May 27, 2007

Nuke Protesting Students End Fast

Claim They Gained Enough Ground in the Fight for Disarmament
Friday, May 25, 2007
By Chris Meagher

The hunger strike is off.

After more than a week of not eating to protest the University of California’s management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and the Lawrence Livermore Nation Laboratory in Northern California, two laboratories used to develop nuclear weapons. Near a tent city which had sat for the past 15 days on the lawn in front of Cheadle Hall, a press conference was called on Wednesdays to talk about what the students deemed a successful hunger strike.

The students originally intended to fast until the University of California agreed to stop “engineering, testing and manufacturing nuclear weapons,” but broke their fast last weekend, after seeing their concerns wouldn’t be addressed at a recent regents meeting in San Francisco. However, the protestors claim their cause gained some ground.

Two members of the UC Board of Regents — Odessa Johnson and Ben Allen — agreed to meet with some of the students to try to address the concerns, according to a gathering of students, although no date has been set. Increased awareness among students and faculty has also resulted, the students claim. UCSB's academic senate may even pass a resolution in support of the group’s main objective. “This is something being talked about on campus now,” said Natalie Rose, one of the protestors. Another protestor, Carleigh O'Donnell said the group's ultimate goal is to change the “destructive nuclear weapons policy” of the UC system and return it to academic integrity. “They’re here to instill knowledge, not destroy society,” O'Donnell said. The groups is also in the initial stages of organizing a campaign geared toward alumni, urging them not to give money to the UC system schools until the system cuts its ties.

The group also praised the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Water Development subcommittee, which voted to not build any more nuclear weapons and to downsize the stockpile the country currently has. “Given the serious international and domestic consequences of the U.S. initiating a new nuclear weapons production activity, it is critical that the administration lay out a comprehensive course of action before funding is appropriated,” wrote chair Peter Visclosky. “Given the track record of mismanagement at the agency for projects that have a plan, I don’t think it is asking too much for a comprehensive nuclear strategy before we build a new nuclear weapon.”


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear the hunger strike was such a success. One can almost feel the weight of the world lifted off of, well, the world. It's a big bright beautiful planet!

Anonymous said...

Nice sarcasm. They took action to support a position in which they believed.

Have you publicly stood up against polygraphs?

Anonymous said...

No. Have you? I thought not. So fuck off.

The "cause" they stood up for was meaningless publicity. That's done now so they can go back to their liberal arts classes.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't the one who cast the first stone.

I may be a coward, but you are a coward and a hypocrite.

Anyway, they were protesting UC's involvement in nukes. Given how UC and its thinly-veiled successor have handled LANL, I would think that we would like UC out of the lab management business also.

Anonymous said...

And what is your problem with liberal arts classes? How does it hurt to learn some history and some literature.

Anonymous said...

I don't have anything against liberal arts classes. That is simply the likliest background/study area of the protestors. That's fine. The world needs more art history and French poetry experts to wait tables anyway.

As for anon 7:55pm, if you work at the lab and feel this way, you are the true hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

"Nuke Protsting Student End Fast"

And they also ended quickly. Guess the requisite amount of publicity was obtained - time to head for the dining hall!

Anonymous said...

The long-standing joke about UC was that LANL was 10,000 scientists united by a common retirement plan.

UC management was fun for the aggressive PI (e.g. me), but bad for the institution over the last, say 15 years.

How does this make me a hypocrite?

Anonymous said...

I interpreted your initial remarks as supportive of what the students were protesting. NW. Guess what? We are a NW lab. If I interpreted your remarks correctly and you are a laboratory employee, then you are a hypocrite. A flaming one.

If you were simply being supportive of a bunch of misguided kids protesting what they believe is evil, and admiring them for sticking to their guns no matter what (including facts and reality), then that is different. In that case, you are not a hypocrite. That just makes you a run of the mill poster on this blog. Or any of the others.

Anonymous said...

Today's generation thinks fasting has something to do with fast food. The fatest generation ever trying to fast?! Come on, now!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that these pointless moronic protests have become the fad, and to that point, meaningless.

If you read the newspaper some group is always protesting another group. It devalues those that actually hope to accomplish something and do something good.

Anonymous said...

So many comments on the fast, so little understanding of what it was about, who undertook it, what it accomplished.

I urge all of you to bite your tongue, read a little more, think, and suspend your prejudices.

We UC students know what LANL is about and we're going be a small part of the larger groundswell that is going to defeat the weapons complex, scuttle RRW (or whatever your plans B, C, and D are), permanently stall construction of your plutonium facility, and ultimately dismantle the legitimacy of nuclear weapons.

Perhaps you deride the sudents because you are afraid?

Anonymous said...

Go for it.

Anonymous said...

11:11 am:

Good for you. And your response to the nuclear sabre-rattling of Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, Pakistan, etc., would be what?? "Let's all just get along"?

Youthful enthusiasm and energy is good. Youthful naivete about the world and its history is bad. When I protested the US incursions into Cambodia in 1970, I was sure I was right. Today, I know enough to understand I might not have been right, and that the truth might never really be known. Does that mean I wasn't right to protest? No, it just means that I probably shouldn't have been so sure I was right.

Truly, youth is wasted on young people.