Thursday, July 8, 2010

37 arrested at Oak Ridge N-Plant "Declaring Independence from Nuclear Terrorism"

From: Ralph Hutchison <>

Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 7:07 PM


OREPA UPDATE - Declaring Independence from Nuclear Terrorism

July 6, 2010


Published by Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

P O Box 5743 Oak Ridge, TN 37831

(865) 483-8202


The weekend was bookended by a lot of hugging— starting in front of

the registration table as old friends reunited, and ending outside the

jail as prisoners were released to await trial into the hot July

afternoon sun in Clinton, Tennessee. In between, it was a powerful

celebration of the power of resistance, culminating in the arrest of

thirty-six people in nonviolent protest against nuclear weapons

production at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge.


There was music, there was talking, there were puppets and

Fourth-of-July burgers and watermelon, and on Monday morning, July 5,

there was a Declaration of Independence at the gates of the Y12

Nuclear Weapons Complex, after which thirteen people crossed the

property line and twenty-three more stretched a long banner across the

road to block the entrance to the bomb plant. They were

arrested—thirteen on federal trespass charges and twenty-three on

state charges for obstructing a roadway. The penalty for the federal

offense can be as much as $100,000 and a year in prison; for the state

charges, $50 and 30 days in jail.


The charges vary, but the depth of commitment and the passion for the

future was uniform—hundreds of peace cranes were tied on the barbed

wire fence expressing the deep desire for a world free of nuclear



The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Anabel Dwyer and Kary Love

and adapted by the affinity groups as they planned their action, said:


“Under principles of democracy we exercise the right of every citizen

of this republic and this planet to peacefully resist the nuclear

threat; attacking as it does every core concept of human rights. We

act to exercise our basic rights to life and freedom from violence and

we exercise our duty to protect children and future generations. We

act to ensure that our government fulfills its promise and

responsibilities to unequivocally pursue and achieve nuclear

disarmament in good faith. We call on this government to end the use

of our tax dollars to wage permanent war and demand clean up all

chemical and radioactive contamination.”


Those arrested on state charges were released without bail, with court

dates scheduled in early July. Three women who remained in jail will

be in court July 8.


The federal prisoners of conscience will have their initial appearance

before Judge Bruce Guyton in Knoville on Tuesday, July 6.


Crossing over the railroad gate and crawling through barbed wire, 13

resisters moved onto the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex: Carol Gilbert,

Ardeth Platte, Jackie Hudson, Bonnie Urfer, Bill Bichsel, Bradford

Lyttle, Michael Walli, David Corcoran, Jean Gump, Steve Baggarly,

Dennis DuVall, Mary Dennis Lentsch, Beth Rosdatter. In Federal court,

the government said the baker’s dozen are “exposed to a fine of not

more than $100,000 and a sentence of not more than 1 year in federal

prison and one year of supervised probation, plus a $100 special assessment.”


Arrested and charged with obstructing a roadway were: Beth Brockman,

Barbara Corcoron, Nancy Gowen, Janice Sevré-Duszynska, Susan Crane,

Elizabeth McAlister, Billie Hickey, Clare Grady, Alice Baker, Martha

Hennessee, Pepperwolf, Judith Hallock, Joan Noyes, Steve Jacobs, Ed

Bloomer, Stephen Clemens, John Schuchardt, Marcus Atkinson, Paul

Fesefelt, Frank Cordaro, Joe Gump,Tom Palumbo and Jon Blickenstaff. The

charge is a State Class C misdemeanor and carries a penalty of $50

fine, up to 30 days in jail, and court costs (around $240).


All of the arrestees were released on recognizance on July 5 except

Beth Brockman, Alice Baker, and Billie Hickey who, anticipating a

sentence of five days or more, elected to remain in Anderson County

Jail. Their trial, along with Marcus Atkinson, is scheduled for July

8; the others arrested on state charges will be heard on July 12.


A preliminary hearing has been scheduled in federal court for the

alleged trespassers for July 14; lawyers say it will not happen

because an indictment will be handed down before that time.


Jim Gaber has posted photos on his flickr account:



Lee Sessions has compiled some press coverage sites:


It was also on page 3 of USA Today. and the Knoxville News Sentinel

story that appeared in print was drawn from a number of longer blog

pieces Frank Munger wrote during the weekend; you can find them by

Googling "atomic underground."



Ralph Hutchison

Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

P O Box 5743 Oak Ridge, TN 37831

(865) 483-8202


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