Catholic workers gather to oppose nuclear weapons plant

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Over 120 people have gathered here from across the country this weekend to call attention to the construction of the nation's first new nuclear weapons facility in 33 years, located just south of the downtown area.

Arriving from places as far away as South Dakota, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., the activists are hosting a 3-day conference aimed at building awareness of and resistance to the construction of the weapons plant, which will replace an existing one here.

The conference is expected to culminate Monday with an act of civil disobedience at the site of the new facility.

Last night, people gathered for a standing-room-only showing of "The Forgotten Bomb," a new film portraying the dangers of the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal.

Part documentary, part diary, the film follows the personal journey of director Bud Ryan as he visits survivors of the nuclear weapons blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and talks to nuclear weapons analysts, including former Secretary of State George Shultz.

People in the audience came to tears when the film showed one of the survivors describing how she couldn't bear to watch sunsets as they remind her of the nuclear blast.

See documentary trailer.

Despite the somewhat serious start to the events, the mood at the gathering so far has been hopeful. Activists have interspersed roundtable meetings with games of frisbee and football.

With home-made cigarbox guitars and banjos, they're expected to gather for "Songs and Stories" tonight.

The event, hosted by two Catholic Worker communities from the area, is titled "The Hope of Easter and a Disarmed World."

Check back to NCR for more updates.

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