Activists arrested after performing pre-Easter yoga peace dance at Nevada National Security Site

Nuclear Stations of the Cross at the Nevada Test Site – photo by Richelle Swarts

from Nevada Desert Experience

On Good Friday, March 29, at the conclusion of Nevada Desert Experience’s annual Sacred Peace Walk, 20 participants were arrested at the entrance of the historic nuclear weapons proving ground 65 miles from Las Vegas. The Sacred Peace Walk is a five-day walk through the desert to bring about greater inner and external peace, particuarly focused on the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and its offensive pro-nuclear weapons work since 1951. In opposition to such work at the NNSS, many of the participants performed a yoga-dance in flash-mob style just prior to crossing the line which led to their arrests.

Nuclear weapons abolitionists join this journey of peace-walking each Spring to call attention to the environmental injustices conducted by the NNSS (formerly the Nevada Test Site), operated by the U.S. Department of Energy. Nevada Desert Experience (NDE) organizes these nuclear abolition peace walks in order to facilitate public engagement in active peace-making, supported by prayers from various spiritual traditions. NDE works with the Western Shoshone Nation to conduct the peace walk in Western Shoshone territory, in which the NNSS conducts its pro-nuclear work. Earlier this week on the Sacred Peace Walk, eight of the abolitionists were arrested at Creech Air Force Base in a nonviolent blockade of the drone warfare base.

Marcus Page-Collonge, a peace walk participant since 1997, said, “Nonviolent activists join this walk to delve into the beauty of this desert while making a stand for the goodness of life and denouncing the violence of nuclear weapons and drone warfare. I believe that civil resistance to military and nuclear violence is especially appropos around Easter time.”

The 20 nuclear abolitionists arrested were:
Margaret McChesney of Phoenix, AZ
John Zemblidge of Phoenix, AZ
George Killingsworth of Berkeley, CA
Richelle Swarts of Berkeley, CA
Judy Kehr of Venice, CA
Barbara Robinson of Los Angeles, CA
Rev. Felicia Parazaider of Berkeley, CA
Gary Cavalier of Las Vegas, NV
Bill James of Las Vegas, NV
Mark Kelso of Las Vegas, NV
Robert Majors of Las Vegas, NV
John Paz Amidon of Albany, NY
Joan Monastero of Saugerties, NY
Alan Spivack of Saugerties, NY
MaryEllen Holland of Ashland, OR
Charlie Smith of Springfiled, OR
Laurie Pollack of Lansdowne, PA
Catherine Kuerter of Salt Lake City, UT
Susan Dillon of Salt Lake City, UT
Rev. Jerry Zawada, OFM of Milwaukee, WI