3 Y-12 Peace Activists Sentenced
Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were sentenced to 62 months plus three years supervised release. Megan Rice was given 35 months.
“What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace — the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living — the kind that enables man and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women — not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.” ~ US President John F. Kennedy
Nun gets nearly 3 years in prison for nuke protest
“An 84-year-old nun was sentenced Tuesday to nearly three years in prison for breaking into nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium, a demonstration that exposed serious security flaws at the Tennessee plant.
“Two other activists who broke into the facility with Megan Rice were sentenced to more than five years in prison, in part because they had much longer criminal histories.
“Although officials claimed there was never any danger of the protesters reaching materials that could be detonated or made into a dirty bomb, the break-in raised questions about the safekeeping at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
“The facility holds the nation’s primary supply of bomb-grade uranium and was known as the “Fort Knox of uranium.”
“After the protest, the complex had to be shut down, security forces were re-trained and contractors were replaced…”
Read more: Nun gets nearly 3 years in prison for nuke protest – http://news.yahoo.com/nun-gets-nearly-3-years-prison-nuke-protest-231907850.html
ABC NEWS VIDEO – Nun Breaks Into Top Secret Nuclear Center – http://youtu.be/AtXOfTTcQeU
[In court] Attorney: Y-12 protesters believe it was ‘miracle from God’ they got into complex
“An attorney for one of three Plowshares protesters told a federal judge Tuesday that they broke into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant to bring attention to nuclear proliferation.
“They believed to this day that it was a miracle from God that they even got into the building,” attorney Chris Irwin told U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar during sentencing hearings at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Federal Courthouse.
“Irwin, who represents Michael Walli, said his client is “many things, but he is not a sabetour.”
Read more: [In court] Attorney: Y-12 protesters believe it was ‘miracle from God’ they got into complex – http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/feb/18/sentencing-hearing-shifted-for-y-12-protesters/
18 months after security breach, former Y-12 nuclear weapons plant boss tells his story
“The protesters put themselves in an extremely dangerous situation, where guards were authorized to use deadly force, Kohlhorst said.
“Not only could it have cost them their lives, but I can tell you it would have ruined the lives of those security forces had they intercepted them in the manner in which they were authorized to do. And so the courts are going to deal with them,” he said. “No matter how bad it is for them, if they have to spend prison time, we just could never give anybody the impression that they can break these kinds of laws and do this stuff and not suffer some serious consequences. Because we just can’t encourage that.”
“He lost his job because of the events of July 28, 2012. But Kohlhorst doesn’t seem bitter. He said he never got angry.
“I’ve never felt like it was about me,” he said. “It was about Y-12 and the mission we have at Y-12 and how important it is and how important that we maintain the trust of the community and the American people, Congress and the military. Our job at Y-12 is to make sure that this country has the nuclear deterrent and we can’t do that if they’re not able to do the mission.”
Read more: 18 months after security breach, former Y-12 nuclear weapons plant boss tells his story – http://www.stripes.com/news/us/18-months-after-security-breach-former-y-12-nuclear-weapons-plant-boss-tells-his-story-1.268183
Y-12 National Security Complex = America’s Nuclear Insurance Policy
“We have an enduring mission. Y-12 plays a key role in it. And a nuclear deterrent remains the ultimate insurance policy for America.”
See: Y-12 National Security Complex – http://www.y12.doe.gov/
Y-12 National Security Complex – Anti-nuclear protests
“Since 1988, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance has organized non-violent direct action protests at the Y-12 Complex, in an effort to close down the weapons plant. Sister Mary Dennis Lentsch, a Catholic nun, has been arrested many times for protesting at the Oak Ridge facility. She has 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”.
“In 2011, Rev. Bill Bichsel, an 84-year-old priest, received a prison sentence of three months for trespassing on federal property at the Y-12 complex. In 2012, there have been protests about the proposed new Uranium Processing Facility, which is expected to cost $7.5 billion.
“In July 2012, Megan Rice, an 82-year-old nun, and two fellow Plowshares activists entered the Y-12 complex and spray-painted anti-war slogans on the exterior of the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, a structure for storage of weapons-grade uranium. The anti-nuclear activists, who got past fences and security sensors before dawn on July 28, spent several hours in the complex, conducted a Christian peace ritual before they were stopped by a lone guard. The security breach prompted private experts to criticize the Department of Energy’s safeguarding of nuclear materials. The agency is to reappraise security measures across its nuclear weapons program.
“The DOE-OIG found that all of the defenses for the plant were insufficient and that the security response had “troubling displays of ineptitude”. On May 9, 2013, the three were convicted of sabotage. In her testimony Rice said “I regret I didn’t do this 70 years ago.””
Read more: Y-12 National Security Complex – Anti-nuclear protests – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-12_National_Security_Complex#Anti-nuclear_protests
A World Without Nukes. Dream? or Nightmare?
“A world without nukes would be the ultimate nightmare. We voluntarily disarm while the world’s rogues and psychopaths develop nukes in secret.” ~ Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post (11/26/2010)
“What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace — the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living — the kind that enables man and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women — not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.
“I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all of the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by the wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations unborn.” ~ US President John F. Kennedy (Commencement Speech at American University (06/10/1963)
I agree with Kennedy.
I think Krauthammer is psychopathic.
Read more: A World Without Nukes. Dream? or Nightmare? – http://wp.me/pPnn7-6U
Jurors find Y-12 protesters guilty on all charges
“Three protesters on trial for trespassing on the Y-12 National Security Complex were found guilty Wednesday on all charges.
“Upon hearing the guilty verdict, Michael Walli, Sister Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed, members of Transform Now Plowshares remained relaxed, perhaps even joyous.
“The three even sang along to protest hymns before being handcuffed and taken into custody.
“The three were on trial for trespassing on Y-12 property last summer, cutting fence, spreading human blood and spray painting messages.
“They’re at peace about this, they’re peace makers, and they knew that they risked this. Nobody is happy to go jail but they understand,” said Joe Quigley, attorney for Michael Walli.
“All three took the stand Wednesday before the defense rested their case. The three defendants admitted to breaking in to the complex as part of a nuclear weapons protest.
“They face sentencing on two charges: willingly destroying government property under what’s known as The Sabotage Act and “depredation against property of the United States” with damages exceeding $1,000.
“Sentences of up to 30 years in prison are possible…”
Read more: Jurors find Y-12 protesters guilty on all charges – http://www.wate.com/story/22195115/jurors-find-y-12-protesters-guilty-on-all-charges
84-year-old nun who broke into Tennessee weapons plant awaits fate
“An 84-year-old nun who broke into a Tennessee weapons plant and daubed it with biblical references, will learn on Tuesday whether she will spend what could be the rest of her life in prison.
“Two weeks ago, at a sentencing hearing, a judge ordered Sister Megan Rice and her co-defendants, two other Catholic anti-nuclear activists, Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, and Michael Walli, 64, to pay $53,000 for what the government estimated was damage done to the plant by their actions.
“All three defendants were convicted of sabotage after the break-in at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on 28 July 2012. The charge, under a statute of the US criminal code used against international and domestic terrorism, carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years. The government have asked for the trio to be given prison sentences of between five and nine years. They would have learned their fate in the January hearing, but it was cut short due to bad weather and rescheduled for Tuesday.
“In an interview with the Guardian from Knox county jail as she awaited her fate, Rice said she hoped US district judge Amul Thapar would seize the opportunity to “take his place in history” and sentence them in a way that would reflect their symbolic, non-violent actions – actions she said that were intended to highlight the US stockpile of nuclear weapons they believe is immoral and illegal.
“I hope he will answer his conscience,” said Rice, in an interview 24 hours before the last sentencing hearing. “He knows what to do.” She and her co-defendants have been in prison, mostly in Ocilla, Georgia, for eight months, a period of time her lawyers say is sufficient punishment for the break-in…”
Read more: 84-year-old nun who broke into Tennessee weapons plant awaits fate – http://trib.al/BMl860Z
TODAY: Sentencing for Y-12 protesters
“(WBIR) An 84-year-old Catholic nun will soon find out whether she’ll spend what could be the rest of her life in prison.
“Sentencing for Sister Megan Rice and two other anti-nuclear activists, convicted of breaking into the Y-12 Security Complex and defacing a uranium-processing building with human blood, is set for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in downtown Knoxville.
“They could have faced life in prison, but the government has recommended sentences of about six to nine years for Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed…”
Read more: TODAY: Sentencing for Y-12 protesters – http://www.wbir.com/story/news/local/downtown-ut/2014/02/18/sentencing-for-y-12-protesters/5573305/
Dozens gather for Y-12 protesters’ sentencings; defense attorney sees reason for optimism
“The cause for optimism relates to a “friend-of-the-court” brief that was filed late Monday by Douglas A. Berman, a law professor at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
“The federal judge had requested the legal brief, which deals with the flexibility in sentencing individuals under the felony convictions for sabotage, and it appears that Berman’s interpretation would give the judge some additional ability to distinguish between terrorists and anti-nuclear weapons activists and perhaps consider other “good works” in possibly departing from the sentencing commission’s recommended guidelines.
“The attorneys for the Y-12 protesters filed a response Monday night at the judge’s request to address Berman’s brief and to provide additional arguments for a possible reduction in sentences for Walli, Boertje-Obed and Rice.
“I think the peace community is very hopeful that this will liberate the judge, to either sentence these folks to time served, in which they would leave today, or do some sort of minimum additional imprisonment — perhaps an additional year,” William Quigley, a law professor at Loyola New Orleans University who’s is working pro bono for the peace activists.
“Quigley said the essence of Berman’s brief is that there is no mandatory minimum sentence and that the judge is not restricted to ruling in any particular way.
“These are peace protesters, very much not what you would think of as saboteurs,” Quigley said…”
Read more: Dozens gather for Y-12 protesters’ sentencings; defense attorney sees reason for optimism – http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/feb/18/sentencing-hearing-shifted-for-y-12-protesters/
The Prophets of Oak Ridge
“Last summer, in the dead of night, three peace activists penetrated the exterior of Y-12 in Tennessee, supposedly one of the most secure nuclear-weapons facilities in the United States. A drifter, an 82-year-old nun and a house painter. They face trial next week on charges that fall under the sabotage section of the U.S. criminal code. And if they had been terrorists armed with explosives, intent on mass destruction? That nightmare scenario underlies the government’s response to the intrusion. This is the story of two competing worldviews, of conscience vs. court, of fantasy vs. reality, of history vs. the future…”
Read more: The Prophets of Oak Ridge – http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/wp-style/2013/09/13/the-prophets-of-oak-ridge/
See: Oak Ridge Today: Y-12 Security Breach Articles – http://tinyurl.com/p72slyo
January 28th Pentagon Solidarity Vigil For Transform Now Plowshares Sentencing–Sentencing Postponed Until February 18th
“Eleven supporters of the Transform Now Plowshares (TNP) braved chilling temperatures (under 10 degrees) during a Pentagon vigil earlier this morning from 7:00-9:00 a.m. to be in prayerful solidarity with Mike Walli, Sr. Megan Rice and Greg Boertje-Obed of the TNP who are being sentenced today in Knoxville, Tennessee. During the vigil, which was organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (DDCW), signs were held thanking the TNP for their action and calling for a world without nuclear weapons and war, where all swords are hammered into plowshares and where we practice love for enemies. Also a sign previously made by Mike Walli, a member of the DDCW, stating that nuclear weapons are immoral, illegal and unpatriotic, was prominently displayed. The vigil also included a reading of the TNP action statement several times, the TNP war crimes indictment of the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex and U.S. government, a reflection by me (see below), and an of offering scripture readings, songs and a closing prayer. Ultimately, we were able to witness to hundreds of military and civilian workers as well as many others walking to the bus or metro and inform them about the TNP action and sentencing…”
Read more: January 28th Pentagon Solidarity Vigil For Transform Now Plowshares Sentencing–Sentencing Postponed Until February 18th – http://tinyurl.com/k3heor3
TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF MICHAEL WALLI – KATHY BOYLAN – DOROTHY DAY CATHOLIC WORKER HOUSE, WASHINGTON, DC
“I am honored to be character witness for Michael Walli. For most of the last 20 years, Michael and I have been community members and friends at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington DC, one of the hundreds of Catholic worker communities throughout the world. Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin founded the movement 80 years ago seeking to build up the kingdom of God and the teachings of Jesus, the nonviolent son of God and transform our violence ravaged creation into a home for all dwelling in peace and justice.
“Our work may be described as having two thrusts: 1) the works of mercy and 2) the work to oppose and abolish all violence. At the house in DC, we daily join others for prayer, we offer hospitality to five mothers and their children in need of a home, we beg for food, share it with our neighbors and prepare a feast to serve to some of the many homeless people in DC. We uphold the consistent life ethic declaring the sacredness of all life – opposing war, abortion, and the death penalty. Each Monday, we vigil at the Pentagon in repentance for the crime of war, encouraging brothers and sisters in the military to put down their guns and refuse to kill, and encouraging others to refuse to pay taxes for war. On Fridays we vigil at the White House with the same message and once a month we go to the CIA to protest drones. This is truly the life and work of Michael Walli.
“Michael Walli, the beloved member of Dorothy Day house and servant of God is a man of deep faith in the God of love, and each morning he and I join the Assisi Community nearby for reflection on the word of God.
“The following is a testament from that community about Michael…”
Read more: TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF MICHAEL WALLI – KATHY BOYLAN – DOROTHY DAY CATHOLIC WORKER HOUSE, WASHINGTON, DC – KNOXVILLE, TN COURT HOUSE JANUARY 28, 2014 – http://tinyurl.com/mtw9j3q
Transform Now Plowshares – http://transformnowplowshares.wordpress.com/
The Nuclear Resister “A Chronicle of Hope” – http://nuclearresister.org/
DC Catholic Worker – http://dccatholicworker.wordpress.com/
A Personal Note
Michael Walli is a Catholic Worker in Washington DC… and he’s also my friend.
I donate 100% of my royalties from the sales my book The World Perceived to the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House in Washington, DC in order to assist them in their good works of charity, as they help those in need who are living within the federal city.
When The World Perceived is purchased online (list price = $16) directly from the publisher (CreateSpace) the DC Catholic Workers receive $8 per copy, and they receive $5 per copy when purchased online from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and independent booksellers.
Please consider purchasing a copy and helping the DC Catholic Workers. Thanks.
VIDEO – Y12 Protesters arrive at Federal Court – http://youtu.be/4bAYZKLJiBQ