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Interview with NDE Immersion Group, January 13, 2006


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Narrator affiliation: Peace Studies, Nevada Desert Experience

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Nevada Desert Experience (Organization). Interview, 2006 January 13. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Anthony Guzman, Chelsea Collonge, Amy Schultz, Kathryn Dillon, and Patrick Finn NDE Immersion Group January 13, 2006 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Suzanne Becker © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Anthony Guzman, Chelsea Collonge, Amy Schultz, Kathryn Dillon, and Patrick Finn NDE Immersion Group January 13, 2006 Conducted by Suzanne Becker Table of Contents Introduction: Anthony Guzman, Outreach Coordinator, Citizen Alert 1 Chelsea Collonge, student, Peace and Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley 3 Amy Schultz, Director, NDE 4 Kathryn Dillon, student, Peace and Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley 5 Impressions upon seeing the NTS and the Nevada desert 6 Amy Schultz: Relationship between NDE, Citizens Alert, and UC Berkeley 9 Coalition to Demilitarize the UC and the nature of both student and other public awareness of and attitudes toward nuclear weapons testing and waste storage issues 10 Arguments for increasing public awareness of the danger of nuclear weapons and offering peaceful alternatives 12 Amy Schultz talks about how goals of NDE have evolved over two decades 16 Patrick Finn reflects on Chelsea Collonge’s idea of “ opening a space” through first- hand experience in order to increase awareness of vital issues 17 Group talks about influence of family and life experience, and the role of spirituality, in forming individual awareness and activism 19 Conclusion: New options, and bringing the public to awareness and caring about the issue of nuclear weapons and testing 24 Postscript: Introduction of Patrick Finn, student, Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, UC Berkeley 27 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Anthony Guzman, Chelsea Collonge, Amy Schultz, Kathryn Dillon, and Patrick Finn NDE Immersion Group January 13, 2006 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Suzanne Becker [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Suzanne Becker: Go ahead and begin. Anthony Guzman: My name is Tony Guzman. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I’ve been living in Las Vegas for about a year and a half now, and currently I am the Outreach Coordinator for Citizen Alert. Citizen Alert is an environmental justice organization that’s been in the state of Nevada for about thirty years now, and we’ve been working primarily on one issue but we focus a lot on the Nevada Test Site [ NTS] along with Yucca Mountain and other environmental justice issues. The way I became interested in nuclear issues, so to speak, is not by accident, but when I moved here a year and a half ago, I realized I wanted to get involved. I had just graduated from college, so I really wanted to get involved in the community, and I realized that one of, if not the most important issue in the community as well as the state was the Yucca Mountain Project, and I literally just started to learn about it. I was fascinated by it. I didn’t know anything about it, growing up in California, and I learned more and I really was, in a sense, inspired to do something about it, I guess. And I contacted Citizen Alert in the summer of 2004 and said, How can I help? What can I do? And I began volunteering, helping with some projects, just there every day and [ I] immersed myself in the issue. The more I learned about nuclear waste politics, the Nevada Test Site, and nuclear weapons, I was just so fascinated by it. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Literally the rest is history. I’ve been with the organization now for more than a year, doing different projects. My current focus is youth organizing, student organizing, and raising awareness at primarily the university level but also hopefully eventually high school level, getting young people in this movement. A lot of times we go to events and conferences and there’s mostly older people and not younger people at these events. I think the antinuclear and nuclear abolition movement needs new voices, new ideas, and young people to be active, because it’s an ongoing legacy and who’s going to take that role in the future? So that’s my focus and I really just— I feel almost like I committed my life to it because it’s so amazing and such a powerful thing. Can you describe a little more? You said you were really fascinated with it. What was the fascinating thing that got you into it? I think part of it was I moved to Nevada not knowing anything about Nevada, in a sense. I mean, and I didn’t realize how much— I mean I was a history major. OK. I was going to ask you what you studied. Did you learn about the Cold War era and the test site or anything like in your classes? It was a U. S. History focus and I focused on constitutional history, so we didn’t talk a lot about nuclear and Cold War. I learned a lot about World War II, but I didn’t know Nevada’s role specifically in the testing of nuclear weapons. And then specifically when I had learned about Yucca Mountain, I didn’t know about the role that nuclear power has in this country, as well as nuclear waste, and how that affects not just Nevada but the whole country. So that’s when I said, wow, Nevada has a legacy. I was fascinated by the historical perspective, as a history guy, and then I was interested in how this is so current. Yucca Mountain, in 2004 it was the issue here, I mean in the election, the presidential election and all that. So I just was like, this is it. Right after UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 you graduate, you don’t know what you’re going to do and you don’t know where you’re going to go and I was like, wow, this is what I want to do. So that’s what inspired me. That’s cool. Yeah. So that’s sort of my story. Great. Starting with some introductions, so Chelsea, [ do] you want to—? Chelsea Collonge: I’m Chelsea Collonge. I’m twenty- one years old and currently a fourth- year senior at UC [ University of California] Berkeley. I��m studying Peace and Conflict Studies with a focus in nonviolence. And I’m from San José, California. Two years ago, I was at office hours of my nonviolence professor when Amy Schultz came in and sat down next to me, waiting to speak to my professor. [ She] gave me a brochure about this immersion trip that she was organizing to take students out to the Nevada Test Site to learn about nuclear weapons testing [ 00: 05: 00] from a variety of angles— from the peace and justice angle, which was my primary interest, but also the environmental and the indigenous rights issues, or angles. And the main reason that I went out is because I have been raised Catholic and it was Lent, and spending Lent in the desert at a time when I was really searching spiritually had a great appeal for me. So I came out on that immersion trip, and since that time have gotten very involved with antinuclear activism. I’ve interned with several antinuclear organizations in the Bay Area and also gotten really involved with a student movement to have the UC sever its ties with the nuclear weapons labs, the University California which manages Los Alamos [ National Laboratory] and [ Lawrence] Livermore [ National Laboratory] labs. So now I’m here again in Las Vegas for the same kind of immersion trip, and I’ve now been working part- time for Nevada Desert Experience [ NDE] for about three months. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 OK. And you got involved with the Nevada Desert Experience after coming out here and meeting Amy and doing the trip last year? Yes. OK. Cool. All right. Go ahead, [ Amy]. Amy Schultz: My name is Amy Schultz and I am twenty- nine years old, almost thirty, and I currently am the Director of the Nevada Desert Experience. I work from a Bay Area office. I was born and raised in Florida and four years ago moved out to California to the Bay Area to start graduate school. I got a master’s in ministry. While I was there, I was speaking to one of my professors about getting involved in the community and I was explaining to him my interests and my passions for being involved in peace and justice work and environmental justice work and specifically from a faith- based perspective, and he suggested that I meet with Anne Symens- Bucher who’s one of the co- founders of the Nevada Desert Experience. So I went to meet with her and help her with her work that she does for the Franciscans. That was in my first year of graduate school. When I was getting ready to graduate, NDE had a little bit more funding than we usually have and offered me the position to be, at the time, Youth and Outreach Coordinator. So this is my third year working for NDE. Basically we’re very small- staffed, as you know, and currently just trying to organize different events of introducing people to the issues and inviting people to come out to the desert for a different kind of experience and the opportunity to learn about the issues. Was there anything specific that sparked your interest in this particular area? Well, it’s interesting because I didn’t really know very much at all about the nuclear issue. I had grown up in the seventies and eighties and certainly had consciousness, this is still during the Cold War, and I remember being really scared of being bombed and all of that, but it was never UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 really any of the focuses of my earlier activism. I think just through my experience of working with Anne. Then she suggested that I come out to one of our [ NDE’s] events to see if it was something that fit with me, and I did. I came out for the end of our annual Peace Walk out to the test site and spent a night in the desert with a huge thunderstorm and the next day got arrested for the first time, and it was just a really powerful experience. Then [ I] got more and more exposed to the people involved. I think that’s been one of the most amazing things about this job, just meeting the different people who have either worked with or for NDE or all of our sister organizations or organizations we collaborate with, and also the people who come to our events. How inspiring. And I think it matched what I was looking for, in that it’s an organization that works for peace and justice, even [ 00: 10: 00] though it has a particular bent on the nuclear issue. But we try to incorporate what’s called the justice, peace, integrity of creation, all the elements, and doing that from a base of being of faith. That was really important to me and that’s why it met all of those needs at the time. Wow. Great. Kathryn Dillon: My name is Kate Dillon. I am a sophomore at UC Berkeley and I am studying Peace and Conflict Studies. I first became real aware of this issue through my classes, and really I’m here on this trip, on this immersion experience in order to better understand the issue. It’s been so fascinating this week to get to better understand it in such a real sense, in talking with people who are affected, who live so nearby and so locally, and to get to see the site itself and go to the [ Atomic Testing] museum. It’s one thing to learn about these things in the classroom and it’s another thing to actually get to see it all and see its effects. I found out about the trip because of my friendship with Chelsea, so I’m grateful for all of that. Have you been out here before or this is your first time? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 No, this is actually my very first time even in Las Vegas, so it’s been quite a week. I bet. Well, actually that brings me— I don’t want to cut you off. No, that’s fine. Well, that just brings me to another question [ which] is, now that you guys have all been out to the test site at least once, I’m wondering if you recall what your first thoughts or first impressions were when you got out there, what you were thinking about. Chelsea Collonge: Something that stands out really strongly in my memory [ is] when I went on the immersion trip two years ago. We went out to the test site on the last day for a vigil, and we gathered off the side of the road and did something called the Mirror Walk, which is where we paired up and I closed my eyes and my partner gently led me to walk through the rocky landscape and then stopped and said, Chelsea, open your eyes and look in the mirror. And I did and I was standing right in front of this most amazingly beautiful bush. Just being exposed to the beauty, the subtle but just profound beauty of that landscape really stuck out to me, especially because of what I had learned about 1951 and the opening of the test site, there are government documents that say, Nevada, just desolate landscape, good for nothing but disposing of your used razor blades. Coming from California, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by the richness of the desert, but it became definitely a home for me. Amy Schultz: I would say a very similar experience. Like I said, the first time I went out there was for a part of the Peace Walk, so I had not done the whole walk, which is over five days, but just the last night. And it was this crazy thunderstorm in the middle of the desert. I woke up the next morning and it was just so beautiful and fresh and the wind was so strong. It was just really beautiful. And to be there and to know that just a couple miles away there was this immense destruction going on and that had been going on for so many years, and that image UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 of the Earth as the Mother, knowing that since 1962 we’d been doing the bombing underground, and that image of in the womb kind of thing, I think that’s really striking. It was striking to me, that meaning. Kathryn Dillon: We drove up there, was that yesterday? Yesterday afternoon. And it was [ 00: 15: 00] late afternoon and so the sun was starting to set and I was just already so in awe. All week I have been in awe of the amazing beauty of the desert here, especially Red Rock Park but all over the desert. It’s just gorgeous! And so I was thinking about that. I was also thinking at the same time as I looked out towards the gate and in towards the site, which I’d learned at the [ Atomic Testing] museum a few days before was a larger area than the state of Rhode Island. I was trying to picture that in my head and I couldn’t, how immense that would be, extending way far beyond what I could see. And I was thinking about something Chelsea had told me. She actually sent me a message when she was there over summer saying, I’m thinking of you and looking out at the stars at the most heavily bombed place on Earth. So those are some of the things I was thinking about as I was remembering her comment about that, and just soaking in this immense beauty and looking at this place that has been so incredibly destructed. Those were some of my first thoughts as we arrived there. Anthony Guzman: I had similar thoughts because the one time I went to the test site, my first experience, I took a Yucca Mountain tour. Obviously you get to go within the test site, and primarily it was at Yucca Mountain, but they actually take you on top of Yucca Mountain on a road and you stop and the tour guides talk about the desert and the Nevada Test Site and stuff. And you get on top of Yucca Mountain and you see 360- degrees, you get a look all the way around, and it is, it’s incredibly beautiful. It’s an amazing experience. And I was pissed off; I was angry because this is what they’re doing to it. I mean I was standing above Yucca Mountain UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 where they’re planning to bury the most deadly substance in the world and I’m looking out at the test site where they have all these terrible weapons tests. So I was angry, I guess. That was my reaction. My gut reaction was anger that they’re doing this. And it was capped off because our two tour guides— one guy was a geologist at the Project and the other guy worked for Bechtel [ Nevada]. He was a PR guy, and he started on this little— Do you remember who they were, by chance? Not by name, no. I recognize their faces, though. I see them around. They always show up at these hearings and meetings and sit in the back corner. But that’s a different story. So the guy from Bechtel, the PR guy, started talking about all the great things that Bechtel does for the state and he said, We do these great things for the native people, and he’s like, I don’t remember their name but I know they’re really grateful for all the things we do for them. And me and another guy, we’re like, Excuse me. By the way, it’s the Western Shoshone people, and I don’t think they’re really grateful for what you’re doing. And everybody else besides me, there were three people from Citizen Alert, everybody else had no idea about Yucca Mountain— were a load of fresh people. And just the look on this guy’s face when he’s trying to sell something, I guess market the Yucca Mountain Project and how great— Bechtel does these things for the community, they donate money to schools, all this stuff— my reaction was just anger and like, how dare you; how dare you say this? So it’s pretty amazing. It sounds like you all had pretty powerful reactions to it. So many things going through my head. Before we continue on, I’m curious to know how— maybe one of you could clarify for historical or technical purposes the relation— because you guys are all out of Berkeley. And [ Tony] you’re not but you’re involved in Citizen Alert here, but it seems like there is this affiliation between UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 here, Las Vegas, the group, and then what you guys do at Berkeley. Do you know the history of this or can you explain that? Amy Schultz: I think I could go into a little bit about that. When NDE was founded twenty- five years ago [ 1982, originally the Lenten Desert Experience], two of the co- founders were based out of the Bay Area [ Anne Symens- Bucher and Michael Affleck]. They were either [ 00: 20: 00] Franciscans or involved in the Catholic Worker movement in the Bay Area. So I think from its inception, there has always been that connection and that’s why right now we have an office there and an office here. But I think it’s also because, California in general seems to be a fairly ripe place for bringing people over, and in fact a lot of our events, we have people from all over California. Are you Nevada Desert Experience out there also? Yes. OK. And so you do events out there, as well. We mainly organize events to come here. It’s a little bit confusing because we’re Nevada Desert Experience in California. Well, that soon will be one state. That’s true. We will have some fundraising events in California and we’ll do outreach, like go to high schools or colleges and do different talks. We’ve also seen that Los Angeles is a really good recruitment area because it’s so close. You know it’s only four hours away and people see this as kind of their backyard, I think, and relate to the issue more. I guess, the history, there’s always been a lot of people who come out for events. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Do you find that there’s a lot of awareness like on campus about the issue even of nuclear waste, nuclear weapons, nuclear testing, the test site, Yucca Mountain? Do you find that there’s an awareness? Chelsea Collonge: I can speak just about University of California. I’m part of a statewide student group called the Coalition to Demilitarize the UC. And we make classroom announcements and often start out by asking, Please raise your hand if you are aware that every single nuclear weapon in the U. S. arsenal was designed by a UC employee. And usually out of a classroom of fifty to two hundred people, we’ll get three or less raising their hands. I think a big reason for that is that students in general are really unaware of the nuclear danger that we still face. In university right now, we’re all post- Cold War kids. We came to consciousness after the end of the Cold War and no longer see nuclear weapons as a problem, or if we do it’s so overshadowed by corporate globalization and imperialistic wars that we’re seeing. You could probably talk more about Nevada. [ Speaking to Anthony] Anthony Guzman: Oh, absolutely. Yes, particularly at UNLV [ University of Nevada Las Vegas]. At UNLV, [ and] I think in Nevada in general, you say the word Yucca Mountain, everybody knows. It’s in the news at least once a week. I’ll even say people that move here, if they’re here a few months, by then they’ve heard of Yucca Mountain and know at least the very basics. So even at UNLV, there is a lot of knowledge, very basic knowledge of what Yucca Mountain is. The test site is a little bit different. I think people don’t realize that it’s still operating. They might think of it as in the past, so it’s hard. I focus a lot of my organizing on Yucca Mountain because there is that awareness already. It’s easier, and my hope eventually is to say, look, the issues are connected; we shouldn’t separate Yucca Mountain and the test site. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 But I think there is some knowledge. Is there activism? I guess that’s a different question, but there is knowledge, and I think the knowledge with Yucca Mountain, people realize it. A lot of people think it’s already open. A lot of people think that there is already waste there, that it’s already approved, that they thought it was a done deal years ago. So a lot of the work is trying to say, look, it’s not even licensed yet, it’s not even built yet. It’s saying, this is something we can fight, we can keep fighting. My organization has been fighting, along with other people, for thirty years, so if we keep the fight going, we can stop it now. So, yeah, there is that awareness, I would say. [ 00: 25: 00] Chelsea Collonge: I think the nature of nuclear weapons is that they’re so awesomely scary and so overwhelming, the magnitude of destruction that they can cause, that it��s really hard to think about them. It’s really hard to want to keep them in your consciousness. I feel like coming out to the test site and experiencing it in a spiritual way really opened a space of hope and sustainability inside of me, where I could then go back and start reading up on the issue. And, yes, get freaked out, but not have it be so intense that it shut me down. And I have to say that coming back to the test site this week was a lot different than the first time because in the past two years I’ve learned a lot about the subcritical testing happening at the test site. I’ve learned about stockpile stewardship and management and how those subcritical tests provide data that they can then put into supercomputers in order to design new and modified nuclear weapons, which the [ George W.] Bush Administration has plans to use against countries around the world. Having that technical knowledge and that understanding of our current foreign policy made being at the test site an even more powerful experience because I understood, it’s not only that this land was stolen and destructed and polluted, but also that it was used to advance this tool of domination and extreme violence. That is still a key part of U. S. foreign policy today. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 It’s interesting what you say because I think that the general awareness of people ends at the fact that, well, we don’t do nuclear testing anymore. A lot of people know that there was a moratorium in 1992 so they think that, well, this doesn’t happen anymore, [ and] they’re always surprised to hear that people still go up to the test site to do actions. But I don’t think a majority of the population is aware that the things that still go on are just different, sort of new tools for new times. So does that play a role in keeping you guys inspired to do what you’re doing? Kathryn Dillon: To go back to the students’ role and something that Chelsea had talked about, about how it can be really scary or overwhelming to talk about nuclear weapons, I think often a lot of what I have seen is students, or anyone, this is not just limited to students, but a desire to simply accept the history that they have been taught: that nuclear weapons ended World War II and they helped us be victorious in the Cold War and now look at all these countries involved in nuclear weapons around the world currently, it’s so important that we continue to maintain our stockpile, period. Without really critically examining both that history and the current situation internationally today. And I think both of those things are so important to do and yet there’s very little effort made towards either of those. Chelsea Collonge: Yes, very little academic space, as well, because political science is still dominated by realist political theory that talks about deterrence and talks about an international scene of aggressive states that can’t cooperate. So I feel like I’ve been amazingly blessed at UC Berkeley to be part of an alternative department that talks about international relations from a more hopeful perspective, and Kate’s part of that also, that major. Because the truth is, if you think something is real, it’s real in its consequences. If we think that we can make peace, then we have a chance to, but if we think that peace is impossible and we’re always going to need nuclear weapons, then that is going to turn into fact. And we really encountered that talking to the UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 Director of the Atomic Testing Museum [ William Johnson]. He was courageously open with us [ 00: 30: 00] and expressed his view that nuclear weapons are a fact and that human beings do not give up weapons until they develop a more powerful one. And I could see how you would think that, looking at human history, but if we don’t challenge that assumption, then we’re doomed to have it become a fact, I think. Kathryn Dillon: I feel like so often this critical examination is looked upon by others, or our point of view is so often just dismissed as too optimistic. I think that it’s so important that people look at it step by step and see that we’re not saying we think that all of a sudden the United States should completely and entirely stop 100 percent of its production of nuclear weapons and dismantle all existing ones. That’s not realistic and we recognize that and I think— but instead— I don’t know if this is something you want to be getting into— Yes, absolutely. Instead of looking at things, like the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which several key countries have signed onto, but not including the United States, I feel that we just need to approach this from an international point of view in which we all can work towards this and look towards this together with cooperation and see that the existence of these weapons is ridiculous! If it ever comes to nuclear warfare, the world will be destroyed. Their very existence is so indescribably destructive, not only in their creation and in their maintenance but of course in their possible use, and so that horrifying idea. Well, perhaps a flip side to that, how would you respond to somebody saying, well, but because we have these weapons, the world hasn’t been destroyed yet and they are necessary to maintain the peace that we’ve had up through now. Because I think that’s the alternative perspective, that they are necessary. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 Kathryn Dillon: I would say that we can’t look at this short last few decades in order to determine by saying, oh, they’ve been necessary, and yet they haven’t been used, I don’t feel like that is an accurate or a very thorough way to look at the situation. Instead, I think— how do I want to phrase this? Chelsea Collonge: I would try to take a second to empathize with them and reflect back what I heard and let them know I’m listening, and then I’d probably ask them a little bit about— so what’s your definition of peace? Is peace spending billions of dollars on the military- industrial complex while underfunding human needs in this country? Is it destroying the environment? And I would also challenge them to look at all the times during the Cold War when we irradiated our own citizens and also came very close to either nuclear war or nuclear accident, a risk that is magnified today with terrorism and also the dramatic proliferation of nuclear weapons that we’ve been seeing over the past, I guess, eight years. I would challenge them to examine how the United States, possessing such an overwhelming nuclear arsenal, actually makes us less safe because it makes other countries afraid for their safety and it makes them, other countries, want to pursue nuclear weapons development in order to have their own deterrent. With that kind of escalating proliferation, no one is going to be safe. So just sort of inviting people to recognize that security in a globalized world is necessarily [ 00: 35: 00] interdependent and that we can’t try to protect ourselves with these huge fences or these huge weapons because there are too many holes and too many risks. Anthony Guzman: What I would say to those people, I would make the argument, and believe me, I get that a lot, I would ask them to ask the Western Shoshone if those weapons are needed. Or the Marshallese. All the tests, were they justified because they’ve never been used in warfare? But any weapons test is an act of war against somebody, because there’s Downwinders, people UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 that are suffering from that. I would ask the people living in Hanford, Washington on the Columbia River; on the Savannah River site in Georgia; Rocky Flats in Denver, all these people living near weapons facilities are suffering the effects of the Cold War and weapons production. And ask them, is it justified to have these weapons? I mean on top of all that, on top of the militarism, on top of the threats, the living two to three minutes from nuclear holocaust, is that history which continues to this day— it’s not history, it’s living, people are still being contaminated at these sites— is that justified? That’s the question I would ask them. It’s a rhetorical question, in my opinion, but that’s the challenge I would ask them. Kathryn Dillon: I feel like the nuclear weapons issue is one example, one symptom or one way in which we can see the larger issue or the connected issue of the attitude of the United States towards international relations today, in general, and the self- absorption and lack of cooperation wh