from Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance


Judge Amul R. Thapar passed sentence on Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice
and Michael Walli on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 in federal court in
Knoxville, Tennessee. The three were convicted in May 2013 for their
nonviolent action called Transform Now Plowshares at the Y12 Nuclear
Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on charges of depredation of
property and sabotage–the convictions carried possible maximum
sentences of 30 years in prison. Sentencing guidelines, based on
factors including history,  recommended sentences ranging from 6-10

Sentencing began at 1:30pm; the three were permitted to be in the
courtroom together by Judge Thapar.

Michael Walli received a sentence of 62 months on each count, to be
served concurrently, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

Greg Boertje-Obed received a sentence of 62 months on each count, to
be served concurrently, followed by 3 years of supervised release.

Megan Rice received a sentence of 35 months on each count, to be
served concurrently, followed by 3 years of supervised probation.

“Judge Thapar has tried to strike a compromise that reflects the
nature of this nonviolent action but satisfies the government’s demand
that Megan, Michael and Greg’s sentence send a deterrent message to
the wider community. For now, their bodies remain in prison. But their
voices are free, reminding us that the central issue of this action
and trial have not been resolved–as long as the government continues
to produce thermonuclear weapons of mass destruction in Oak Ridge or
anywhere, people are required to resist,” said Ralph Hutchison,
coordinator of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

At the hearing, each of the Plowshares resisters spoke, reminding the
court of the central purpose of their action–to call the court’s
attention to the ongoing violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty at the Y12 plant in Oak Ridge. In testimony at hearings leading
up to the trial, former Attorney General of the United States Ramsey
Clark called the production of nuclear weapons components at Y12
“unlawful,” and the work there “a criminal enterprise.”

Megan, Michael and Greg entered Y12 in the wee hours of the morning on
July 28, 2012, cutting four fences and traversing a
lethal-force-authorized zone, arriving at the Highly Enriched Uranium
Materials Facility, the nation’s warehouse of weapons grade highly
enriched uranium. They poured blood on the walls of the HEUMF and
spray painted “Plowshares Please Isaiah,” and “The Fruit of Justice is
Peace.” They also chipped a corner of the concrete wall with a small
hammer, a symbolic act reflecting the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah
who said, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares.”

The statement issued at the time declared the United States in
violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and said Y12 was
chosen for the action because of plans for a multi-billion dollar bomb
plant to be built there–the Uranium Processing Facility. The sole
purpose of the UPF (pricetag now $19 billion) is to produce
thermonuclear cores for warheads and bombs. Y12 is an active weapons
production facility–workers today are performing Life Extension
Upgrades on the W76 warhead at Y12.

Supporters outside the courtroom said, “The United States is breaking
its own law when it builds bombs in Oak Ridge. Any goverment that
would lock up Megan, Michael and Greg is desperate to hide the truth.
By their actions, they have broken the silence; their sacrifice
challenges each of us to speak up for a safer world. In prison or out,
Michael, Greg and Megan will continue to pray and work to save the
life of the planet.”

For more information:

3 thoughts on “NEWS: Transform Now Plowshares sentenced

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