Activist explains motive behind Y-12 vandalism

Activist explains motive behind Y-12 vandalism

Posted:
"Putting the whole complex on trial is what all of these actions are about, to bring them to the attention of the U.S. public," said Ellen Barfield. "Putting the whole complex on trial is what all of these actions are about, to bring them to the attention of the U.S. public," said Ellen Barfield.
The Department of Energy announced Friday plans to rebuild the site's uranium processing facility. The current facility was built in 1945. The Department of Energy announced Friday plans to rebuild the site's uranium processing facility. The current facility was built in 1945.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

OAK RIDGE (WATE) – 6 News is learning more about the three protesters who were arrested Saturday at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, accused of trespassing and defacing a building.  

Three peace activists, including an 82-year-old nun, were detained during the incident.

A press release from the movement "Transform Now Plowshares" said their protest was aimed at a new uranium facility.  

A spokesperson for the protest movement identified the three protestors as were identified as Michael Walli, 63, Washington, D.C.; Sister Megan Rice, 82, of Nevada; and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, of Duluth, Minn.

The three are listed on the Blount County jail's online information system as federal inmates.

The local Plowshares spokesperson, Ellen Barfield, said the protestors gained access to the property by cutting four different barbed-wire fences. 

The protestors targeted the highly-enriched uranium materials facility, where Barfield said they hung banners, spray-painted and splashed human blood on the side of the building.

"The human blood in particular is a trademark of the Plowshares movement. It indicates not only the quintessential beautiful symbol of human life, but also the atrocious shedding of human, and of course other, blood nuclear weapons represent," she said.  

The group said it's been protesting the recent Department of Energy announcement to rebuild and expand the uranium processing facility.

"Putting the whole complex on trial is what all of these actions are about, to bring them to the attention of the U.S. public," said Ellen Barfield.

The Department of Energy announced Friday plans to rebuild the site's uranium processing facility. The current facility was built in 1945.

The project is expected to cost between $4 and $6.5 billion, possibly making it the biggest construction project in Tennessee's history.

In a statement the group said, "The ongoing building and maintenance of Oak Ridge Y-12 constitutes war crime that should be investigated by judicial authorities at all levels. We are required by International Law to denounce and resist known crimes."

National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Steven Wyatt said on Saturday, the protestors have been formally charged with Federal trespassing.  

Barfield said the three protestors will have an arraignment hearing in district federal court in Knoxville on Monday.

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