BASE Leadership Meets in Chimayo, NM
PDF's Building Action for Sustainable Environments is a coalition of community based groups around the country living near a nuclear, biological or chemical site. BASE is unique not only because of the diversity in cultures and generations that make up the collaborative, or because of the unique co-creative relationship between PDF and the community based partners, but also because BASE groups represent communities impacted by each chain in the nuclear cycle. From communities impacted by uranium mining to groups living near nuclear production sites to families suffering the health impacts of living near a nuclear waste site, BASE communities can testify to the hazardous nature of EVERY STEP of the nuclear cycle.
The leadership of the BASE Initiative held a two and a half day strategic planning meeting in August, to evaluate our past work and plan for the next year of our collaboration. BASE Leaders were hosted by BASE member New Mexico Alliance, on the site of the Tel Luh Lah Healing and Learning Center, located in Chimayo, NM. The healing center is located east of Los Alamos National Laboratory, a nuclear research facility, and to the north of the Waste Isolation Pilot Project, a nuclear waste facility.
The meeting followed the Disarmament Summer, a 10-day encampment organized by Think Outside the Bomb (TOTB) and hosted by the Healing Center. The BASE Youth Circle partnered with TOTB to organize the encampment, which featured workshops on organizing, nuclear energy, permaculture, alternative sources of power and other critical issues, along with actions organized in Santa Fe and at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The camp was attended by 75 youth from around the country, including BASE Youth from New Mexico, Washington, Arkansas, Colorado, and South Carolina.
As is the tradition with BASE, the youth stayed behind to participate in the Leadership Circle meeting. BASE believes that in addition to providing young people their own, autonomous space to coordinate their own projects and campaigns, their voices are critical in every aspect of BASE's work - not just in the Youth Circle. Youth and elders alike strategized for two and a half days, setting a path for our next year of work.
This will include meetings with the Environmental Protection Agency to institutionalize a process of community engagement with federal agencies, continuing to build our relationship with the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice, engaging in the climate change debate and ensuring that nuclear energy is not sold as a solution to fossil fuels, producing a video documentary, and continuing to build the capacity of grassroots communities fighting for justice.
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To see more images from the Disarmament Camp, visit Think Outside the Bomb.
To see more images from our BASE meeting, please visit PDF on facebook or flickr.
Deb Abrahamson (SHAWL Society) and Melton Martinez (Eastern Navajo Uranium Workers)
BASE leaders meets with leaders from Think Outside the Bomb