from the Nevada Desert Experience
The Nevada Desert Experience held its 23rd annual Sacred Peace Walk (SPW), which happens every year during Holy Week. On Saturday, April 8, the SPW began at the Atomic Testing Museum, and continued through the Las Vegas Strip and Fremont Street. The Maundy Thursday finale for the interfaith group on April 13 was a foot washing ceremony at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), followed by a prayer-action at the white line on the public road leading into the nuclear test site. Sixteen people were arrested by Nye County sheriffs. The NNSS continues to receive shipments of so-called low-level nuclear waste. Since the site is on Western Shoshone land, the prayer-activists carried Shoshone permits granting them the right to be present at the NNSS.
On April 11, the interfaith activists for peace and justice held two vigils to protest drones at Creech Air Force Base. The first peaceful vigil ended at 8:30 a.m. with Las Vegas metro police arresting five participants who blocked the roadway entrance to the drone base. The group of about two dozen people had earlier tried to communicate with employees who were on their way to work at Creech. Traffic was backed up for a mile and a half before a second gate was opened.
Nevada Desert Experience council member Marcus Page-Collonge said, “The NNSS represents genocide against Native Americans and Creech represents terrorism from the skies above Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere.” The successful blockade of Creech and the similar nonviolent street demonstration at the NNSS were heart-felt responses to international crimes such as Creech’s terrorizing of civilians and the NNSS’s failure to abide by international treaties. Demonstrators are mobilized for nonviolent social change and taking personal responsibility to care for the environment, planet, and people.