Manataka American Indian Council
No New Nukes
Indigenous Leaders, Citizens and Scientists Agree.
U.S. Plans More Nuclear Weapons on Shoshone Land
(Newe Sogobe (Lee), Nevada) With gold prices soaring sky-high and the general public watching Presidential candidate antics, there’s more than just gold rush fever threatening the air and water out West.
A proposal by the U.S. Department of Energy to increase nuclear weapons development at the Nevada Test Site. First announced in 2006 as “Complex 2030”, the new plan is called “Complex Transformation” and includes details on the proposal to upgrade the entire U.S. nuclear weapons complex and recreate the infrastructure to research, develop, and manufacture new nuclear weapons. http://www.complextransformationspeis.com/
The Nevada Test Site is named as one of the plan’s key locations. The Test Site is located within the Treaty-recognized territory of Western Shoshone lands and has long been protested by Western Shoshone and their supporters.
This newest proposal by the United States’ government puts it once again in direct violation of a recently confirmed decision by the United Nations
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
In its decision, made public March 10, 2006, and confirmed again last month, the CERD Committee urged the United States to “freeze”, “desist” and “stop” actions being taken, or threatened to be taken, against the Western Shoshone Peoples of the Western Shoshone Nation. In its decision, CERD stressedthe “nature and urgency”of the Shoshone situation informing the U.S. that it goes “well beyond” the normal reporting process and warrants immediate attention.
The CERD decision explicitly cited ongoing weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site.
“The U.S. has never shown how it got title to our land in the first place.
We have never agreed to this. To us, there is no transformation here– this
is just a continued extermination of life– nothing complex about that. The
land, air and water have suffered enough abuse already.
We need to start cleaning
things up. What is being done to our people
doesn’t just affect us – it affects everyone and all life.” Stated Western Shoshone grandmother Carrie Dann as she returned from a recent indigenous convening in Chiapas, Mexico, where she and other indigenous elders and leaders met to discuss traditional teachings about climate change, environmental destruction and solutions for the future. These discussions will continue at the upcoming Protecting Mother
Earth gathering July 17-20th in Lee, Nevada.
See Indigenous Environmental Network website
Western Shoshone leader and 2008 delegate to the UN CERD session in Geneva, Larson Bill commented: “By their own actions, like this new proposal, the U.S. is losing all of its credibility in the world community. Everything good that is out there they want to use for bad purposes. The materials in these proposed weapons – they came from the earth where they had a purpose. The companies and military dig them up and nothing good comes out of it. The world doesn’t need this, it’s got enough problems already.”
The Western Shoshone are not alone in opposing the government’s most recent plan.
The Progressive Leadership
Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) issued a letter to the Department of Energy last month
supporting Western Shoshone Treaty rights and raising environmental and
political concerns to the DOE. Likewise, the Union of Concerned
Scientists (UCS) is calling on the public to send in comments and has stated
publicly that it believes the push for new nuclear weapons could lead to a
resumption of U.S. nuclear testing, which would lead to nuclear testing by
other nations. See Union of Concerned Scientist site
for additional information.
According to one recent UCS
release: “A thorough re-evaluation would
conclude that it is in the interest of the United States to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons. The DOE should focus on maintaining a safe, secure, and credible nuclear deterrent while supporting efforts to eliminate these weapons globally, and on dismantling warheads and safely securing weapons-grade materials. The United States should NOT pursue new nuclear weapons.”
“The position of those seeking
social and environmental justice in Nevada is perfectly clear,” agreed Launce
Rake, a spokesman with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada in Las
“International law, respect for our environment and common sense all suggest the same thing. We need to stop pouring money into the hands of the defense contractors and do what’s right for the Nevada Test Site: Shut it down and clean it up.”
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO:
Individuals and organizations are strongly encouraged to submit comments on
the Complex Transformation SPEIS. Send comments via U.S. mail to:
Complex Transformation SPEIS Document Manager
Office of Transformation, NA-10.1
U.S. Department of Energy/NNSA
1000 Independence Avenue, SW,
Washington, D.C. 20585
Western Shoshone Defense Project
So-Ho-Bi (South Fork) office:
775-744-2565 (fax and phone)
P.O. Box 211308
Crescent Valley, NV 89821
775-468-0230 775-468-0237 (fax)
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