Nonviolence confronts evil
Global movement aims to remake world for peace
Los Alamos sits above the second poorest county in the U.S. and is located in New Mexico, one of the poorest states in the country. The land was originally stolen from indigenous peoples by the U.S. government. Radioactive waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory was routinely dumped into the canyons below and has poisoned the water, the land, the animals and the indigenous people.
Annually, Los Alamos Labs spends $2 billion for the sole purpose of preparing the weapons that have the potential to kill millions of people. That’s why I call Los Alamos the world’s greatest terrorist training camp.
New Mexicans look away from the evil created and supported at Los Alamos because we are taught to. The labs pay huge amounts to a PR firm so it can brainwash the people into thinking that the creation of nuclear weapons is actually helping the people of New Mexico.
Likewise, the U.S. government brainwashes Americans to believe in the theory of nuclear deterrence in order to justify the use of billions of taxpayers’ dollars for weapons of mass destruction. In reality, tax dollars are paying Los Alamos to prepare for global genocide.
It’s all one big lie. Nuclear weapons are the ultimate evil. They do not make anyone safe, they do not protect the earth, they do not promote the common good, and they do not ensure our health or help create global peace. These weapons really only serve to further enrich the 1 percent while putting us all in danger. For these reasons and so many more, nuclear weapons need to be abolished right now.
In order to ban these weapons, we need to become people who are not afraid to wake up, to become aware, to be mindful, to be nonviolent, and to be alert to what has happened and what continues to happen.
We need to take up Mahatma Gandhi’s and the Rev. Martin Luther King’s vision of nonviolence and plumb the depths of nonviolence as the only antidote to our global predicament.
Nonviolence is a way of life, a spiritual practice, but also an effective method for creating social change. It renounces violence and works aggressively for justice and the coming of a new world of peace. And it has a bottom line truth: There is no cause, however noble, for which we will ever again support the taking of a single human life. No cause whatsoever. We refuse to kill or to support the killing of anyone. We will not be sorry that the days of killing and nuclear weapons are coming to an end.
When we sit in at Los Alamos, we stand up for nuclear disarmament, which means we dare explore the spiritual depths of inner disarmament. We’re trying to become people worthy of a world free of nuclear weapons. That’s what the spiritual life of nonviolence calls us to. We remember that social change has only come about historically through bottom-up grassroots movements.
This grassroots movement, this new world of nonviolence, is totally achievable. We need billions of people to join this global movement of nonviolence, and to keep at the practice of peacemaking. That means we all need to talk about nuclear weapons and the need to abolish them; to study and teach nonviolence; to connect the dots between the issues of violence (from poverty and racism to war and environmental destruction); and to support the global grassroots movement of nonviolence.
Last weekend we gathered in Santa Fe for the Campaign Nonviolence National Conference. Last year, we organized 250 demonstrations across the United States in September; and we’re going to do it again this year, the week of Sept. 20. We already have 150 demonstrations planned in all 50 states.
We are calling people to march against every variation of violence — from U.S. war making, to poverty at home and abroad, to racism, police brutality and mass incarceration, to nuclear weapons and environmental destruction.
Perhaps then we can create a new climate for disarmament and justice and ensure that people are never vaporized again. To succeed, we must prove worthy of a new world of peace and become people of loving nonviolence.