Why do we still have nuclear weapons on high alert nearly 25 years after the end of the Cold War? Why are Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and seven other facilities in the nuclear weapons complex still engaged in research and production of nuclear weapons? Isn’t it absurd? To protest our national investment in these genocidal weapons, Alaric Balibrera and 30 more people are staging a hunger strike from July 16th, (anniversary of the first detonation at Trinity site), through and beyond August 3-6, in concert with Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemorative events and direct action scheduled in Santa Fe and Los Alamos, New Mexico. For more info, go to www.nukefreenow.org. Also on FaceBook: “Hunger Strike Los Alamos August 2012“.
Beginning on August 3, NukeFreeNow, Occupy Santa Fe, and (un)Occupy Albuquerque are presenting a conference, film series, and other events in Santa Fe and Los Alamos to mark the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the disasters at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima. On Sunday, August 5 there will be a rally to commemorate the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima at Ashley Pond in Los Alamos with music, speakers, and a peace march led by Pax Christi. On Monday, August 6 there will be a full day of non-violent direct action organized by NukeFreeNow and un/Occupy.
Linda Gunter with Beyond Nuclear joined Alaric Balibrera to discuss the nuclear issue on Air Occupy:
Hunger strikes are powerful, nonviolent weapons in the art of political resistance. The gravity of inflicting starvation on oneself until an injustice is amended is so profound, a hunger striker can potentially compel the perpetrator of the injustice to feel guilt and shame, and consequently, be forced to correct the wrongdoing. The power also lies with the hunger striker to raise attention on the issue and inspire others to join the cause. To fast requires a tremendous amount of willpower, sacrifice, strength and of course, a deep-rooted affirmation in the cause. One can not engage in a hunger strike without a purpose that one wholeheartedly believes in; how much more devotion to a cause can one show than to starve for it? To protest the Los Alamos laboratory, the atrocious amount of dollars it costs to run the facility, and the omnicidal nature of nuclear weapons in general, Alaric Balibrera and his fellow strikers have created a list of demands to be given to the director of LANL, Charles MacMillan. The demands include a suspension on all works on nuclear materials until the laboratory is in compliance with environmental, health and safety regulations; compensation given to the New Mexico residents who have suffered as a result of the lab-produced radioactive activity; and a progressive transformation of all nuclear weapons work at LANL to be turned into life-affirming programs. [continue reading...]