As we bemoan the fate of Tibet and rush to fill the streets in the big game of "douse the torch," it's important to keep in mind the many ways that we ourselves continue to trample on the rights of nations that live with us right here on our own continent.
The U.S. government has a plan currently on the table for an enormous nuclear weapons complex, eerily named "Complex Transformation." Weapons research is a notoriously toxic and dangerous activity so, logically, we aren't building the site near where any of us live. In fact, the plan's key site isn't on U.S. soil at all, it's on land that's a part of the Treaty-recognized territory of Western Shoshone.
Understandably, some people are upset by this plan, namely the Western Shoshone people and their supporters.
The United Nations has gone so far as to urge the United States to "freeze", "desist" and "stop" actions being taken against the Western Shoshone Peoples of the Western Shoshone Nation. The U.N. decision explicitly cited ongoing weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site. The United States, who, like China, tends to ignore outside criticism, is of course choosing to ignore the U.N.
The Shoshone have no Dalai Lama, Sharon Stone, or Richard Gere to bring attention to their cause. Luckily though, they do have you. And last time I checked we still live in a place that, on a good day, when the wind is blowing just the right way, vaguely resembles a democracy.
So you can help make a difference right now by commenting on the "Complex Transformation's" crimes against the Shoshone. Just click here and submit an official letter of protest. Act soon though because the deadline for public comment ends April 10.
If you happen to think it's wrong but you don't speak out, then you may as well live in Tibet, or as they call it these days, China.