Downwinders

Eugene/Springfield–Downwinders, Part 1

Tuesday April 4, 2:00-4:00 pm.

Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1, a film by Adam Jonas Horowitz (2011). Between 1946 and 1958 the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons above ground on or near Bikini and Enewetok atolls in the Marshall Islands. One hydrogen bomb was 1000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, blanketing populated islands with fallout. The heavily exposed people of Rongelap were then enrolled as human subjects in the top-secret Project 4.1 to study the effects of radioactivity on human beings for nearly 30 years.

Featuring recently declassified U.S. government documents, survivor testimony, and previously unseen archival footage Nuclear Savage reveals one of the most troubling chapters in modern American history-how the Marshall islanders, labeled as uncivilized, were deliberately used as human guinea pigs, with devastating results.

The film follows the islanders today as they continue to fight for justice and acknowledgement of the harms done to them. The film raises disturbing questions about racism, the U.S. government’s moral obligation to the people of the Marshall Islands, and why, decades later, the government continues to cover up the intent of the tests and Project 4.1.

Introduced by Annette Rose

Downwinders, Part 2

Tuesday April 11, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

In this follow-up session, Annette Rose, will present a general overview of US nuclear testing, from the Marshall Islands to Nevada. Bomb making, nuclear testing, and the use of nuclear energy have exposed hundreds of thousands of people to harmful radiation, and has left a legacy of waste that will remain hazardous for thousands of years. This waste presents so many problems it still lacks suitable disposal plans. And yet the government is refurbishing nuclear weapons and planning a new bomb plant. Where do we go from here?