Opening Speach At The United Nations
May 4th, 2005
The people on the panel up here are from 3 different countries and its connecting the nuclear industry not only the nuclear weapons but also from the very beginning process - all the way through to the weapons.
A couple of years ago we talked about connecting this process through walking, so we walked from the center of Australia for 9 months to Hiroshima and finished on August 6th last year (2004).
And that's when we heard about the NPT being held here (NY) so we decided that we needed to continue walking to this, and talk about a lot of the things that we had seen along the way and the way that the whole nuclear industry in general is affecting, and devastating and destroying communities all through-out the world.
I am not going to talk to much here and let the panel fill you in on a lot more of the details about the places that we visited and things that are happening.
To introduce you to some of the panel -
Johnelle Sanchez - she is an indigenous woman from this country and there is a huge story there but she'll fill you a bit more on that.
Bilbo and Nat have both been walking since we started in Roxby Downs, in December 2003. They have been part of the main core walking group and done a lot of the organizing and stuff as well.
Atsuko - she did all the organizing in Japan for four and half months that we walked across there. She is currently working for Greenpeace in Japan as one of the main anti-nuclear co-ordinators for that area.
Ralph - from Y12 in Oakridge, TN where we started this section of the walk from about six weeks we started walking from down there in TN and just arrived here a couple of days ago. . Ralph is from OREPA - Oakridge Environmental Peace Alliance and they have been working on the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Facility down there for many years now.
Morita-shoni - from Nipponzan Myoji a Buddhist Order in Japan. Some-one from that order has been walking with us since we started in December 2003 and their history of walking is decades and decades longer than that. We have had a lot of support from them and other communities around.
I will hand it over to Johnelle.