Swords Into Ploughshares
Close Jabiluka Uranium Mine
In the last days the mountain of Yahweh's house shall be set over the highest mountains and shall tower over the hills. All the nations shall stream to it saying Come let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the god of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and we my walk in his paths. For the teaching comes from Zion and from Jerusalem the word of Yahweh. He will rule over the nations and settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not raise sword against nation; they will train for war no more (Is 2:2-4).The Uranium mines of Australia are the first stage of the nuclear war assembly line. Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) is attempting to open Jabiluka the fourth uranium mine in Australia - and with it the floodgates to a potential 20 more uranium mines. 46% of ERA's present contracts are with the United States the world's largest possessor and producer of nuclear weapon systems. The US is the only nation to have used nuclear weapons to bomb civilian populations. The US has made no apology for its nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- instead it has invested its immense wealth resources and scientific talent to make sure it can repeat these atrocities on a grander scale with increased efficiency. ERA also sells uranium to the nuclear-armed nations of Britain and France.
Both the US and Britain also fired thousands of rounds made from depleted uranium during the 1991 Gulf War. This toxic depleted uranium has left much of the desert radioactive. It has left thousands of Iraqi civilians and US and British veterans with cancer leukemia and radioactive poisoning.
There has never been a guarantee that Australian uranium won't be used in nuclear weapons -- only government lies smokescreens and denial. The 'peaceful' nuclear industry is the core component of the nuclear arms race. The French Defence Minister pointed to the hypocrisy of Australia in allowing the production of uranium while condemning French nuclear testing in Muroroa Atoll.
Nuclear weapons and war are constructed on a huge international assembly line while participants shed any responsibility of the end product. The Australian Government's ethical rationale is similar to that of the heroin dealer If we don't sell it to them someone else will!
We come to the beautiful widerness of Kakadu to resist our government's complicity and profiteering of ERA. We come in nonviolent repentance of our own silent complicity. We have come to take responsibility for disarmament at the very beginning of the nuclear weapon assembly line. We have come to confront Australia's original sin of ongoing theft from and genocide of the Aboriginal people. We have come to confront what threatens to be Australia's final sin -- its complicity in nuclear war-making and radioactive poisoning of the ecology.
We have been inspired by Isaiah's prophecy to "beat swords into ploughshares." We have been mandated by Jesus' commandment to "love our enemies" -- and by implication not to prepare to incinerate and poison their children. Today on the 53rd anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki we attempt to take up and bring down the hammer on the very beginnings of the nuclear war assembly line -- to begin the disarmament of this uranium mine. We act in the tradition of more than 70 ploughshare actions world wide since 1980 that have initiated nonviolent disarmament of the nuclear and interventionary war machine.
The nuclear weapon assembly line begins here at the Jabiluka uranium mine. Today we end it here with this nonviolent act of disarmament -- the prophecy of Isaiah. The road from Jabiluka leads to Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Chernobyl, Muroroa, Missan... With this act of disarmament we begin to prepare the way of the Lord a path of nonviolent resistance towards justice and peace.
We act in solidarity with Phil Berrigan, Mordachi Vanunu, Susan Crane, Fr Carl Kabat, Fr Steve Kelly, and all brothers and sisters imprisoned for peace and justice sake. We act of behalf of a disarmed world. We claim a future from the despair malaise and fatalism that abounds. We celebrate the resurrection the victory of life over death.
You have been told what is good and what Yahweh requires of you: to do justice to love mercy and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:3).
Treena Lenthall & Ciaron O'Reilly, JABILUKA PLOUGHSHARES: Voices in the Wilderness, Disarmament of Uranium Mining Equipment.