Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Divine Strake Postponed - May 28th Day of Action Still Scheduled

Western Shoshone Defense Project
Received May 10, 2006

FYI. Good news, we have a small victory – the Divine Strake test has been postponed – we want it cancelled. These are Western Shoshone lands and the Western Shoshone National Council says no further military testing – the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination agrees. The May 28th Day of Action at the Peace Camp across from the Nevada Test Site is still scheduled to call attention to this issue. Details to follow…

Subject: test site bomb delayed
LAS VEGAS -- A non-nuclear explosion expected to generate a mushroom cloud over the Nevada desert will be postponed at least three weeks, while a federal court reviews plans for the blast, test officials said Tuesday.

"The planned Divine Strake experiment will not be conducted earlier than June 23," said Cheri Abdelnour, spokeswoman for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Fort Belvoir, Va. The blast was originally scheduled for June 2.


In documents filed Monday with U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, federal Justice Department lawyers sought to push back from May 23 until early June a hearing on a lawsuit filed by the Winnemucca Indian Colony and several Nevada and Utah "downwinders" to block the blast. The judge did not issue an immediate ruling.

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection spokesman Dante Pistone also said Tuesday his agency was reviewing a revised environmental assessment that test planners filed Friday.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Divine Strake: 700-ton detonation planned on Western Shoshone land

* International Indian Treaty Council * Western Shoshone Defense Project * Indigenous Environmental Network * Shundahai Network * Nevada Desert Experience * Citizen Alert * Western Shoshone National Council[1]

The “Stop Divine Strake Coalition” Calls for an International Day of Action

The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) plans to detonate a 700-ton ammonium nitrate and fuel oil explosive on June 2, 2006 at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), a federal facility 65 miles north of Las Vegas. They are calling this test “Divine Strake.”

While this test is not nuclear in composition, its purpose, according to DTRA documents, is to “simulate a low-yield nuclear weapon.” Given that previous nuclear tests have occurred only a few miles away from where Divine Strake will occur, this test raises the specter of kicking up previous radioactive contamination and sending it downwind. We have been told too many half-truths and outright lies to believe in the “safety” of this test. Furthermore, no full environmental impact statement has been done to verify that there is no radioactive contamination at the particular site.

It must be stressed that the presence of the United States military on Western Shoshone land is uninvited. In fact, the Western Shoshone have been fighting for sovereignty over their ancestral and treaty-recognized lands, and to shut down the NTS for years. Most recently, their efforts brought them to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) which found the United States in violation of recognized fundamental human rights standards and international law, and ordered the United States to “freeze”, “desist” and “stop” their activities on Western Shoshone land. All this while the DTRA was preparing for the “Divine Strake” test

As tensions increase with Iran, speculation has increased in the media and elsewhere that this test, in conjunction with other military projects, is building up to an imminent attack on the peoples of Iran, possibly in the form of nuclear bombardment. This test is seemingly a “war game” to initiate a U.S. led invasion of Iran. Many media articles about Divine Strake and its possible role in the escalation of tension with Iran may be found on and

Because our goal is to stop the test, and to not expose anyone to undue health risks from the actual blast, our focus will be an International Day of Action on Sunday May 28, 2006 (Memorial Day Weekend) at the Nevada Test Site Peace Camp, located across Highway 95 from the Test Site. We are looking for allied organizations to join our coalition, and either join us at the Nevada Test Site on the 28th, or stage actions in their own communities throughout the following week.

Some of our anticipated activities will be:
¨ Delivering eviction/deportation notices to the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Energy as illegal, non-respecting immigrants to indigenous lands.
¨ A rally with speakers from indigenous, immigrant, nuclear abolition, and peace and justice communities.
¨ Non-violent direct action training
¨ Peacekeeper training
¨ Workshops on the history of the test site and radiation compensation, indigenous sovereignty, and the escalation with Iran.
¨ Spiritual ceremonies to remember those who have suffered or died as a result of war and nuclear weapons testing.
¨ Brainstorming workshops on what common actions folks can do later in the week in their respective cities
¨ Vigil activities at U.S. Federal Buildings and Bechtel Corporation offices on June 1 and June 2, if the test has not been canceled.

Some of our anticipated needs are:
¨ Getting the word out to sympathetic communities
¨ Development of fliers and other outreach materials
¨ Optimizing media participation both before, during and after the event
¨ Providing shelter, food and water to participants
¨ Organizing workshops
¨ Providing “peacekeepers” to keep the event on message and free of violence.

Ongoing activities – Please keep the phone calls, letters coming!
The test detonation can be cancelled. We call for the United States Government to do so immediately. Concerned citizens can call or write to express their opinions to their Congressional Representatives and:

President George W. Bush 202-456-1111
The White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Secretary Donald H. RumsfeldSecretary of Defense1000 Defense PentagonWashington, DC 20301-1000

James Tegnelia (800) 701-5096
Defense Threat Reduction Aagency Attn: James Tegnelia 8725 John J Kingman RD Stop 6201 Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6201

Please contact us if you would like to join our coalition. We will then proceed with detailed plans based on the coalition’s collective abilities.,

[1] Preliminary approval, pending formal consensus approval at the next WSNC regular meeting.