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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 19, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Activist speaks out against nuclear proliferation

Advocates for an end to nuclear weapons spoke and answered questions from attendees of “Think Outside the Bomb,” a discussion held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. yesterday in Williams Hall 225.

The talk featured Frida Berrigan, the senior program associate of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation think-tank, as well as two participants in this year’s Walk for a Nuclear-Free Future. The talk focused on the effects of nuclear testing and its impact on Native Americans.

Jun Yasuda, a Buddhist nun and leader of the demonstrative walk, spoke about the importance of stopping nuclear proliferation. Yasuda said growing up in Japan caused her to realize the negative effects of nuclear weapons on people.

“[The] nuclear issue is not a political issue,” she said.” [The] nuclear issue is about protecting this earth.”

The walkers will continue their 700-mile trek from Streamburg, N.Y., to the United Nations building to pray while the U.N. reviews the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on May 3.

Another walker, Larry Bringing Good of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian tribe, spoke about the people on Indian reservations that have been sickened from Uranium mine residue.

Berrigan spoke on the dangers of nuclear weapons testing, mining for radioactive materials and disposal of nuclear waste. She said talks like these help educate younger people who tend to be unaware of the issues.

“Lots of people think, ‘Oh nuclear weapons, what am I going to do with that?’” she said.

Sophomore Norah Sweeney, who attended the event for an anthropology course, said the talk fits in with what she’s learning about Native American and nuclear issues in class.

“The things [Native Americans] are fighting for [and] the things they are worried about definitely apply to everyone,” she said. “It’s an issue everyone should be aware of.”