Filed under: Editorials, Environment, Indigenous, US
By Klee Benally, Campaign Coordinator for Clean Up The Mines
Trump recently tweeted that, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”
We came to our senses after the US dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Indigenous communities have long been at the front lines of the struggle to stop the deadly legacy of the nuclear industry. Nuclear colonialism has resulted in radioactive pollution that has poisoned drinking water systems of entire communities like Red Shirt Village in South Dakota and Sanders in Arizona. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has closed more than 22 wells on the Navajo Nation where there more than 523 abandoned uranium mines. In Ludlow, South Dakota an abandoned uranium mine sits within feet of an elementary school, poisoning the ground where children continue to play to this day.
The Nevada Test Site has long been a target of anti-nuke direct action, it is Western Shoshone Homelands where more than 1,000 nuclear tests have been perpetuated. Depleted Uranium weapons deployed by the US in imperialist wars (particularly Iraq and Afghanistan) have also poisoned eco-systems, including at proving grounds and firing ranges in Arizona, Maryland, Indiana and Vieques, Puerto Rico.
Nuclear colonialism has ravaged our communities and left a deadly legacy of cancers, birth defects, and other serious health consequences. Some Indigenous Peoples of the Marshall Islands stopped having children due to severe radioactive exposure that caused extreme birth defects. Nuclear colonialism has truly meant the slow genocide of Indigenous Peoples.
After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant catastrophe in 2011 we seemed to be on the verge of a renewed wave of anti-nuke action.
Under the Obama administration the nuclear industry spent big bucks lobbying politicians to brand toxic nuclear energy as a “solution” to our climate crisis. Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” echoed this greenwashing (which was parroted by some of the large non-profit environmental, or “big green” orgs) of the nuclear fuel cycle. This deadly lie has lead to renewed threats of uranium mining at the Grand Canyon and Indigenous Peoples’ sacred sites such as the Black Hills and Mt. Taylor.
The Trump regime threatens to loosen restrictions and increase proliferation of nuclear energy and weapons, which also means more mining, milling and waste.It has been reported that, “Shares of uranium producers and a nuclear fuel technology company have jumped on Trump’s comments with Uranium Resources, Uranium Energy, Cameco, and Lightbridge all trading higher on Friday.”
We must fight for a nuclear free future and refuse to allow ourselves and future generations to become nuclear radiation pollution victims.
The critical need to educate, activate, and mobilize to stop this nuclear madness is necessary now more than ever, our future depends on it.
#nonukes #radioactivepollutionkills #cleanupthemines #nuclearcolonialism