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      Thursday
      Aug232012

      Peace Activists Breach Secure Nuke Facility to Pray, Pour Blood

      Sister Megan Rice, 82, is one of three people arrested in a break-in at a nuclear complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. (Photo: Shawn Poynter)How could three pacifist senior citizens breach a secure nuclear weapons facility to pour blood on the spot where uranium was enriched for the 1945 Hiroshima bomb? What does it say about the risk of loose nukes in the world, except that the emperor has no clothes?

      The three activists – Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli, and Gary Boertje-Obed – delivered a bold wake-up call to the complacent on July 28 when they slipped into the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, facility with flashlights and bolt cutters in what longtime nuclear-weapons correspondent William Broad estimated as possibly the "biggest security breach in the history of the nation's atomic complex." (New York Times, August 10, 2012)

      The incident revealed once again that order and security are most often facades that lull the public against the mounting risks of weapons of mass destruction.

      The activists are charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor each. The case could serve as a glaring reason for the Obama administration's nuclear disarmament initiative; the Department of Energy has already conducted an oral history with Sister Rice. But instead it will be treated as a "national security threat" with penalties for trespassing, destruction and "depredation" of government property.

      The trial is scheduled to begin October 16. For more details and to voice your support, please contact the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance.

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