Civil Discourse

Civil Discourse /
Nuclear New Mexico: The Quest for Peace and Justice

today20 August 2015

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New Mexico’s central role in the history, current situation, and future of America’s nuclear weapons development and production gives the people of New Mexico special responsibilities and opportunities in the quest for peace and justice. New Mexicans also bear exceptional burdens of environmental and health impacts from radiation exposure. On August 20, 2015, Jamie Newton and Allyson Siwik co-hosted a Civil Discourse program on the quest for peace – preventing the use of nuclear weapons in conflict, and pursuing the US’s stated goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons – and justice for New Mexicans who have suffered high rates of illnesses and early deaths due to radiation exposure originating with the Trinity bomb test in July, 1945.  Our three guests – Tina Cordova, David Culp, and Paul Magno – were panelists of the Forum on Nuclear New Mexico – Past and Future earlier that day at WNMU.

Tina Cordova is Co-Founder & Co-Chair of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders – working for government compensation to victims of radiation exposure from nuclear weapons testing in New Mexico.  She is also co-founder and President of Queston Construction.

David Culp is Legislative Representative for Nuclear Disarmament of the Friends Committee on National  He has over 25 years’ experience on nuclear arms control and disarmament legislation. David Culp and his program assistant are two of just four registered lobbyists on nuclear weapons issues on Capitol Hill.

Paul Magno has been part of the Transform Now Plowshares Support for the past three years, through their nonviolent civil disobedience action, trial, imprisonment, and ongoing witness.  He has been active with the Catholic Worker Movement all his adult life, participating in many nonviolent programs for peace and justice.

This discussion included:

  • The importance, urgency, and realistic prospects of complete nuclear disarmament, with examples of significant progress that has been made to reduce U.S. and Russian weapons stockpiles and prevent the introduction of new weapons.
  • Channels for effective citizen action at the grassroots level, ranging from engagement with elected officials to conscientious acts of civil disobedience.
  • The epidemic of radiation-related cancers and other illnesses among the 40,000 people who were living near the Trinity test site in 1945, and their descendants, and efforts to gain compensation for these victims under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act – and what all of us can do to support their struggle for justice.
  • The feasibility of safely managing nuclear weapons, materials, and wastes, and the justification for full nuclear disarmament.
  • New Mexico’s economic dependence on funds that flow into this state from the nuclear establishment, and possibilities for conversion of facilities and their missions to nondestructive purposes with sustainable economic benefits.
  • What keeps dedicated activists going in long-term, difficult campaigns to transform a status quo that is supported by powerful interests?

In observance of the 70th Anniversaries of the 1st detonation of a nuclear weapon at the Trinity Site in the Tularosa Basin of New Mexico and the US nuclear attacks upon Hiroshima and Nakagaski, GMCR & KURU are presenting several programs related to these events that have changed the world and threaten its ultimate destruction. Follow the links below to hear these programs.

Civil Discourse /  Nuclear New Mexico: The Quest for Peace and Justice
will air on:

  • Dates tba

Or listen to the podcast at your convenience via the following link…

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today17 August 2015