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the Peace Farm

Advocate
Summer 2006

Dear Peace Farm co-workers,


Thank you for your past support. There are lots of reasons why the Peace Farm
needs your support again. Because Pantex, the nuclear weapons plant, is a major
employer in the Amarillo area, anyone who questions what they do is marginalized
Partly because of the quiet, persistent work of our director. Mavis Belisle, and all of us
who support her, Pantex's pollution of the land and the Ogallala aquifer has gradually
come to light. More importantly, we are the only ones to witness against current and new
nuclear weapons programs, and the fear and violence behind these programs. We are
also the core in this area of opposition to present and future wars. There is really no one
else to do this important work.

The Peace Farm has been caught in a financial crunch recently, mainly because of
rising heating costs and less income from usual sources. This letter goes out to about
1000 people. If we could receive an average of $10 per person, we could pay this year's
taxes, $992.37, and other bills in the next few months. Thank you for your commitment to
join with all our members in this essential work for a peaceful world.
I hope when you are working on your list of priorities, you will be mindful of how
important your support is to us. May the blessings that come from working for a better
world be with you and our future generations.


In hope,
jsign
Jerry Stein
Peace Farm Board president


Amber Waves of Grain

pickup

In February, 2006, a stunning art and educational exhibit about the nuclear arms race was given to the Peace Farm by the Prairie Peace Park near Lincoln, NE, where it had been installed since 1994. Created by Denver artists Barbara Donachy and Andy Bardwell, Amber Waves of Grain is a clay replica of the U.S. nuclear arsenal as it stood at the peak of the Cold War: some 31,500 strategic and tactical nuclear warheads, over 1600 land and sea based missiles, 324 strategic bombers and 37 nuclear submarines. The pieces range in size from 4" warheads to 3" nuclear submarines.

A task force of area artists, an architect, educators and publicists is working to install the exhibit, with current arsenal information.

Created in 1982-83, the exhibit was shown in 18 locations before being installed at the Prairie Peace Park, including the National Mall in Washington, DC, universities, museums and other locations.

We believe it will be an important element in the educational mission of the Peace Farm. Located directly across U.S. Highway 60 from the Pantex nuclear weapons plant, it will be a reminder of wasted resources, the continuing threat of nuclear war, and the ongoing legacy of damage to the health of communities and to the environment around nuclear facilities.

It will also be a reminder that the work of nuclear disarmament isn't finished. The Bush administration continually pushes for new nuclear weapons technologies, including more "usable" nukes and new plutonium production capacity, and upgrades to existing weapons are underway even now at Pantex.

It will allow us to expand outreach into area schools and colleges, and strengthen ties with the local art community.

We hope to have the base for the exhibit completed this fall, and the full display ready by next spring. Come and lend a hand!

praise for Amber Waves:

"Visual Tour de Force, a shocking almost numbing representation of a reality we think to think of in abstractions."-The Boston Globedeliver

"Dry numbers become real, repetition becomes beautiful. There is a quiet stillness to the the whole affair. The public ,.whether for or against the nuclear buildup, does not have to be threatened byspecialists and unimaginable numbers." -Milwaukee Sentinel

"Amber Waves of Grain may be nonpartisan in that it does not openly advocate a specific course of action but by forcing the observer to confront the sheer mass of America's nuclear arms it performs a function more than outrisght propaganda...it forces the viewer to react to a reality rather than an idea." - Portland Courier Gazette

 

 

About the Peace Farm ...


The Peace Farm was organized in 1986 to provide an ongoing resource foreducation and action opposing the nuclear arms complex and the Pantex nuclear weapons facility in particular. We are located on about 20 acres directly across from the nation's only nuclear weapons assembly plant.

Our board of directors includes retired Bishop LT. Matthiesen, retired Catholic priest Jerry Stein, Canyon ISD school board member Jim Murphy, high school teacher Jean Abercrombie, former Pantex worker Eloy Ramos, and Xcel electric plant worker Dale Livingston.

In addition to Pantex and nuclear weapons, our work includes opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, activities to change the political landscape of the Panhandle, and activities to create a culture of peace in this region.

We monitor environmental activities at Pantex, including contamination of soil and groundwater. Pantex Plant activities and waste management practices have contaminated a perched layer of the Ogallala Aquifer, and risks contamination of the Ogallala itself, if such has not already occurred.

We work with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, Texas Peace Action, the War Resisters League and United for Peace and Justice, as well as other peace and justice organizations.

Contact us at:
188 Hwy 60, Panhandle, TX 79068, 806-341-4801

Send us an email at peacefarm@arn.net
Visit our website at www.peacefarm.us

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trainThe last remaining "white train" cars wait on the spur leaving the Pantex Plant
for transport to the
Amarillo Railroad Museum.
(Photo by Dale Livingston)

Last "white train" cars leave Pantex

Among the first protest activities around the Pantex nuclear weapons plant were those involving the "white train." The train, with cars originally painted white, carried nuclear weapons assembled at Pantex to deployment sites around the country, including the Trident submarine base near Bangor, WA. Coordinated by Mennonite volunteer Hedy Sawadsky, local activists monitored the movement of the train on the Pantex site, and alerted protest groups along the route as the train prepared to leave the plant. The nuclear weapons trainwould be met along the way with vigils, and, near Bangor, with civil disobedience to block the tracks. The cars were later painted in colors to be less obvious, but the tops were left white to be visible to satellites. The first civil disobedience action planned by Red River Peace Network activists, some of whom would establish the Peace Farm, was a sit-in on the tracks exiting the plant. The sit-in did not result in arrests. The Peace Farm property is immediately across U.S. Hwy. 60 from the point at which the train entered and exited the Pantex Plant, and joined the main Santa Fe Railroad line across the Texas Panhandle. Use of the train was discontinued about 1990, and most of the cars were sold for scrap several years ago. At one point at the end of the Cold War, there was discussion about sending some of the cars to Russia to help move some of their nuclear materials to more secure locations, but technical problems ended the effort.
On July 19, the last 11 cars, including transport, buffer and security cars, were transported a few miles west. They will form a key exhibit at the Amarillo Railroad Museum.

The Peace Farm has continued its work since 1986 because of community support.
For additional information about its history, mission, or current work,
please phone (806) 341-4801