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Nuclear weapons testing has been conducted worldwide on lands taken from indigenous people. In the case of the Nevada National Security Site (formerly the "Nevada Test Site"), the land legally belongs to the Western Shoshone Nation by the Treaty of Ruby Valley (1863). Nuclear weapons despoil delicate ecosystems held sacred by those with the least political power, and declared expendable by those with the most. More than a thousand atomic weapons have been detonated at the NNSS making it the most bombed place on the planet.

We come to the desert to engage the destruction of violence with the constructive nonviolence. We seek reconnection with each other and the earth, by understanding and taking responsibility for the consequences of our actions.

Since the birth of NDE in 1982, thousands of people have come to our retreats and conferences to learn about the related issues of nuclear testing and gathered at the edge of Security Site for vigil, religious services, and nonviolent civil disobedience. NDE’s organizing seeks to honor all of God’s creation and the Beloved Community as we bear witness to sixty years of nuclear destruction.

While the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Non-proliferation Treaty have been resounding victories for our movement toward nuclear abolition, the United States is currently spending more American tax dollars on the nuclear weapons’ program than at any point during the Cold War. The Department of Energy has admitted the legacy of nuclear testing has left four tons of plutonium (the single most carcinogenic substance known to humans) in the desert soil. Now the government seeks to expand the repository capacity at the Test Site for highly radioactive materials. When we consider that all of this devastating reality resides up the road from Las Vegas, the fastest growing city in the nation, our call to action is deeply clarified.

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