Nine months after their conviction on disarmament, or charges of sabotage and criminal damage, at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, three plowshares activists from Transformation Now Plowshares were sentenced to prison on February 18, 2014, in federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Federal Court Judge Amul Thapar imposed prison terms less than what federal guidelines recommend and prosecutors asked for: 35 months for Sr. Megan Rice (84 years old), and 62 months for Michael Walli (64 years old) and Greg Boertje-Obed (59 years old), followed by 3 years of supervised release.
Divided among them, the three Transform Now Plowshares activists must also pay restitution totaling $52,953.
Plowshares disarmamentEarly on the morning of July 28, 2012, the three veteran activists from Transformation Now Plowshares hiked over a ridge and cut through four fences to reach the United States’ new storehouse for bomb-grade, highly enriched uranium at the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex.
At the base of the concrete fortress they strung crime scene tape between the pillars, poured blood on the walls, lit candles and hung two banners reading “Transform Now Plowshares” and “Swords into Plowshares, Spears into Pruning Hooks – Isaiah.” With their hammers, they began chipping away at the building’s foundation. When the first security officer arrived on the scene, the trio broke bread to share as a peace offering. They took action in the 33-year Plowshares tradition of more than 100 predominantly faith-based acts of direct disarmament around the world.
Their arrest led to a temporary shutdown of Y-12 operations, oversight hearings in Congress, and on-going security overhauls throughout the nuclear weapons enterprise. For more information, visit the Transformation Now Plowshares blog here.