published Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Aging protesters paint nuclear arsenal in Tennessee

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.
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OAK RIDGE — Emerging details about a security alert at the federal government’s Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge reveal three aging activists staged the protest.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, guards found an 82-year-old Roman Catholic nun, a gardener and a housepainter splashing blood and painting messages on the $549 million storage bunker that holds the nation’s primary supply of bomb-grade uranium.

The intrusion early Saturday resulted in armed security guards being scrambled to find Megean Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli hanging banners in the dark and reportedly singing and offering to break bread with them.

Details about how they got into the high-security area aren’t known.

Y-12 spokesman Steven Wyatt said the protesters put themselves at high risk of losing their lives with the demonstration.

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