19 years of peace vigils!

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Nov 25, 2018 3 Comments ›› orepa

Every Sunday for 19 years, we have gathered at the gates of the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, TN, to be a persistent presence for peace. On November 22, we marked the 19th anniversary of the OREPA Sunday vigils, and embarked on the 20th year.


  1. Vic Macks says:

    I see Kim Bergier in the picture of your 19th anniversary that accompanied your email on that event.
    As Kim can confirm, we have an event that is similar here in Michigan near Detroit:
    On December 22, 2018, the one hour Monday vigil at 4:15 PM will mark 16 years of continued demonstrations. We have been as many as 125 and currently 5-7. The youngest were 7 and 8 year olds. The oldest 87. Two have come, when they could, with their oxygen, and others with a chair to sit on, as their needs arose.
    We have lost participants to illness and death.

    With signs, the Vigil has opposed wars and threats of wars, focused on civilian suffering and deaths, greed driven white supremacy and emerging fascism, advocated for abolition of the legacy of nuclear reactors and weapons, fair taxation, health care, the right to be free of gun violence, and other human rights/social justice issues.

    Advocacy signs and buttons can become an opportunity for engagement with others on these issues. For myself, this has meant studying the serious work of others—that includes OREPA—and taking it to places it hasn’t gone; not for strident debate, but for communicating reliable information with people open to discussion. That happens in unexpected places and times. It is reverencing the truth, carefully arrived at even if no one is listening. That becomes a quiet meditation, even in a noise filled place.

    If I lived close, I would join you on your Sunday vigil. I’m there in spirit.
    Good wishes,
    Vic Macks

  2. Megan Rice says:

    Please do keep me on the OREPA fact sheets as they emerge. If distances were not so great between DC and Knoxville or Oak Ridge, you could count on Michael Walli and I to be with you for these vigils. Greg Boertje -Obed lives in Duluth with his Plowshares activist partner, Michele . We keep in touch by emails and occasional phone calls, never forgetting the great welcomes we received from OREPA folks surrounding our 2012 Transform Now Plowshares action on July 28th that yearMichael lives here with me in DC, at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. If you have reason to come to DC and need hospitality, we can always find it for you (cell 917 388 5812).
    At 88, Pat McSweeney, Michael and I are just back from being at the AZ/Texas/border with Mexico for the SOAW and Call to Action events there before Thanksgiving this year. Most revealing and impressive . It made possible visits with Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa of the Nuclear Resister Newspaper published faithfully for close to 40 years, keep us aware of the folks who do nonviolent direct actions at the National Nuclear Facilities labs anywhere. Pat and I may consider this years gatherings our last Hurrah, so we went with great interest and verve. You may want to subscribe to the Nuclear Resister, based in Tucson, AZ tokeep up with these actions anywhere.

  3. Kim Bergier says:

    Many thanks to Ralph for so promptly uploading this picture with report, including some of what Erik Johnson wrote about 1999.

    Thanks to Vic Macks for describing our Monday Peace Vigil, which started as a protest against the U.S. war on Afghanistan, organized by the Detroit Area Peace with Justice Network (DAPJN).

    How great to get an update from Megan Rice which also helped us feel in touch with Michael Walli, Greg Boertje-Obed, Michele plus Pat McSweeney.

    Bottom line is COMMUNITY! As you said this last Sunday, Ralph, the vigils enrich our souls.

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