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Human Rights

The entire nuclear fuel chain involves the release of radioactivity, contamination of the environment and damage to human health. Most often, communities of color, indigenous peoples or those of low-income are targeted to bear the brunt of these impacts, particularly the damaging health and environmental effects of uranium mining. The nuclear power industry inevitably violates human rights.

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Wednesday
Aug242016

Democracy Now! interviews on Dakota Access Pipeline targeted at Standing Rock Sioux lands on Missouri River in North Dakota

Wednesday
Aug242016

Urgent Appeal for International Observers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance, Standing Rock North Dakota


Contact:
 
Joseph White Eyes 605-230-0812
jwhiteeyes62@gmail.com
 
Michelle Cook 914-334-0888 
cookmichelle7@gmail.com
 
Carolyn Raffensperger 515-450-2320
raffenspergerc@cs.com

We, the Indigenous defenders of the land and water within the traditional treaty lands of the Oceti Sakowin, make an urgent appeal to the international community to assist us in facing a human rights crisis.  Dakota Access is trying to put a crude oil pipeline under the Missouri River.  This is a dire threat to the drinking water and future generations of the Oceti Sakowin who have lived here for generations.
 
For the past few days there has been unidentified air-craft circling the camp and we’ve been surrounded by federal and state police.  We believe the elders, women and children present at this peaceful assembly could be under threat and in danger of imminent harm and possible violence from state and federal police (including Homeland Security) as well as private security. The Governor of North Dakota has issued a state of emergency and closed roads and restricted freedom of movement. We are unarmed.  We do not have cell phone service or wifi.  We are unable to communicate and document for the world community this peaceful assembly.
 
We are committed to peaceful defense of our water and our territory. 
 
We urgently seek national and international human rights observers to come.  We need United Nations’ rapporteurs, NGOs (especially Indigneous NGOs), and Churches, to be aware of the rapidly escalating dangers facing this peaceful gathering. Please come and bear witness.

Learn More:
 
 

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Tuesday
Aug232016

TRIBAL GATHERING FACES AGGRESSIVE STATE REPRESSION AND MEDIA MANIPULATION

This press release was sent out by Indigenous Environmental Network, P.O. Box 485, Bemidji, MN 56619, http://www.ienearth.org/

(The anti-nuclear movement, including Beyond Nuclear, has long stood in solidarity with Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and Honor the Earth. This has included united stands in opposition to dirty, dangerous, and expensive energy industries -- both fossil fuel and nuclear industries. Re: anti-nuclear solidarity, this has extended across the uranium fuel chain, from mining and milling, all the way to radioactive waste disposal (see Skull Valley Goshutes and related info., and see Western Shoshone and related info., posted at the NIRS website; also see Beyond Nuclear's Native America, Yucca Mountain, and additional, related website sub-sections), all of which is disproportionately targeted at Native American lands, an environmental injustice, amounting to radioactive racism. Please support these groups in their time of crisis and need, as described below.)

For Immediate Release: August 23, 2016

Contact:

LaDonna Allard (CSS), ladonnabrave1@aol.com, (701) 426-2064

Dallas Goldtooth (IEN), dallas@ienearth.org, (507) 412-7609

Tara Houska (HTE), tara@honorearth.org, (612) 226-9404

The historic gathering of tribes from across the continent in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline continues in the face of aggressive state repression and media manipulation.  Last Friday, Governor Dalrymple declared a State of Emergency in order to make additional state resources available to “manage public safety risks associated with the protest.”  Dalrymple has complained of “outside agitators” responsible for “hundreds of criminal acts,” and called on federal officials to help.  But LaDonna Allard, Director of the Camp of the Sacred Stone, says, “The gathering here remains 100% peaceful and ceremonial, as it has from day one.  We are standing together in prayer.  No firearms or weapons are allowed.  Why is a gathering of Indians so inherently threatening and frightening to some people?”

On Monday, August 22, the Morton County Board also declared a State of Emergency in order to access the funds released by the Governor - to request overtime wages, extra equipment, and money to reimburse other law enforcement agencies sending resources.  This decision relies on a false narrative of violence put forth by Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, who last week announced outrageous, unsubstantiated claims of “pipe bombs” and gun violence at the protest site.  Dallas Goldtooth, Keep It In The Ground Campaign Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network says, “These are dangerous statements by Sheriff Kirchmeier and only foster greater resentment between local native and non-native residents. Furthermore, we have women, children and elders in our camp; and because of the Sheriff’s false narrative those families now have to fear for their own safety. ”

Meanwhile, the main road accessing the camp, Highway 1806, has been shut down by authorities since Friday.  A military-style checkpoint is established at Fort Lincoln, where motorists are constantly surveilled with cameras and interrogated about their activities.   Identities are recorded and anyone suspected of traveling to the protest site is turned away and forced to travel a long detour. These checkpoints violate constitutional protections and international law by restricting freedom of movement without justification.  They further isolate a people who are already extremely geographically and politically isolated.  At the same time, police presence has been amplified on the reservation and many have been racially profiled and harassed for no reason. 

On Monday, North Dakota’s Homeland Security Director ordered the removal of state-owned medical trailers and water tanks from the camp, citing reports of unlawful activity and fears that the equipment is unsafe.  Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director for Honor the Earth, says, “It is deeply ironic that the Governor would release emergency funds under the guise of public health and safety, but then remove the infrastructure that helps ensure health and safety in the camp.  This is nothing but repression of our growing movement to protect our water and future generations.”
 
The North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also announced they are investigating two incidents of “laser strikes” aimed at surveillance aircraft patrolling above the camp.   “Why launch a federal investigation into a laser pointer instead of asking what right the US government has to fly surveillance planes over sovereign nations in the first place?” said Houska.  
 
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Friday
Nov202015

Resisting environmental racism at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

Corbin Harney (standing), Western Shoshone spiritual leader, and Raymond Yowell, then Western Shoshone Indian Nation chief, at Peace Camp, NV, Oct. 2002, leading protests against nuclear weapons testing, militarism, and radioactive waste dumping at the Nevada Test Site. Photo by Gabriela Bulisova.November 20th marked the end of a rushed, "going-through-the motions" Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a thinly veiled attempt to revive the cancelled Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump in Nevada.

NRC didn't even bother to provide advance notice to the affected Indian tribes downstream from the targeted site, let alone consult with them in a government-to-government manner, as is the agency's legal obligation. But at least NRC is consistent: it didn't provide any funding to the tribes, either, placing an extraordinary burden on the tribal nations to meet the arbitrarily-short deadline. In this regard, NRC's SDEIS public comment proceeding itself was a violation of environmental justice (EJ), not to mention the agency's biased push to bury 70,000 metric tons, or more, of high-level radioactive waste on indigenous land, guaranteed to leak into the precious, even sacred, drinking water supply.

Despite NRC's own EJ violations, the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe and the Native Community Action Council met the deadline, with powerful comments. They thereby continued a tradition of protecting Yucca Mountain, and its groundwater, that dates back not just years or decades, but centuries and millenia, to time immemorial. More.

Thursday
Jul162015

Resistance commemorates dark Atomic Age anniversaries in New Mexico

July 16th marks two dark Atomic Age anniversaries in New Mexico of national and even global significance. It's 70 years since "Trinity," the world's first atom bomb explosion, at Alamogordo, NM -- the Manhattan Project "test" for Nagasaki to follow three weeks later. And it's 36 years since one of the worst (and least known) radioactivity disasters in U.S. history, the massive uranium tailings dam release at Church Rock, NM. Ninety million gallons of liquid radioactive waste, and eleven hundred tons of solid mill wastes, spilled into the Rio Puerco River, vital source of drinking and livestock grazing water for Navajo communities downstream.

But resistance to nuclear weapons and nuclear power remains strong in the "Land of Enchantment," despite decades of ongoing radioactive abuses. For example, Diné No Nukes of New Mexico will join with S.A.N.S. and Nuclear Energy Information Service to celebrate a successful fundraiser for their collaborative "Radiation Monitoring Project," purchasing detectors to be used in Navajo country, still contaminated from decades of uranium mining and milling.

And Downwinders and nuclear weapons watchdog groups, including Beyond Nuclear's Alliance for Nuclear Accountability coalition partners Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Watch New Mexico and Southwest Research Information Center are not only commemorating "Trinity." They continue their decades-long efforts, such as watchdogging the "Birthplace of the Bomb," Los Alamos National Lab; resisting nuclear weaponeers' attempt to keep their omnicidal trade going for decades to come, at unthinkable expense; opposing threatened in situ uranium mining; and outing the truth about the 2014 radioactivity leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, NM, to name but a few of their ongoing campaigns.