NASHVILLE, TN: On Wednesday, February 4th Ralph Hutchinson will address a public meeting of the organizations Veterans for Peace and the Nashville Peace Coalition on Wednesday, February 4, to call on Tennesseans to join in non-violent action for peace and disarmament in Oak Ridge on April 4.
Hutchinson is the executive director of Stop the Bombs, a twenty-yearoold organization in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which has organized a continuous presence outside of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant calling for a complete shutdown of the nuclear facilities and thorough environmental clean up of the Oak Ridge bomb plant. His presentation will be given on the grounds of the Nashville Peace and Justice Center at 4732 W. Longdale Drive. The public is invited to attend this event beginning at 6pm.
History of Oak Ridge
The Y12 Plant in Oak Ridge is building nuclear weapons. Specifically, Y12 is manufacturing thermonuclear secondaries for the W76 warhead—the secondary is the highly explosive part that turns an atomic bomb into a thermonuclear bomb. Y12 is the only place in the United States that makes them. Under the “Life Extension” program, Y12 is producing new bomb secondaries that will effectively make the W76-1 the first new nuclear weapon built in the United States in 20 years.
The Department of Energy has announced plans to build a new, $3 billion bomb plant at Y12 that will produce nuclear weapons for another century; a Draft Environmental Impact Statement is due to be released in April 2009 with a public hearing to follow. President Obama has embraced the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, but he also believes in a safe, secure, reliable stockpile and a policy of nuclear deterrence. These two visions are irreconcilable.
Hutchinson says that the action at Oak Ridge on April 4th send a message, “The Change we voted for includes nuclear disarmament. The $40 billion spent every year on the US nuclear arsenal can be better spent on health care, renewable energy, housing, education, and job creation.”
Preparing for Peace Now
In 2010, the world will gather at the United Nations to review the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, ratified by the United States in 1968. In the NPT, countries that had no nuclear weapons promised not to build them, and nuclear weapons states promised to disarm “at an early date.” If the United States does not demonstrate a serious commitment to achieving disarmament by 2010, the NPT is expected to collapse, opening the door for the widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons. The critical moment is now to build citizen pressure for the United States to keep its word and to move decisively toward disarmament.
Events Leading Up to Peace Rally
- Puppet build | March 30 – April 3 in Knoxville. If you’ve ever wanted to be part of street theatre, creating giant art, or just want to help, the Puppet Build is a great place to start. Novices and veterans welcome. Come for all or part; camping space available and the community provides food. Call 865 609 2012 or email for details.
- Peace Pilgrimage | March 30 – April 4, Nipponzan Myohoji will lead the 11th annual peace pilgrimage from the Peace Pagoda in Cocke County to Oak Ridge. All are welcome to walk for part or all of the pilgrimage. Contact: Sr. Denise Laffan, 404 627 8948 or atlantadojo@ yahoo.com.
- Nonviolence training | Friday, April 3 at Church of the Savior, 934 N Weisgarber Rd in Knoxville. 1:00 – 5:00. A basic primer in nonviolence in preparation for Saturday’s action; everyone is welcome. Persons who might be considering an act of civil resistance are urged to attend. Contact 865 776 5050 or
- Concert for Disarmament | Saturday, April 4, Alvin K. Bissell Park [intersection of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge]. Music, theatre, tabling, great community. Starts 12:30pm and concludes with March to Y12.
- March for Peace | Stepping off around 3:00, the peace march moves us from Bissell Park to the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Plant, about 1 3/4 miles; mostly on sidewalk, but the last stretch is on the shoulder. Accompanied by Peacekeepers and police; safe and fun for families. Bring your sign!
- Action at the Y12 Plant | Intersection of Bear Creek and Scarboro Road in Oak Ridge. We gather at the entrance to the bomb plant. The Action is family friendly, nonviolent, but direct. There is no risk of arrest unless you intentionally participate in a direct action scenario. Action begins when we arrive from the March and tends to last an hour or less. Contact: 865 776 5050 or .
Ralph Hutchinson on Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty & Oak Ridge
Wednesday, February 4th at 6pm
Nashville Peace & Justice Center
4732 W Longdale