LOCAL GROUP TO CELEBRATE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, IN OAK RIDGE
The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance will join with organizations and individuals around the world to celebrate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons as they receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm, Sweden, on Sunday, December 10, 2017.
OREPA’s celebration will begin at 5:00pm on December 10 at the main entrance to the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex at the intersection of East Bear Creek and Scarboro Roads in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. OREPA has maintained a peace vigil at this spot every Sunday, without interruption, since November 1999.
ICAN received the Nobel for its work on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, passed by the United Nations in July and signed by more than 50 countries in September. It is in the process of being ratified by the signatory governments and is expected to go into effect in 2018.
Upon receiving the Nobel prize, ICAN issued a statement that said, among other things: “This prize is a tribute to the tireless efforts of many millions of campaigners and concerned citizens worldwide who, ever since the dawn of the atomic age, have loudly protested nuclear weapons, insisting that they can serve no legitimate purpose and must be forever banished from the face of our earth.”
The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance is one of those campaigners. In March of last year, OREPA was invited to the United Nations to present information on US nuclear weapons activities in Oak Ridge during the first round of negotiations for the Ban Treaty.
“ICAN’s achievement is beyond remarkable,” said OREPA coordinator Ralph Hutchison. “In ten years they have built a coalition and advanced an agenda that will make the world safer for all of us. When the history of nuclear abolition is written, this moment, and ICAN’s work will be seen as the critical tipping point.”
OREPA’s celebration of the Nobel presentation will include a public reading of Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons followed by a brief ceremony in which an enlarged version of the Treaty will be attached to the fence at the entrance to the nuclear weapons plant .
“These days a lot of people are talking about nuclear weapons, wondering about the threat from North Korea, worrying even more about the possibility of proliferation of these weapons to other countries. The Ban Treaty is the single greatest hope for resolving all of these fears,” said Hutchison.
“And here in Oak Ridge is where the talk becomes reality. This is where we manufacture the thermonuclear cores for US nuclear weapons, and this is where our government plans to build a new multi-billion dollar bomb production plant starting next year. Obviously, we have no moral authority to stop North Korea when we are doing the very same thing at a much, much larger scale.
“When the Ban Treaty goes into effect next year, after 50 nations have signed and ratified it, the work at Y-12 will be recognized internationally as a violation of international law.”
“The United States and other nuclear weapons states are boycotting the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, but it will be celebrated across the country this week.”
OREPA’s celebration will continue with a potluck dinner at the home of Marese Nephew in Oak Ridge. OREPA’s Sunday vigils are free and open to the public. Information about parking can be found on OREPA’s web site: www.orepa.org
more information: Ralph Hutchison • 865 776 5050