The people of the Marshall Islands have lived with the legacy of nuclear injustice for the past 75 years; commencing in 1946 when the U.S. designated the Marshall Islands as the proving grounds for a series of nuclear weapons testing that would last over 12 years and leave multiple lifetimes of trauma and irrevocable damage. The fallout and debris from these detonations contaminated the land, air, and sea across the Northern Pacific region. The program vaporized islands, displaced communities, and instigated irreparable cultural loss: all of which has since threatened the health and wellbeing of Marshallese.
However, this damage was only of concern for the U.S. administration for coercive human radiation experimentation. The experiments, known as Project 4.1, brought in groups of Marshallese who were exposed to the fallout and control groups for the convenience of researching the differences of being exposed to, injected with, or ingesting radiation. The experimentations continued until the 1990s, despite the Marshallese tireless efforts and advocacy for justice.
Following the testing program, the U.S. negotiated the Compact of Free Association and established the Nuclear Claims Tribunal. During the negotiations, the scientific records remained classified, and the Marshallese were never fully briefed on the full extent of damages caused by the U.S. nuclear weapons testing program. The Marshallese still have inequitable access to fundamental information. There are entire weapons series where the RMI doesn't have information. As stated by, Tony DeBrum: "There can be no closure without disclosure.” The Marshallese efforts to achieve a meaningful and comprehensive remedy have been hampered by the lack of knowledge and access to the essential information. The declassified documents that are available now have proven just how pervasive the program was.
We are here to bring to light the history and struggles of the Marshallese people from the U.S. nuclear weapons testing program and to ensure that our resiliency in the face of injustice is recognized. The Coalition of Nuclear Justice aims to support Marshallese leadership about how to address this legacy.
We need your help
Over the years, we have been living with the threats of remaining contamination exposure, decimated environments, and generational trauma. As our leaders prepare for the Compact negotiations, our Coalition of Nuclear Justice Advocates aims to support Marshallese leadership about how to address the legacy. The Coalition of Nuclear Justice Advocates is working to bring to light the history and struggles of the Marshallese people from the U.S. nuclear weapons testing program and to ensure that our resiliency in the face of injustice is recognized.
We need each of you to share these stories with your networks. Not many people know this history, and as negotiations get underway, we need your support to amplify this issue.
How to join the coalition?
Any organization or group is welcome to join the Coalition of Nuclear Justice Advocates. There is no fee of contribution requirement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your organization and your interest in supporting the movement for nuclear justice.