Artist to cross desert for peace

 A British artist is planning to trek across the Nevada Desert in protest against nuclear testing there. Since the 1950s hundreds of tests have taken place in the area. Several native American Indian tribes were forced to leave their tribal lands and wildlife and vegetation in the area have been destroyed. Caroline Gilbert, an Anglican member of Christian CND, from Kew in West London, flies to Las Vegas on Palm Sunday to join the Holy Week Walkers, a group representing many different Christian churches calling for an end to the tests. The group begin their trek from a Franciscan homeless shelter in the north of the city. They say this is to make the point that one of the reasons for poverty in the United States is that so much state money is being diverted from welfare to weapons programmes. On the following day they will stage a peaceful protest at the carpark where nuclear test site employees catch their buses to work. During the next seven days they will cross the desert in stages, setting up camp each night. There will daily prayers and services. On the trip they will visit or pass by, reservations of native people displaced from their tribal lands by the tests, a wildlife refuge, a desert warfare centre and a prison. The journey ends on Easter Sunday with a vigil outside the nuclear test site. The sixty-mile walk has become an annual event since it began in 1990. Hundreds of campaigners have taken part throughout the years, including ex-military men and women. Caroline said: "This is something I've wanted to do for a long time. It seems an appropriate way of spending Holy Week and I feel I will be representing many peace campaigners from the UK who can't be there." For more information about the Holy Week trek visit: www.nevadadesertexperience.org