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
Divided among them, the three Transform Now
Plowshares activists must also pay restitution totaling $52,953.
Early 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
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.
More than 100 plowshares actions
The plowshares movement, from the nonviolent civil disobedience tradition, has since 1980 accomplished more than 100 plowshares disarmament actions. Usually a plowshares group use hammers to disarm weapons.