Story of the action

Michael R. Walli (63), Megan Rice shcj (82), Greg Boertje-Obed, (57), succeeded in a disarmament action at the Oak Ridge Y-12 Nuclear facility before dawn on July 28, 2012.

Calling themselves Transform Now Plowshares, they hammered on the cornerstone of the newly built Highly-Enriched Uranium Manufacturing Facility (HEUMF), splashed human blood and left four spray painted tags on the recent construction which read: Woe to the empire of blood; The fruit of justice is peace; Work for peace not for war; and Plowshares please Isaiah.

Under the cover of darkness they intermittently passed beyond four fences in a walk for over two hours through the fatal force zone. “We feel it was a miracle; we were led directly to where we wanted to go,” said Greg.

After navigating through the complex they came to a long, white, windowless building marked HEUMF. “It was built like a fortress,” Greg said describing the four guard towers.

Unimpeded by security, they attached two banners to pillars of the building. “Transform Now Plowshares,” read the first with a green and black icon showing part bomb part flower. A second stated, “Swords into Plowshares Spears into Pruning Hooks–Isaiah”. In addition, between the pillars they strung red crime tape.

When confronted by a guard they read aloud their statement. “He was on his walkie-talkie but he heard it,” Megan confirmed. Before receiving orders to halt they had opportunity to offer guards bread, and display a bible, candles and white roses. Though initially forced to endure a kneeling posture for an extended period, guards responded to complaint and allowed the activists to stand off and on. Meanwhile they continued singing.

At this time they have been interviewed by the DOE investigative unit and have conditional charges of two felony counts for vandalism and trespass.  They spoke to supporters from Blount County Jail at 12:30 pm saying they had not been processed yet. All four are scheduled for arraignment in Blount County Court on Monday.

“We’re still opposing the filthy rotten system,” Michael said.  “Jesus has no nukes in heaven and no torture in heaven.”


5 thoughts on “Story of the action

  1. It’s a real shame that you all seem to think in order to be practice civil disobedience against what is a regretable state of affairs (nuclear weapons) you must violate actual legitimate laws (prohibition of vandalism and trespassing on private property). I recommend that you all engage in actions that add credibility to your cause and don’t instead create more derision. You all seem like rabble rousers and extremists. This type of behavior reflects poorly on those who are, correctly or not, associated with these people: the Catholic Church, law abiding advocates against nuclear weapons, and the like. Jesus may not have “nukes in heaven”, as Michael says, but Jesus also said, “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s” which certainly implies that we ought to obey correct laws and go through the proper routes of change.

    Posted by Catherine | August 2, 2012, 6:10 pm
    • What is Caesar’s, and what is God’s? My life is not Caesar’s. My future does not belong to Caesar. The “correct law” preserves justice, instead of being used to protect that which would destroy all that is God’s in the name of Caesar.

      Posted by Jack | September 3, 2012, 2:08 am
    • By the logic of this commentator, civil disobedience and it’s best known historical adherents are remiss. The issue for me is when they break the law and try to avoid the consequences.

      People who insist that all laws are inviolable are advocates of cowardice. People who admit they are personally too timid to do civil disobedience but praise those who perform honorably done civil disobedience are to be honored themselves.

      Gandhi’s approach was to suffer in jail to touch the heart of the adversary. To suggest only playing by the values of ones adversaries implies it is okay to hate and try to frustrate your adversaries. Mainstream politics is awash in hatred.

      Posted by David Slesinger | December 31, 2012, 1:38 pm
  2. we could all do worse than to read martin luther king’s “letter from a birmingham jail” to reaquaint ourselves with his response to protests from the christian establishment that his actions were extremist, that his breaking the law did harm to his cause, etc. yesterday’s extremists for peace and justice are often tomorrow’s heroes.

    Posted by astro burfi | May 7, 2013, 2:44 pm
  3. Those guys have some testicular fortitude. Me like!

    Posted by ME2WE | February 17, 2014, 12:05 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Support Transform Now Plowshares

Contributions for jail support for the Transform Now Plowshares activists are welcome and needed! You can mail checks to:

Catholic Worker
PO Box 29179
Washington DC 20017

please mark your check for "Transform Now Plowshares" in the memo line.

%d bloggers like this: