Transform Now Plowshares action at Y-12 nuclear weapons complex
OAK RIDGE, TN – Early this morning three plowshares activists performed a disarmament action in response to Government plans to invest $80 billion to sustain and modernize the nuclear weapons complex.
Calling themselves Transform Now Plowshares, Michael R. Walli (63), Megan Rice (82), and Greg Boertje-Obed (57) entered the Y-12 nuclear weapons facility before dawn.
They released a faith-based statement saying, “A loving and compassionate Creator invites us to take the urgent and decisive steps to transform the U.S. empire, and this facility, into life-giving alternatives which resolve real problems of poverty and environmental degradation for all.”
The actors also delivered an indictment citing U.S. Constitutional and Treaty Law as well as the Nuremberg Principles:
“The ongoing building and maintenance of Oak Ridge Y-12 constitute war crimes that can and should be investigated and prosecuted by judicial authorities at all levels. We are required by International Law to denounce and resist known crimes.”
This action is one of a long tradition of Plowshares disarmament actions in the US and around the world which challenge war-making and weapons of mass destruction.
At Y-12 NNSA plans to replace facilities for production and dismantlement of enriched uranium components with a new consolidated Uranium Processing Facility (UPF). It is budgeted to cost more than $6.5 billion.
Statement from Transform Plowshares activists about Y-12 nuclear weapons facility:
Oak Ridge Y-12 Indicted for War Crimes
Today, through our nonviolent action, we—Transform Now Plowshares—indict the U.S. government nuclear modernization program, including the new Uranium Processing Facility planned at Oak Ridge and the dedication of billions of public dollars to the continuation of the Y-12 facility.
WHEREAS, This program is an ongoing criminal endeavor in violation of international treaty law binding on the United States under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article VI):
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
WHEREAS, The United States is bound by the United Nation’s Charter, ratified and signed in 1945. Its preamble affirms that its purpose is to “save future generations from the scourge of war”. It directs that “all nations shall refrain from the use of force against another nation”. Article II regards the threat to use nuclear weapons as ongoing international criminal activity.
WHEREAS, The Nuremberg Principles, also promulgated in 1945, primarily by the U.S., prohibit crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. They render nuclear weapons systems prohibited, illegal, and criminal under all circumstances and for any reason.
WHEREAS, The U.S. government is obligated as well by the Non Proliferation Treaty, in force since 1970 that requires the signers to pursue negotiations in good faith and to eliminate nuclear weapons at an early date. The U.S. government is also obligated by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits full-scale nuclear explosions.
THEREFORE, The work planned at Oak Ridge violates all these agreements and is thus criminal.
Oak Ridge Y-12 is slated to receive more than $6.5 billion in federal funding over the next decade for continuing nuclear weapons production. The new Uranium Processing Facility is expected to sustain a nuclear arsenal of 3000-3500 weapons beyond the middle of the century. Additional production facilities are sought as well. Instead of eliminating nuclear weaponry, Oak Ridge Y-12 perpetuates it through the nuclear modernization program.
Against these continuing violations of treaty law, we assert our human right to civil resistance. Furthermore we affirm as crucial the human right to be free from these crimes. The Nuremberg Principles not only prohibit such crimes but oblige those of us aware of the crime to act against it. “Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity…is a crime under International Law”.
The ongoing building and maintenance of Oak Ridge Y-12 constitute war crimes that can and should be investigated and prosecuted by judicial authorities at all levels. We are required by International Law to denounce and resist known crimes.
For the sake of the whole human family threatened by nuclear weapons, and for the sake of our Planet Earth, which is abused and violated, we indict the Oak Ridge Y-12 nuclear weapon facility and all government officials, agencies, and contractors as responsible for perpetuating these war crimes.
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