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   Action for Nuclear Abolition Slated at Nevada Test Site


Action for Nuclear Abolition Slated at Nevada Test Site

SALT LAKE CITY—The US government is planning to resume full-scale nuclear weapons testing and open the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Newe Sogobia, Nevada. The Yucca Mountain site is part of the Western Shoshone desert territory, which—since 1951—has experienced over 1000 full-scale nuclear weapons explosions.

From October 5-15, international nonviolent resistance to U.S. nuclear policies will be occurring in Nevada during what is being called Action for Nuclear Abolition.

Saturday, October 12 has been designated Indigenous Peoples Day. Ceremonies and events conducted by Native peoples are planned to honor and stand in solidarity with all indigenous peoples of the world “who have suffered the deadly consequences of nuclear colonialism,” according to information circulated by the event’s organizers. There will be a rally and sunset candlelight vigil at the gates of the Nevada Test Site (NTS).

The campaign began in Los Alamos, New Mexico on Hiroshima Day—August 6. A Family Spirit Walk For Mother Earth began, and will continue an 800-mile pilgrimage through indigenous peoples’ lands in the southwest en route to the Nevada Test Site. Walkers will arrive in Las Vegas on October 4. The following day, a Peoples’ Nuclear Abolition Summit is planned.

Then, from October 6-10, the Family Spirit Walk will cover the 65 miles from Las Vegas to a peace camp at the NTS. Following a rally at the Department of Energy's headquarters, the walk will cross into Newe Sogobia (Western Shoshone country) to settle into a Peace Camp, with nightly trainings addressing: oppression awareness and cultural sensitivity, nonviolence, peacekeeping and action planning.

On Friday, October 11, “Keep Space for Peace” workshops will be held. October 12 has been designated Indigenous Peoples Day, and will feature ceremonies, workshops, and training, concluding with a sunset candlelight vigil at the NTS gates.

On Sunday, October 13, more workshops, trainings, and planning sessions will take place, capped by an evening raffle to raise money for Western Shoshone resistance.

Early on the morning off October 14, Corbin Harney, Western Shoshone spiritual leader, will lead a sunrise ceremony on reclaimed Nevada Test Site land.

The Western Shoshone National Council has called for a strict policy prohibiting alcohol, drugs, and weapons during all events. Participants will be asked to sign a pledge of nonviolence and to take appropriate nonviolence trainings during the Peace Camp.

A statement by organizers explains the rationale for these events: “We oppose the generation of more nuclear waste, and want to ensure the clean-up of toxic and radiological contamination on Native lands, in communities of color and in the many disenfranchised communities of this country. It is time to end the legacy of nuclear colonialism.”

Participating organizations for this event include: American Friends Service Committee; Ashland Peace House; Center for Energy Research; Citizen Alert; Citizens Awareness Network; Columbus Campaign for Arms Control and For Mother Earth; East Bay Food Not Bombs; Fellowship of Reconciliation; For Mother Earth Belgium; Family Spirit Walk for Mother Earth; Global Exchange; Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; Indigenous Environmental Network; Midnight Special Legal Collective; National Coalition for Peace and Justice; Nevada Desert Experience; The Nuclear Resister; People for Peace and Justice of Utah; Promoting Enduring Peace; Proposition One; Oregon Peace Works; Pax Christi; Seeds of Peace; Shundahai Network; SPAZ; Subversive Soundz; Tewa Women United; Tri Valley CARES; Tribal Environmental Watch Alliance; Veterans for Peace; War Resisters League; Western Shoshone National Council; Western States Legal Foundation; Wild Rockies Earth First!; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

For further information, contact the Shundahai Network, P.O. Box 1115, Salt Lake City UT 84110; (801) 359-2614; email; website:

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This story was published on September 4, 2002.
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