Local Anti-Nuke Group Announces Symposium to “Dismantle the Nuclear Beast”

The Nuclear Issues Study Group will hold a unique and timely symposium at the University of New Mexico in December to connect local activists with the national anti-nuclear movement.   The Nuclear Issues Study Group is an Albuquerque-based collective of students and organizers who, since 2016, have been meeting to address nuclear issues statewide.  The gathering will be held Friday, December 1st, through Sunday, December 3rd, at the Hibben Center on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque near the corner of University and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

The Nuclear Issues Study Group states, “It is no secret that New Mexico has been and continues to be greatly impacted by every link of the nuclear fuel chain.  From uranium mining and enrichment, to weapons production and nuclear waste storage and disposal, New Mexico is quite literally in the ‘belly of the beast.’”

One of primary goals of the symposium is to make information about nuclearism accessible and to get more people, especially students, young people, and people of color, involved in resisting the nuclear beast.  The Symposium will highlight some key threats to New Mexico, including Albuquerque’s best-kept secret, the Mixed Waste Landfill at Sandia National Laboratory, and the proposed Consolidated Interim Storage Facility in the southeastern part of the state for high-level radioactive waste from all of the nuclear reactors across the country.  The weekend will include presentations, panel discussions, and information tables, plus poetry, art, film, and music.

Graham Unverzagt, a member of the Study Group and an UNM graduate says, “New Mexico has a long history of nuclear colonialism that has never been addressed, and I think it’s time that the nuclear movement be centered around those who have been impacted the most.  Growing up in Grants, New Mexico, you are always taught about the boom times during uranium mining, but living there, you can see the lasting effect it’s had on the landscape and the people, economically and physically.”

Klee Benally of Navajo Nation

Musicians, including Eileen & the In-Betweens, Sina Soul, Walatowa Massive plus DJ Jezmundo, will perform along with poets, Whisper and Celestino Crow.  A virtual reality installation by Klee Benally will take center stage highlighting how art is an essential element of every movement.

Speakers will include Verna Teller, former Pueblo of Isleta governor and current tribal council member; Diane D’Arrigo, from Nuclear Information and Resource Service, based in Washington, D.C.; and Leona Morgan, cofounder of Diné No Nukes and the Study Group.  They will share their stories, their work, and how we can take action to protect our health, environment and communities.

The full program will be posted soon at nuclearnewmexico.com.  You can also “Like Us” on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NuclearIssuesStudyGroup.  Check out our Facebook event page: https://tinyurl.com/dismantlingthenuclearbeast


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