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Taos talk: “Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution:” The Crucial Role of Citizen Groups; Key issues for New Mexico

August 7, 2017

Dear friends,

We wanted to let you know about an upcoming talk and discussion in Taos, hosted by Taos United (see the announcement below).

There may be groups in other New Mexico places which would like to invite Trish and I to lead discussions similar to this one or on some of these detailed topics, which are best addressed within the context of an organization, or a church. One way or another, face-to-face meetings are essential to any real progress on the issues.

Our whirlwind 10-week summer internship program on climate and renewable energy ended this past week. Though it was smaller than we had originally hoped it was successful. (A few of the written products and a few pictures are here. We also met with a number of political leaders; what you see is just the tip of the iceberg.) We are now in the process of re-tooling for the next steps in all our issues as well as in the broader community awakening we hope to help foster -- with your help -- across the more conscious organizations, businesses, and churches.

Meanwhile many of you will find this open letter to our congressional delegation about the push to socialize nuclear waste useful: Publicly oppose consolidated interim storage of spent nuclear fuel, as well as H.R. 3053, open letter to NM delegation, Aug 2, 2017.

Now, about these local lists. I am going to start using them more to provide reference articles and thoughtful analyses which I think are of significant or signal importance to our work together. Some of you will appreciate that, and some will find it too much. If you want off these lists, let me know. I hope to initiate this in the next day or so. Hopefully we will keep many or most of you on board. We will also be adding some activist leaders in New Mexico locales besides Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos.

The Taos announcement follows.

In solidarity, Greg

“Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution:” The Crucial Role of Citizen Groups; Key issues for New Mexico

Talk for Taos United by Greg Mello, Los Alamos Study Group, with discussion

9:30 am Saturday August 19, 2017 at the Kit Carson Electric Co-op, 118 Cruz Alta Road, Taos

We live at the end of an age. A huge storm, bigger than any humanity has ever known, is barreling toward us. The wind is rising, the barometer falling. The first bands of rain have arrived. We cannot see into the dark clouds massed on the horizon. Much that we have known is about to change, radically.

It is an altogether revolutionary time, even more so than when Dr. King posed that challenge. Our freedom lies in waking up to this reality, understanding and accepting it, and guiding our actions accordingly. For our children to survive we are going to have to find the courage and respect for one another – two sides of one coin – that our post-democratic institutions have been so keen to hide.

Independent groups like Taos United are critically important at this historical juncture, as are churches and our civic organizations, not just for the sake of reform or for maintenance of our best civic traditions, but as beacons of wakefulness, energetic joy-in-action, and mutual respect.

Mr. Mello will discuss some of roles these groups can play at this time, from direct policy intervention to constructive action to nonviolent resistance. He will especially address some of the key peace and security issues in which local groups could play a determinative role. These include the vast investments in new nuclear weapons now underway, in which the New Mexico labs are playing a central and enabling role; the increasing push to store or dispose of enormous quantities of nuclear waste in the state; and the military push to use more of rural New Mexico for training. [Nota bene: I am not an expert on this last topic, as important and closely connected to all we do as it is. I will either invite someone from Peaceful Skies to speak on this, or else get an emergency briefing from them beforehand! The direct influence of the military in New Mexico is too important a topic to leave out.]

The recently-negotiated internationally treaty banning design, production, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons, which will outlaw most of the work of the New Mexico nuclear labs, opens for signature in September. It is an important new tool for citizen engagement, locally and internationally. We can liken it to a grain-harvesting combine. The fields are ripe, and a brand-new combine has been purchased by the sweat and sacrifice of decades. Diesel’s in the tank. There’s the key. Shall we fire it up?

Open-source knowledge and intelligence on the one hand, and the pervasiveness of propaganda on the other, create the conditions for powerful new roles for local groups in countering false narratives. A few people can, in addition to their local activities, be powerful on a much wider scale than ever before.

The nature of U.S. society is now hanging in the balance, as is the inhabitability of Earth. Preserving life and building a more sustainable and nonviolent future is ennobling and joyful work, which can bring us together in new and creative ways if we let it.

There will be ample time for discussion.

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