A nun was sentenced today along with Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli for their role in the nuke protest that occurred on July 28, 2012. The three anti nuclear weapons activists broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and defaced some walls in one of the most secure parts of the compound.
Sister Megan Rice, the nun who was sentenced, is 84 years-old, and a member of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. She has been a nun since the age of 18 and travelled the world dedicated to various causes. Most recently, she and the two men sentenced were members of the protest organization Transform Now Plowshares.
Their name is a reference to the Bible passage, Isaiah 2:4 which states:
“He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Rice, Boertje-Obed, and Walli broke into the facility with the hopes of raising awareness about the deaths caused by nukes. For two hours, they wandered in the dark across the compound in search of the bunker they were looking for.
According to Greg Boertje-Obed:
“We feel it was a miracle; we were led directly to where we wanted to go.”
Upon finding the location, they began to tag the walls with spray paint, hang two banners, and splash human blood in baby bottles on the wall. “The reason for the baby bottles was to represent that the blood of children is spilled by these weapons,” said Boertje-Obed, 58, a house painter from Duluth, Minnesota.
The nun was sentenced to 35 months in prison while the other two received five years each. Both men had prior records, which factored heavily into their sentencing.
Their guilty verdict was handed down in May of last year, and it was a strange one for US District Judge Amul Thapar. While the trio was convicted of sabotage and damaging federal property, it was difficult to determine how much “damage” had actually been done. Many argue that the real damage was done to the U.S. government’s pride.
Y-12 is considered the “Fort Knox of uranium”, and for an elderly nun and two men to simply break in is unheard of. Not to mention, they spent several hours wandering the premises before security finally caught up to them. And they had set off alarms.
Before she was sentenced, the elderly nun told the judge:
“Please have no leniency with me. To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest gift you could give me.”
[Image Via Screen Cap]