We have rescheduled our Citizen Inspection and tour of Los Alamos National Laboratory for Saturday, December 15th beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m. We will meet at the De Vargas Mall North, in front of the Chamber of Commerce, and carpool/caravan to Los Alamos. There will be an evening lecture and discussion at 7:00 p.m., at the Unitarian Church, on the corner of Galisteo and Barcelona streets, to include topics on biological weapons, nuclear waste disposal, and security at the lab. On the tour, we will be viewing facilities and sites at the lab, including the nuclear waste landfill, the plutonium facilities (current and planned), possible biological weapons lab sites, and other key facilities.
This is not a civil resistance activity. It is meant to serve as an informed review of security concerns present at LANL.
Please call the office at 505-982-7747 for details and to RSVP.
Looking forward to seeing you,
Greg, Lydia, April and Blake
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Dear Colleagues --
The Study Group has been extremely busy lately and its time for an update on our current activities. We could also really use your help!
1. The Can-Paign to end nuclear waste disposal in northern New Mexico.
A little help from you will allow us to make a delivery of an additional 1,000 letter-cans before Thanksgiving, which will help keep up the pressure -- and get much-needed food to the Food Depot. (They were extremely grateful for these cans, and they desperately need more for the holidays.)
As you know, we delivered the first 1,000 cans to the Governors office on September 20, 2001 (congratulations, everybody!). The response from the Environment Department (NMED) was very non-committal, however, and initially referred to our efforts as symbolic and not a serious or legally-significant. This resistance is a good sign these letters are in fact legally important. We have subsequently made sure, via a countersigned receipt, that all 1,004 names and addresses were in fact received by NMED.
We are very close to delivering another 1,000 cans. If each of you could recruit one or more signatures on a can or label by MONDAY, November 19th, we will deliver the cans to the Governors office before Thursday. (Call the office if you'd like to help deliver them!!!)
Cans are available at retail outlets (see www.lasg.org). Or you can come by our office at 212 E. Marcy, Suite 10, and pick up cans or labels for signature. If you received our recent mailing containing Can-Paign labels, please consider returning them TODAY!
Here's what you can tell your friends to recruit them:
"We need your help to end large-scale disposal of nuclear waste in northern New Mexico. Each year, many thousands of drums worth of nuclear waste, generated by the burgeoning Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) nuclear weapons program, are permanently buried in a large, unlined landfill near White Rock, NM. The Attorney Generals office has called for an end to this illegal practice. Experts agree that alternatives exist which are more protective of the environment and also less expensive. LANL wants to continue dumping up to 45,000 drums
worth of nuclear waste each year, because its grandiose plutonium manufacturing plans, endorsed by Congress and growing each year, are more marketable if these mountains of waste can be quietly managed on-site."
We also need volunteers to help with activities related to the Can-paign if you have an hour or two once a week or even once a month, please call Lydia in our office at 982-7747.
2. Response to events of 9/11, and the war. In continuation of the Appeal for Restraint petition, we are asking individuals to visit the local congressional offices here in Santa Fe, and meet with staff members regarding your concerns. The signatures from the petitions have been provided to each of the congressional delegates and published in the New Mexican, but we must be more aggressive in demanding a response from our Senators and Representative. Calls and petitions are not enough. Now, more than ever, it is necessary for us to remind our government that they represent the citizens of this country and to listen to all their constituents when making decisions. The recent Patriot Act is just one more indication of the disregard for civil rights in the nations haste to control or protect our country. Why not make it a habit to visit your congressional delegation from time to time? The Santa Fe addresses are: Senator Jeff Bingaman, 119 E. Marcy, Suite101, Santa Fe; Senator Pete Domenici, 120 S. Federal Place, Room 302, Santa Fe(downtown post office building); and Representative Tom Udall, 811 St. Michaels Drive, Suite 104, Santa Fe.
3. Our citizen inspection and tour of the Los Alamos National Laboratory that was scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, November 16th, has been postponed. This is a very important event and will be rescheduled with notification provided as soon as possible. Remember without our active participation, democracy is just an empty idea. Thanks for all your support and help and we look forward to hearing from all of you!
Lydia, Greg, April, and Blake
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Dear colleagues --
Representative Tom Udall will hold a town hall meeting Friday, 9/28/01, at 11:30 am in the Mary Esther Gonzales Senior Center, 1121 Alto Street, next to the Bi-Centennial Swimming Pool. This meeting is to discuss the September 11 terrorist attacks and the possible U.S. responses.
Please pass this information on to others and encourage them to attend the meeting and voice their concerns.
Greg, April, Blake, and Lydia
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Thank you for your attention. This will be brief.
Today our two NM senators, with Sen. Reid of NV, introduced a floor amendment to the Senate defense authorization bill (bill S. 1438) to significantly increase the nuclear weapons budget (by $338,944,000). This is not for nonproliferation or any other budget line which could be construed as being anything but maintenance, production, and "improvement" of U.S. nuclear weapons. This is $492 million above the Bush administration's request; $422 million above the House Armed Services Committee's recommendation; and $483 million above the House
Appropriations Committee's recommendation. It's a roughly 8% increase over the Bush Administration increase.
The LANL nuclear weapon budget, which more-or-less parallels that for the whole nation, has more than doubled in the past six years in constant dollars, BEFORE this year's proposed increases.
Folks should know that Sen. Bingaman always votes for nuclear weapons budget increases. It's not just Sen. Domenici.
Why are we proposing to increase the U.S. budget for weapons of mass destruction (WMD)? Of what use -- military, or moral -- are they? The U.S. nuclear weapons budget for research, development, and production is far higher, in inflation-corrected dollars, than it was during the Cold War. Among a myriad of other new projects, this money will be used to help establish plutonium pit production in NM, which is unnecessary and polluting.
It would be helpful to CALL OUR SENATORS and tell them this is a bad idea. (Their phone numbers are below). It is important to CALL RIGHT AWAY, as this vote could occur at any time. Even if your call is after the vote, it will help (for the next time).
Sen. Jeff Bingaman: 202-224-5521 (DC), 505-988-6647 (Santa Fe), 505-346-6601 (Albuquerque).
Sen. Pete Domenici: 202-224-6621 (DC), 505-988-6511 (Santa Fe), 505-346-6791 (Albuquerque).
More details: Our colleagues in DC (Jim Bridgeman of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability and David Culp of the Friends Committee on National Legislation) have pointed out that apparently the amendment is an effort to raise the ceiling on the Energy & Water appropriations so the House will be forced to cede to the Senate's higher numbers for nuclear weapons in that bill. It's quite possible that the amendment will be ruled out of order since there is no offset offered -- i.e. no place has been suggested to GET money, which is now scarce again. It is also still possible that it could be ruled in order -- and voted on as early as today.
Please feel free to email this to your friends.
Greg, April, Blake, and Lydia