As the sun rose on Friday April 15, 2022, I commemorated Good Friday with Tri-Valley CAREs and the Ecumenical Peace Institute.
As they have for decades, local peace advocates and interfaith organizations gathered to confront nuclear weapons at the gates of Livermore Lab. This year the event was hybrid, with key speakers at the West Gate and participants joining virtually.
The service called for an end to the further development of nuclear weapons at the Lab. This year’s theme was, “This Tax Day — What Does the Lord Require of Us?
Following opening music, Marylia Kelley, the executive director at Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment), spoke of the group’s work to change US policy by stopping the further development of nuclear weapons and moving toward their global elimination.
She also addressed the health and environmental effects of nuclear weapons activities at the Livermore Lab’s Main Site on the eastern edge of Livermore and its Site 300 high explosives testing range near Tracy.
Kelley stressed that the Biden administration requested more than $813 billion dollars for Pentagon and Department of Energy weapons programs for fiscal 2023, including those at Livermore Lab. The Livermore Lab’s most recent budget numbers reveal that more than 80% of its Department of Energy funds are spent on nuclear weapons activities.
This is a reason why on Good Friday, Kelley noted, people of all faiths gather to focus on the immorality of nuclear weapons and to bear witness to the ways in which our environment and our health have been sacrificed in the name of nuclear development here at the Livermore Lab.
I was also moved by Betsy Rose and Reverend Silvia Brandon-Perez sharing melodies, by Isabella Zizi honoring of the land, by Farha Andrabi Navaid offering the invocation, and by Wynd Kaufmyn and Reverend Max Lynn conducting a call and response reading.
Reverend Allison Tanner preached the sermon. Carl Anderson offered his Quaker-inspired thoughts on the war in Ukraine. Additional speakers and sacred dancers also made this event memorable for me.
I call for change in systems worldwide that perpetuate misery. I invite you to join me in helping build communities of peace and justice, locally and worldwide.
If you would like to view the Good Friday event go to the Ecumenical Peace institute’s website, epicalc.org.
Or go directly to: youtube.com/watch?v=-y-ueGhv-3c
To view it in a lower resolution: youtu.be/eadQD3PQqUY