reprinted with permission from
Poison Fire, Sacred Earth,


pages 291-292

Chances to End the Nuclear Age

Workshop Report by Joanna Macy

           Well, as you can imagine, with a title like "Chances to End the Nuclear Age" our group ranged all over the place in its discussion. Much of it had to do with grass-roots involvement of citizens. We had a number of people in our group that were exemplifying in their own lives search for new ways of engaging, and reflected at some length upon the convergence of -- a historical convergence at this time -- of the movement -- the peace movement, the environmental movement and the human potential or spirituality movement, and that this convergence, as we've experienced it here, can lead to a revitalization of the anti-nuclear movement.

           There was as one way that we talked about for giving people on the local level a form of involvement and self-education on the nuclear fuel cycle and the presence of contamination in their neighbourhoods is the proposal of a work sheet -- which actually some of us are working on -- to distribute, that people of all ages, including school children, can educate themselves on the presence of nuclear facilities and the drive-through of nuclear transport and so forth in their communities, the types of contamination, by filling out this work sheet.

           There were four other recommendations, equally wide-ranging, that I'll just read, they were written by different members of our workshop. While we talked quite a bit about the guardianship of nuclear waste at the back end of the fuel cycle, emphasis was made on the need now to focus on stopping mining.

           I read:

           "While we continue all our work around the globe, let us take the time to focus our energy and growing knowledge on preventing even further ecological degradation. The time is short and the potential very real to stop the massive expansion of the high-grade-ore exploitation in northern Saskatchewan and perhaps soon also in Australia."

           Another proposal:

           "That the users of uranium should be made responsible for all the damage caused by their use of uranium along the fuel chain. To do so would, of course, discourage business, would also contribute to determining the real costs of nuclear energy; that determination to be an important contribution to cutting down on this production."

           This is a recommendation from one of our members, and was also discussed by all, reflects on the observations made yesterday, last night, by Ramsey Clark on the close relationship between militarization and nuclearization, nuclearism. This comes from an American member: "In the United States, an important financial resource for the increasing population of poor people is unfortunately the military. It will be important to work to reform the education system, so there's a better alternative to people than joining the army in order to be able to get an education. And this will involve a multi-point system including other findings, an understanding of what's meant by learning about who are the uneducated, and clearer purposes of education."

           The last recommendation of our group which we actually put into effect before we broke up at 3:30, was that there should be more dancing at World Uranium Hearings. And the proposal is made by this workshop that this we put immediately into effect for everybody in the adjoining little park here by this building tonight after the evening events. So all who have drums, guitars and two feet are invited to come and join. Thank you very much.

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