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"It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world;
it’s nonviolence or non-existence.
"
—Martin Luther King. Jr.,
April 3, 1968, the day before he died

     Many of us understand the profound dangers to our society posed by increasing militarism, and we want to do something about it. We will be ineffective, however, if we oppose violence and militarism in general without addressing the huge nuclear weapons industry in our own back yard. Silence concerning these weapons implies a broad moral consent to the policies of aggression and injustice that require them, as well as to the environmental destruction they cause. If we do not act to eliminate these most terrible of weapons, which embody the most terrible of intentions, we vitally undercut our work against violence in all its forms, including environmental destruction and the structural violence that crushes the spirits and shortens the lives of the poor.
     “The Bomb”—absolute mass destruction on demand— has always been much more than a weapon. It’s a way of life. As novelist E. L. Doctorow put it, “The bomb first was our weapon. Then it became our diplomacy. Next it became our economy. Now it's become our culture. We've become the people of the bomb.” Nowhere is this more true than in New Mexico—unless we actively oppose it.
     The absolute weapon requires absolute secrecy and control in all its affairs—the antithesis of democracy. It commands a militarized economy, in which no sacrifice is too great for “national security,” and human security is ignored. It requires the permanent consumption of parts of the environment. It even usurps the state itself, which must sacrifice its moral authority and bend its laws, because the absolute weapon is incompatible with law and morality. It poisons our values, brutalizes our sensibilities, and darkens the human prospect at the very moment in history when we need all the creative, spiritual strength we can muster.
     There are more operational nuclear weapons in New Mexico than anywhere else in the world, more labs and production plants, and this state receives far more money to build nuclear weapons than any other. In addition, we have four military bases and two operating nuclear waste disposal sites (so far), with more nuclear facilities just over the border in Texas. Another plutonium pit factory and a uranium enrichment plant also may be built here— unless we stop them.
     Sixty years of misguided devotion to The Bomb has not even brought us prosperity. Quite the reverse, in fact. Our economic position relative to the other states has fallen, and ours is now among the very poorest states, even though we consistently lead the nation in per capita federal spending.

Won't you join with us to work for a better future?


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