individuals who were all discussing and sharing knowledge about the danger our species is confronting. The nuclear issues is certainly one of the most gruesome environmental problem we have to face; however, people were making connections between all the other environmental and social problems we must address if our species is going to reach a critical level of enlightenment needed to survive.
The issue of nuclear war represents the end of all other issues. If we cannot figure a way out of the nuclear problem, then I dont believe we will find the pathway to solve all the other problems. So politically, I felt being at the encampment that I was in the right place at the right time. But there were other moments that I felt that there was no room in the movement for my unique contribution. And what is my contribution? It was such a rare environment for me to be living with a group of like-minded individuals. Since my political personality had been so suppressed most of my life because of this social isolation that I hardly know where my gifts fit into the movement.
I know as a utopian scholar and social visionary that my path must be with pulling together problems so that we can have a comprehensive vision of how to free ourselves of patterns of massive self-destruction. I imaged myself as some kind of ecofeminist organizer within the resistance community movement. In this role, I saw myself as a bridge between the movement and the media, part of a group think-tank whose function is to come up with creative actions against the State. Heck, I guess you could say that I thought of myself as a social architectress within the world-wide struggle against the Nuclear establishment.
Now, the problem with this ideal image of myself is that in order for me to be free to self-actualize this self-awarenes, I need to be recognized for holding these gifts within the movement. Here is where the problem comes in and where I have not yet found the means to free myself of social alienation and isolation so that I can become a social architectress constructing a neu way of living that *is* environmentally and spiritually sane. It seems obvious to me that it is not enough to just eliminate nuclear power and weapons, but we must also build a society based on a womens economy and world-wide grid of solar energy. The following email exchange expresses some of these ideas.
From neutopia Sun Oct 25 15:58:51 1998
Subject: Sun Tower
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 15:58:51 -0500 (EST)
I read your article on space weapons. Thank you very much for the article. I have one question for you: If the Sun Tower could be "owned" by an international organization like the UN, do you think it could be a way to energize the world as an alternative to fossil fuels and nukes?
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 21:45:39 +0100
From: Regina Hagen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Doctress Neutopia <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Sun Tower
Dear Doctress Neutopia,
(though my English is not bad, your 'name' doesn't make sense to me, sorry...)
International control of the Sun Tower? Interesting idea. I'm not sure, however, whether I like it. The US keep showing us how they sort of "control" the UN - and be it only by not paying the money they should or intimidating other nations to vote the way they want. No, I don't like the idea. I got the impression that any Space Solar Power station using microwave to transport the energy to Earth could be used as a weapon. In addition the health implications are not clear right now. And on top - I am not sure whether transporting all the stuff required to build the SSP stations wouldn't consume more energy than would eventually be sent back to Earth. But then I am not an expert - neither on space nor on energy. I don't know where you read my article. Maybe in the Global Futures Bulletin? If that's the case, you got an abridged version. I will attach the full article below.
Contact me if you want to discuss this issue further.
From neutopia Wed Oct 28 10:55:42 1998
Subject: Re: Sun Tower
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Regina Hagen)
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 10:55:42 -0500 (EST)
Doctress Neutopia is my pen name. I am a doctress of Future Studies. Neutopia is a word I made up which means a new good place. What I love to study is utopian thought: what is the good world and how do we create it?
I don't like the way the United States has become the bully of the world by pretending that the US is a democracy of intelligent people. This is not true. The fact is that many times the worst people get elected to office. We are trying to change this by getting big money out of politics, but it is difficult to go against the forces of global capitalism and concept of nationalism. The UN is composed of nation-states some powerful and other's powerless in the global market place. That is why I feel we need some sort of new global peace organization that works to build a global energy grid. We need to take NASA back to work for the people of the world, not the military. Have you seen the following site? http://www.geni.org/. I believe that we do need to create a world energy grid in the way Buckminster Fuller envisioned it. I would like to hear your opinion on the site.
I'm writing an article about nuclear power, weapons and waste which is why I am looking for alternative power sources to fuel a high-tech ecofeminist culture which is sustainable. I find the Sun Tower promising because perhaps it could be a source of solar energy for the world. But NOT under the direction of the present form of globalization that is dominating and destroying our world. I feel the real power shift is an internal one in which we move our allegiance from nationalism to being allied with an ideology based on specieshood and human rights.
Environmentalists in the US will be watching very closely what happens in Germany under the new government. Perhaps you will show us the way to disarm the nukes, build an sustainable economy, and work towards peace.
If you have more thoughts on the topic, I would like to hear them.
Back to the Action Camp. When I first arrived, I was somewhat nervous because I was alone, didnt really know anyone and wondered if I could find someone help me pitch my tent. At the registration table, I asked for help and one of the CAN organizers volunteered to help me. We proceeded to go to the campgrounds only to discover that I had not brought all the parts necessary to pitch the tent. So we went back to the registration tables, told them the problem, and they said that they would find a place for me in one of the cabins.
When I got to my cabin, I was surprised to find out that they were co-ed. Why I was surpassed was because as a girl scout, I never thought of sleeping beside the opposite sex in a girl scout cabin! Getting to my cabin called, "The Ritz", I chose a top bunk and laid out my sleeping bag as I introduced myself to Mick and Moon, a father and daughter who would be sleeping opposite me.
My first night in the cabin was ruff. There were eight of us in the cabin. The light for the bathroom was shining in my face, the noise from the water pump or whatever it was, made this place in the sticks sound like civilization. I never sleep well my first night in a new place. But what was so interesting during my sleepless night with these anti-nuclear strangers were my thoughts about family. Mick was snoring, Moon was moaning, the other two women were farting, the children were having nightmares and talking in their sleep and I was wide awake wondering how in the world did I end up at an anti-nuclear encampment with a bunch of strangers. Where was my family? How did I end up so alone?
But as the week went on, these people became my friends and family. I got to hear their stories of how they became involved in the anti-nuclear movement. I heard their fears and anger about living in the Nuclear Age. I heard the horror stories of their family members dying on all sorts of cancers that they suspected were nuke related. I heard tales of how the propaganda from the nuclear industry had brainwashed them until family members and neighborhood friends started dying on cancers.
Moon, a beautiful teenager who was most concern with the fate of the forest told me about her mentor Julie Butterfly who has been staying in a redwood tree which she calls Luna for a year in an effort to stop the cutting down of the Redwoods by the Pacific Lumber Company. Mick, her father, was also involved with the Earth First type of save the forest campaign. The campaign he was working on now involved stopping paper industry from polluting anymore of our rivers and lakes with toxic chemicals.
Moon and Mick were involved in the civil disobedience workshop training sessions. Throughout the week they were thinking about if they should or should not get arrested. They told me stories of what had happened earlier in the summer at the Seabrook Nuclear power planet demonstration in New Hamphire. In that demonstration, some of the activists who were involved in the civil disobedience action were sprayed by police with pepper stray. The police picked out several of these protesters who were getting arrested, held them down, opened up their eye lips and with a cotton swab, put pepper stray in them.
Pepper stray makes your eyes feel like they are on fire. It is extremely painful and has a torturous effect and has been known to cause blindness and death. The Pepper spray treatment has also been used on Earth First protesters who chain themselves to trees in order to protect them from the loggers. Police come in with the pepper spray cotton swabs target one of the women chained to the tree, and then douse them with pepper stray. The screaming and chilling efforts of torture of the victim is designed to break the morale of the other protesters who are watching their comrade become blinded by the spray.
So you can see that making the decision to commit an act of civil disobedience is not a lighthearted activity. Any time one goes up against the State there is risk and uncertainty about what the outcome might be. Civil disobedience requires one to have great faith in the reason for the action and a belief that non-violence is the way to create inner and external change. M.K. Gandhi thought that the two components of non-violence were: the refusal to harm others and the willingness to suffer for ones beliefs.
Feminist analysts have pointed out woman have been trained to be self-sacrificing and so the decision to suffer could be a way of maintaining their oppression. However, in an age where the oppressors have nuclear weapons, tanks, and firearms threatening to destroy us, I didnt see a way out of the use of non-violence as a way to overthrow the oppression. Non-violence is a way to educate the "enemy" to their own oppression. As Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, "it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his/her friendship and understanding."
Anyone who was thinking about doing civil disobedience was required to take the two day nonviolence training workshop. During the workshop people formed affinity groups and discussed what their roles were inside the group. One learned about the history and philosophy of non-violence direction action. There were role playing exercises about the use of nonviolence and nonviolent responses to violence. During the workshop, one heard about the legal ramification of civil disobedience and what to expect after getting arrested. Discussions were on noncooperation [going limp during arrest, not going along with prison regulations, and refusing to participate in arraignment], bail solidarity, and how to combat racism, sexism, classism, agism etc. within the movement.
An issue that really touches my soul is the idea of bail solidarity. In the Handbook for Nonviolent Action states, "Realize that bail is the most blatant example of classism. Those who have money get out of jailthose who dont stay in." Thus, the movement could become a movement of the privilege class. Donna Warnock and Laura Briggs ask, "Does class determine who is able and who is unable to commit civil disobedience? How can we make it economically possible for those who want to commit CD to do so? How do we keep CD from being a movement privilege, with activist who can afford to tally arrest counts granted subsequently more political prestige?" It is not surprising given that we live in a capitalist world of the "have" and "have nots" that most of the people at the action camp were white, middle class Americans who could afford to either pay the bail or spend time in jail.
The day of Civil Disobedience action, the final day of the action camp was blessed with beautiful New England weather.
The action started out with a few speakers by Deb Katz and other CAN organizers. Next, the theater of peace began when a number of protesters from the Action Camp held up large posters that read, "WARRANT CITIZENS ARREST OF REACKLESS ENGANGERMENT" and "WARRANT CITIZENS ARREST OF NUCLEAR DUMPING". The protesters walked the posters of their citizens arrest to the gates of Vermont Yankee Atomic Power Plant. Next, protesters with baby coffins painted white marched silently to the gates of the power plant and placed the coffins underneath the posters. No one spoke as if we were burying the dead. Police vans started pulling in to make arrests of the protesters who were sitting down blocking the gate to the plant.
It was a peaceful well-staged demonstration. The anti-nuclear organizers had informed the police about the action and so there were no surprises. No one became a victim of pepper spray or other police brutality. One of the protesters from Ohio wore a tuxedo and roller blades for the special occasion. After all what could be a more formal affair? When he went limp during his arrest, he kept on rolling on the blades that made it more difficult for the police to pick him up and move him to the van. The police took them to be arranged a couple of miles down the street. When the tuxedo man got out, he called the pizza delivery store and ordered several pizzas for the police!
As those arrested came back to the site of the protest, they received a heroes welcome as people cheered them on.
One of the organizers, Michael Mariotte said, "Were the ones being arrested, by the real criminal activist is the operation of the plant." To end the day, we made a large circle and people shared feelings about the event. Most everyone felt positive. For me, it had been a brilliant work of political theater for the side of peace and justice for all.
After it was over CAN organizers preceded to drive to downtown Brattleboro to celebrate at a local pub. Since I had gotten a ride with one of the organizers, I was able to be at the pub celebrating with the inner circle. But even with the victory, the celebration seemed a little empty to me. Maybe it was just the way I was feeling as if I had become empty. I had made personal contact with a civil rights lawyer at the encampment who said he was interested in getting to know me. He invited me to join him in the Teepee to spend the night. In much need for intimate conversation, I decided to take a risk and moved my sleeping bag from the cabin into the Teepee.
But at the pub, he hardly said two words to me. It seemed on that an emotional level I was not making profound connections. How I longed for a sense of community as much as I longed to help end the tyranny of nuclear war, but on the person level, I wasnt at peace. Inside me was vast loneliness and feelings of alienation. I longed to be able to relate with someone about the problems our species face on an intimate level, on the level of philosophic eros, but I could not locate my Beloved in order to have such conversations.
After the pub, a group of us ended up around the campfire talking about everything under the stars. Stepping in the woods for a pee, I prayed to the stars glistening in the night that they would turn into starships on the mission of saving the human race from its nuclear nightmare. But I know praying to UFOs was not going to work. Humans were destined to save humans.
The lawyer announced that he was going to Teepee and subtly signaled for me to follow him. But I did not want to. I wasnt sure what kind of relationship I had with him and I felt that what he wanted from me was quick sex. So I lingered around the fire until the early morning hours until I knew he would be asleep. Even though I knew I was suffering from acute loneness, I had learned from experience that having sex with someone I barely knew was not the way to cure the problem. It only made things worse.
When I finally made my way to the Teepee, he was asleep so I had nothing to worry about until the next morning. How peaceful it was looking through the smoke hole of the Teepee into the night sky with all the stars flickering as jewels in the heavens. Spaceship Earth was so glorious! So why was humanity so stupid to have created such a system of nuclear war and nuclear wastes? Why had we lost our sense of beauty surrounding ourselves with suburban sprawl? Even if were able to safely store nuclear wastes and end the threat of nuclear war, we still have to deal with the problems of the city and the sprawl. Why was finding true love so difficult for me? I asked the Goddess if I should let myself go and engage in sex with this soul.
The next morning we awoke at about the same time. He moved his sleeping bag closer to mine and said that he had tried to wait up for me, but sleep overcome him. He started talking about his plans for the future, his hopes of getting a job with the Civil Liberties Union in Nevada.
Then he started sharing with me his sexual fantasies. He said that after being in a heterosexual monogamous relationship for many years, he had realized that the more hip position to take in regards to sexual relationships that could counter the right-wing nuclear forces was to engage in polyamory. His fantasy was to engage in group sex. He wanted many lovers who are had opened relationships with other people. He believed marriage was passe and the institution that was holding together the nuclear regime.
Then he asked me what my sexual fantasies were. I was somewhat shy to express my vision of you, my Beloved, since it was based co-committed sexuality between two conscious adults. I guess you could call me an anti-nuclear romantic thinker since I have this deep feeling that somewhere in the world you exist and longed for me and it must have been some terrible accident that has driven us apart. I saw this joining together of mind, body and soul for the purpose of saving humanity as some sort of messianic calling, what I call the Gaia Messiah phenomena. The union gave one a feeling that a profound destiny had occurred through the sacred act of lovemaking, the bonding force needed to reunite our species in a revolutionary neu way. It was this kind of union that I saw as so vitally necessary for us to achieve a new kind of power base in order for our planetary awareness to evolve.
I could tell the lawyer was very turned off by my fantasy. I realized that it was an unusual fantasy, even though it had ancient roots. It placed a lot of responsibility on the loving pair to be devoted to ending the oppressive nuclear power regime so that an age of solar power based on love between the sexes could emerge. I had met so few men who would even contemplate this vision of sexual unity as a way to solve global problems that it was hard to get my hopes up that any man would understand this vision of love.
The lawyer said that my vision was conservative, no different that the right-wing republics. He thought that having the notion that there is one primary soulmate was the same vision that had oppressed woman in heterosexual relationships for centuries. For him "free love" was the answer, to let himself go and give and receive pleasure. He thought my problem was that I was living for the future when I should be living in the present moment. If I want sex now, then I should allow myself to engage in uncommitted sexuality just for the sake of pleasure, not because there is any great love present. He thought I was living in false consciousness to believe that any man could love me to the degree of saving the world. World peace would be achieved through international courts of law, not through love!
He moved closer to me trying to kiss me. Part of me wanted to say to hell with love and just live for the lusty moment. But then the other side of me told the other side that I have done that before and after the encounter with a few moments of intimacy, then when we got out of the Teepee we would not be together in spirit. I would want more than he was willing to give like an ongoing conversation. So, why should I bother kissing him when I already knew what the outcome would be, another one-night stand?
Luckily before we got into really heavy petting, two men peaked their heads inside the Teepee and said that they had come to take it down since this was the last day of the encampment and everyone was in the process of packing up. After a few minutes we got up and moved our things out of the Teepee and helped the men take it down. Before walking away from the lawyer, I tried to explain to him why my vision of monogamous long-term relationships was not like the monogamy the right-wing fascists who controlled the world. But the lawyer was not interested in conversation with me any longer about my sexual fantasy. He was moving on with his day with another woman and I wasnt really going to be included in his immediate consciousness. Now I had to suffer through another mild case of rejection.
I walked down the hill to the dining hall for breakfast. How sad I was to see the encampment break down right when we were starting to know each other. If we only had another week to do a workshop on love and community building, then perhaps we could find a way for an alternative culture to develop among us. We would have time to learn how peoples individual gifts could best serve the movement. We would have time to work through problems with gender and class divisions that we were unable to do during the week primarily focused on the enemy of nuclear power. How much more we had to learn about the alternative vision so that it could be activated. I really felt that just to focus on the oppression of the nuclear regime was not enough. We had to learn to work and live together in a sustainable way. Our task was not only to stop the threat of nuclear war and nuclear power, but to change the lifestyle of Americans.
According to an article found in the "The Austin Environmental Directory", America has 4.6 of the worlds population. Americans use 39% of all the worlds newsprint, 27% of all its aluminum, 35% of all the worlds computers, 33% of all its plastic, 24% of the worlds copper, 25% of the worlds energy, 22% of the worlds beef, and 13% of its steel.
Did this anti-nuke group have the kernel necessary for a new communal movement to develop that could save us from the cancers caused by the poison fire of nuclear wastes? Through us could a Gaia Nation be formed to be a model of the way to a neu world of renewal energies?
During the action camp there was only one workshop given my David Silverman on sustainable communities. Maybe I was sleepy during the session, but getting to the heart of the matter of community did not seem to be coming out of the workshop. It was the final workshop of the week. I was becoming sad that after the action camp was over I would be back to my isolated apartment cooking and eating alone. The resistance community would be over until perhaps next year if we lasted that long without a melt down or nuclear war.
There was a lot of questioning being done the final morning of the camp as to whether or not we had a year left to stop the nukes. Mark R. who had been studying the Y2k issue, the so-called Millennium Bug that could mess up the energy grid, misfire nuclear weapons and because of the energy failure could cause a nuclear melt down at power plants across the world. This bug is the result of embedded computer chips that were made with only two digits instead of four way back when computer developers where trying to save space. Now, how is that for the end of the world, an apocalyptic vision? Mark thought that the answer was to:
Require Calvert Cliffs nuclear power station to install backup wind and solar power systems so that the emergency cooling systems would still have power if the electrical grid crashes on January 1, 2000. While all reactors are required to have backup diesel generators, a prolonged power outage could exhaust the on-site diesel supplies and make acquiring new supplies difficult. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is threatening to rescind licenses for reactors that cannot prove Y2K compliance, but a reactor core still needs cooling even when turned "off." Abolishing nuclear power and other technologies fundamentally incompatible with DNA based organisms is required for our collective survival, but a sudden collapse of the power grid would not be the needed, gradual transition to a renewable energy based "Ecotopia" society.
I was one of the last people to leave the Action Camp. Helping to clean up the camp, I said good-bye to my new found friends. The lawyer was still at the camp and needed a ride back from the parking lot to pick up people at camp who were going to be driving back with him to New York City. I said that I would give him a ride back to camp before I headed off to Massachusetts. So we rode the shuttle to the parking lot where we were let off. At his request got out of the car to give him a good-bye hug. Alone in the parking lot, he wanted more than a hug. He asked me to go with him in the bushes by he river and engage in a quick fuck before we parted ways. Pressing his penis up against my leg, I wondered if having sex with him would cause us to bond. Was this my real connection with the anti-nuclear movement? I informed him that I felt that if I was to have sex with him, he would never see me again. He promised me that he would write me email and that we would absolutely see each other again. But I did not believe him. I could not think of anything worst for my psychological health than after a week of anti-nuke activism, to get fucked, and then get into my car and go back to my lonely apartment.
Then it dawned on me. One of thereasons why the anti-nuclear movement has not been able to overturn the evil power is because of a lack of long-term commitment to life. If we can not find love that is eternal, then how can we ever be able to overcome a power with a half-life of millions of years? Beloved, where are you my eternal love? Can you now understand the reason why I can't live without you?
Human Extinction or Lovolution ?