49.7 F
Bellingham
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Official says Washington state is a nuclear hotspot

According to Adams, Washington is a large producer of nuclear weapons, though not a lot of residents realize it. // Photo Courtesy of Lilly Adams

By Mia Steben

The Whatcom Justice & Peace Center hosted a presentation on May 9 on the presence of nuclear weapons in Washington, and its negative impact on communities.

Presenter Lilly Adams is security program organizer for Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. Adams said she runs the anti-nuclear weapons campaign through a social and racial justice lens.

According to Adams, Trump’s discretionary budget request for 2019 includes $1.7 trillion of funding to the nuclear arsenal plans over the next 30 years adjusted with inflation.

Adams said that individuals think of nuclear weapons as a Cold War-era issue, but it is just as important today due to the  accessibility of nuclear weapons and the ability to utilize them.

“Washington state is nuclear hotspot and not a lot of people in Washington realize,” Adams said. “If Washington state were a country, we would be the third-largest nuclear weapons country in the world.”

The process of creating and using nuclear weapons often hurts low-income communities and communities of color, according to Adams. 

“We see indigenous people and minorities in colonized countries being exploited and harmed in order to produce nuclear weapons,” Adams said. “We see that these communities are still bearing the health and environmental burdens of this today, and they are not being compensated properly by the government.”

Adams said the two takeaways are that nuclear weapon production hurts communities even without use and production of these weapons are being prioritized over our communities.

“The human cost is simply not considered,” Adams said.

Neah Monteiro, executive director of the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, said that any organizing around eliminating nuclear weapons needs to be informed by what’s happening in communities now.

“I really admire the work Lilly is doing to help the traditional nuclear abolition movement build awareness about what it means to be in solidarity with social justice movements,” Monteiro said.

Monteiro said the most moving point of the presentation was the walkthrough of the nuclear weapons process and how communities of color are and have been most impacted.

Attendee Tracy Powell said his goal was to meet others who were involved in this issue.

“We have to get together and work together and to hear what these other folks are trying to do. It’s such a huge task,” Powell said. “It’s going to take all of us working together.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you, Mia; you covered Lily’s key points concisely and effectively. Nuclear weapons are truly The Most Inconvenient Truth. The thermonuclear warheads on the missiles carried on the eight ballistic missile submarines based in Puget Sound are literally capable of causing the end of civilization as we know it, and quite possibly cause the next mass extinction. The continued threat of use of nuclear weapons (by any and all nuclear-armed states) is a crime against humanity, and our young people (as do all people) deserve a better future than one in which they have to worry about nuclear war!!!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3,961FansLike
1,241FollowersFollow
5,468FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Behind the systems: WWU Newman Center forced resignation of student employee after learning of same-sex partner

Student says she was told to break up with her girlfriend or quit her job

Resident advisers hold open forum with university officials to discuss concerns

Written by: Bram Briskorn and Questen Inghram Over 300 people packed into Arntzen Hall, room 100 as if it were...

Sports: Pros and cons of Seahawks’ NFL draft pick Malik McDowell

Why did the Seahawks go after a defensive tackle with their first selection in the 2017 NFL draft? Coming off...

Latest News

What’s the story on all the painted bricks on campus?

A painted brick reads “Senior Class of 2020” with a picture of a Winnie-the-Pooh character on...

New, current students consider attendance at Western

During college admission season, Western is holding virtual tours and Q&A sessions for new and prospective students. // Illustration by Rachel...

Uninsured to suffer the most after the pandemic

Experts say isolation can negatively impact mental health, but not everyone has access to services they may need. // Illustration by...

Tiny house completion moved to fall

A fully rendered image of what the tiny-house will look like. It will be in the same location as seen in...

City of Subdued Excitement gets new subdued podcast

Annika Fleming (left) and Maria Dalla Gasperina on a field trip with Western during their internship in 2017. // Photo courtesy...

More Articles Like This