"It is no longer a choice
between violence and nonviolence in this world;
its 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 Bombabsolute mass
destruction on demand has always been much more than a weapon. Its
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 Mexicounless we actively oppose
The absolute weapon requires absolute secrecy
and control in all its affairsthe 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