Nuclear weapons testing has been conducted worldwide
on lands taken from indigenous people. In the case of the Nevada
National Security Site (formerly the "Nevada Test Site"),
the land legally belongs to the Western Shoshone Nation by the
Treaty of Ruby Valley (1863). Nuclear weapons despoil delicate
ecosystems held sacred by those with the least political power,
and declared expendable by those with the most. More than a thousand
atomic weapons have been detonated at the NNSS making it the most
bombed place on the planet.
We come to the desert to engage the destruction of violence with
the constructive nonviolence. We seek reconnection with each other
and the earth, by understanding and taking responsibility for
the consequences of our actions.
Since the birth of NDE in 1982, thousands of people have come
to our retreats and conferences to learn about the related issues
of nuclear testing and gathered at the edge of Security Site for
vigil, religious services, and nonviolent civil disobedience.
NDE’s organizing seeks to honor all of God’s creation
and the Beloved Community as we bear witness to sixty years of
While the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Non-proliferation
Treaty have been resounding victories for our movement toward
nuclear abolition, the United States is currently spending more
American tax dollars on the nuclear weapons’ program than
at any point during the Cold War. The Department of Energy has
admitted the legacy of nuclear testing has left four tons of plutonium
(the single most carcinogenic substance known to humans) in the
desert soil. Now the government seeks to expand the repository
capacity at the Test Site for highly radioactive materials. When
we consider that all of this devastating reality resides up the
road from Las Vegas, the fastest growing city in the nation, our
call to action is deeply clarified.
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