FOR A NATION TO BE, in the truest sense, patriotic, its citizens must love their land with a knowing, intelligent, sustaining, and protective love. They must not, for any price, destroy its health, its beauty, or its productivity. And they must not allow their patriotism to be degraded to a mere loyalty to symbols or any present set of officials. (Wendell Berry: from A Citizen's Response to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America).
At the end of that same essay Berry says that "If we are serious about peace, then we must work for it as ardently, seriously, continuously, carefully, and bravely as we now prepare for war."
When it comes to nuclear weapons, Berry's words ring particularly true. We have seen time and time again that our government has no real intention of honoring its commitments to work toward global disarmament under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The lofty rhetoric of President Obama's famous 2009 Prague speech has long since faded away.
It is clear that the only thing that will convince our elected officials to fulfill their legal (and moral) obligations to abolish nuclear weapons is a massive citizen-led movement bringing pressure to bear on every member of Congress and the President.
This movement will require every method of conventional and unconventional (nonviolent) strategies and tactics, including nonviolent civil resistance.
On July 5, 2010, during a large gathering of anti-nuclear activists outside the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 13 resisters walked onto the facility, each one carrying a document declaring independence for nuclear weapons at Y-12.
Here is the final version of the document carried into the Y-12 Complex by the 13 nuclear resisters on this day in 2010. May we all declare our independence from nuclear weapons, and may we do the hard work to abolish these horrific and omnicidal weapons.
Declaration of Independence from Nuclear Weapons at Y-12
The Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 indicted a government that engaged in barbaric conduct contrary to the laws of Humanity that included "works of death, destruction and tyranny unparalleled in the most barbaric ages" until the Age of Now!
Current Law requires an end to all planning, preparation, production, threat, or use of nuclear weapons and adherence to the fundamental rules and principles of Humanitarian Law.
The cardinal rules and principles of humanitarian law require that civilians never be the object of attack and prohibit weapons that are incapable of distinguishing between civilians and military targets.
The International Court of Justice found that the destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot be contained in either space or time, and nuclear weapons have the potential to destroy all civilization and the entire ecosystem of the planet.
All W-76 and W-76-1 thermonuclear secondaries produced at Y-12 are designed and intended to unleash 100 KT of uncontrollable and indiscriminate heat, blast and radiation, six times more than the Hiroshima Bomb. Because any threat or use of these weapons is a crime against peace, war crime or crime against humanity any complicity in planning or preparation for threat or use is similarly unlawful.
Under principals 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.
July 4, 2010