International Peace Journey from Oak Ridge
to United Nations Nearing Destination
East Tennesseans Travel to Join Walk/Bike/Run to New York City
On March 31, more than a dozen people left the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on a 730 mile journey to the United Nations for the Nonproliferation Treaty review conference which opens Monday, April 27, 2015. The plan for Moving Toward a Nuclear Free Future was to cover the ground by foot, walking and running, and on bicycles.
Three weeks later, the delegation, sponsored by Footprints for Peace, has arrived in Princeton, New Jersey. On Friday, April 21, six people from Knoxville joined the trek in Philadelphia with three cyclists and three walkers. They join walkers from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, France and the United States.
“We are taking a simple and clear message to the rest of the world at the United Nations,” said OREPA coordinator Ralph Hutchison who will join the walk on Friday. “The United States is planning to spend billions of dollars on a new bomb production plant at Y12 in Oak Ridge. This can not be reconciled with our Nonproliferation Treaty obligation to disarm.”
Hutchison will join members of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability to present a workshop at the United Nations on Tuesday, April 27, for delegates, staff and nongovernmental organizations.
“Two years ago, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark testified in federal court in Knoxville that the work at Y12 was unlawful. He called it a criminal act,” said Hutchison. “Clark was the Attorney General when the Nonproliferation Treaty was signed.”
Hutchison’s presentation at the UN will focus on US plans to build the Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge. If built, the UPF would manufacture thermonuclear cores for US nuclear warheads as part of the Stockpile Life Extension Program. “The UPF is the cornerstone of US plans to maintain an enduring nuclear stockpile. It is a direct insult to the Nonproliferation Treaty,” said Hutchison. “It says to the world, ‘We are the United States. We do not keep our word. We do as we please.’”
By the time Moving Toward a Nuclear Free Future walks down Broadway in New York City on Sunday, April 26, they will have been joined by peace walkers from around the world, including a delegation that began its march in San Francisco, and another from Leverett, Massachusetts.
On Sunday afternoon, they will be joined by thousands of others to walk the last mile to the United Nations for the Peace and the Planet rally.
“This is the third time we have made this journey,” Hutchison said. “The last day, walking with the global community, tens of thousands of people, is a transcendant moment. The hope that lives in that community is the promise of the future of the world. ”
for more information
Ralph Hutchison (OREPA) 865 776 5050
Jim Toren (Footprints for Peace) 513 403 2765