published Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Y-12 protesters plead not guilty; trial set Oct. 9

In this photo reportedly taken in the days leading up to the early Saturday, July 28, 2012 break-in at Y-12, the activists posed with their banners and protest symbols. From left are Michael R. Walli, 63, Washington, D.C.; Megan Rice, 82, Nevada; and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, Duluth, Minnesota. A spokeswoman for the group said the Plowshares actions at high-security nuclear sites typically involve months, if not years, of planning. The three were arrested at about 4:30 a.m., and are now in federal custody. A Y-12 spokesman declined to discuss specifics of the event or provide a report of damages at the Oak Ridge facility.
In this photo reportedly taken in the days leading up to the early Saturday, July 28, 2012 break-in at Y-12, the activists posed with their banners and protest symbols. From left are Michael R. Walli, 63, Washington, D.C.; Megan Rice, 82, Nevada; and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, Duluth, Minnesota. A spokeswoman for the group said the Plowshares actions at high-security nuclear sites typically involve months, if not years, of planning. The three were arrested at about 4:30 a.m., and are now in federal custody. A Y-12 spokesman declined to discuss specifics of the event or provide a report of damages at the Oak Ridge facility.
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

KNOXVILLE — Three anti-war activists today entered not guilty pleas to misdemeanor trespassing charges after the U.S. government submitted a revised complaint — known as an "information" — for their alleged intrusion into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant last Saturday.

Their trial before Federal Magistrate Judge G. Clifford Shirley is set for Oct. 9, and Shirley set another hearing for Friday to determine whether or not the defendants can be released — and under what terms — before trial.

The three protesters — Sister Megan Rice, 82, Las Vegas; Michael Walli, 63, Washington, D.C., and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, Duluth, Minn. — were arraigned earlier this week on the same charges, but the revised legal path — substituting an information complaint — eliminates the requirement for a preliminary hearing, during which evidence would be presented to support or invalidate the charges.

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