Protesters are expected to take actions this morning at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, in part to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the initial “Plowshares” anti-nuclear weapons protest that took place Sept. 9, 1980. In that event, Daniel and Philip Berrigan and six others entered a General Electric missile facility at King of Prussia, Pa., and reportedly damaged a warhead nose cone and placed blood on documents at the plant.
Since then, there have been dozens of other similar or symbolic actions to protests the U.S. production and maintenance of nuclear weapons. Some of the original or long-time members of the disarmament movement have been in East Tennessee over the weekend, and this morning there are reportedly plans to trespass at Y-12 — where the enriched uranium was produced for the A-bomb dropped on HIroshima and where new parts for old nuclear warheads are still manufactured and refurbished.
According to statements released this morning by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, which hosted the anniversary events at Maryville College and in Oak Ridge, Sister Mary Dennis Lentch is among those planning to take action at Y-12.
Lentsch, a Catholic nun, has been arrested multiple times at the Oak Ridge facility. In her statement, she said, “I believe the continuing weapons production at the Y12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is in direct violation of the treaty obligations of the United States and consequently, is a violation of Article 6 of the US Constitution.”