CHIMAYO, NM—For too long, the US government and corporations have sacrificed the environmental integrity, the health, and the well-being of indigenous and poor communities to secure access to resources through the threat and use of force. We cannot reverse the course of a nuclear future unless we undo the legacy of racism and violence.
This week, young people from across the country are arrived at the Disarmament Summer Encampment to spend an exciting 10 days organizing for a nuclear-free world. Think Outside the Bomb (TOTB)—the nation’s largest youth-led network working for nuclear abolition—is hosting about 150 youth who have joined together to oppose the far reaching nuclear-industrial-complex.
The encampment is the culmination of TOTB’s Disarmament Summer Campaign, which has come at a time when the nation is spending more on the nuclear complex than ever before, including budgeting seven billion dollars to modernize facilities in New Mexico, Kansas City, and Tennessee—a series of projects that would give the U.S. the capability to make new new nuclear weapons. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), in Los Alamos, New Mexico, stands to play a major role in this nuclear relapse as plans are advanced to construct a new Chemical Metallurgy Research and Replacement (CMRR) facility. The CMRR facility holds potential to increase LANL’s ability to construct new plutonium pits—the core and trigger mechanism of high-powered nuclear weapons. At a time when budget crises and funding cuts are all too familiar, the nation cannot afford to continue building these incredibly costly and potentially destructive weapons.
“It’s time for our country to begin stepping toward real change, which cannot be done as long as we are throwing billions of dollars into the furnace that is the nuclear-industrial-complex,” said Jono Kinkade, TOTB media contact. “People are demanding better jobs and renewable energy, and in order to head in that direction we need to send our policy makers a sobering wake up call.”
During the encampment, participants will paint the expansive picture of the nuclear-industrial-complex through workshops, informative first-hand stories, and an ongoing discussion about why nuclearism still plagues this country and how we can put an end to it.
“We came to terms with assortment of expensive and toxic problems of nuclear weapons and nuclear power decades ago, and yet the industry is pushing like never before to take us into a nuclear relapse,” said Liz Woodruff, TOTB media contact and organizer with the Snake River Alliance in Boise, Idaho. “We can do so much better than to waste billions of dollars on a dangerous and obsolete energy source.”
Attendees of the encampment hail from all over the map—spanning from Washington State to South Carolina, as well as the Marshall Islands to right here in New Mexico. This diversity of geographical origins and the wide array of backgrounds makes Think Outside the Bomb truly unique. This rich, interwoven character creates the perfect atmosphere for resistance to the pervasive negative effects of the nuclear-industrial-complex. Uranium mining, enrichment, nuclear power, weapons, waste and haphazard disposal are all on TOTB’s map, and throughout the week we will be highlighting each one of these stages in more detail.
“This encampment is the active creation of a nuclear weapons free world” explained Steve Stormoen, a member of TOTB and a leader in the construction of the encampment. “It would be shortsighted to base our resistance only on opposition to bombs. Instead, we are focused on building a culture to combat the bomb-making mentality. A nuclear-free future is possible today, here and now, by building community, creating a space for sustainable living, and engaging in direct acts of resistance to nuclearism.”
The encampment infrastructure was built by TOTB and local allies, including students from Northern New Mexico College; residents of Santa Fe and Pojoaque; and members of TEWA Women United. After spending a few days addressing the slew of nuclear topics, participants will head into Los Alamos, NM on Friday, August 6, to commemorate the U.S. attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. After a rally at Ashley Pond in downtown Los Alamos, TOTB will march toward the entrance of Los Alamos National Labs.
Come join us to learn the deeper details of the nuclear complex and hear personal stories of people affected by the toxic legacy of nuclearism.
More information, visit http://www.thinkoutsidethebomb.org
Directions to the Encampment:
From Santa Fe: Take US-285 N/US-84 W for about 23 miles. After the Long John Silver’s, make a right at 76. Stay on 76 for about 7 miles until you pass the Family Dollar. Soon after the Family Dollar, take a sharp right on Country Road 102. At the end of Country Road 102, make a right (ignore the left arrow sign), and go into the 2nd driveway on the left marked 6A.
Who we are:
Think Outside the Bomb is a cross-cultural alliance of youth working together to reignite hope from below and build a grassroots, consensus-based, nonviolent direct action movement. In partnership with the Tribal Environmental Watch Alliance, TEWA Women United, the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, Products of Atzlan youth group, and the Southwest Indigenous Uranium Forum, we are committed to collective liberation, a sustainable future, and an end to the cycle of nuclear violence.